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After Early Cuts, Who’s Left on Cowboys Roster Bubble?

The Dallas Cowboys have already started the process of trimming their down to 53 players by Saturday’s deadline. With still around 20 moves left to make, what players are locked in and who’s “on the bubble” with final cuts still to come?

The biggest surprise so far has been the release of veteran safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.  While I didn’t include him on my last 53-man roster projection a week ago, it was still jarring to see Dallas actually cut bait before Ha Ha even played in a game.

The rest of the moves were pretty predictable. I only had WR Devin Smith making the team as the 6th WR so I’m not stunned to see him go. The other cuts were easy: QB , TE Charlie Taumoepeau, G/C Adam Redmond, and offensive tackles , Wyatt Miller, and Pace Murphy.

So who’s left on that bubble? Before we go there, let’s look at who’s all-but-guaranteed to make the team:

Those are the 42 players that I would bet my life on.  The only guy who I could see not making the 53 is Sean Lee, and that’s just if his injury issues this month have pushed him towards retirement. But as long as Lee wants to play, the Cowboys aren’t cutting him.

There are a few other players who I highly doubt would be cut.

QB Ben Dinucci – I expect Dallas will keep the developmental prospect on the 53-man roster, as has been Mike McCarthy’s pattern throughout his head-coaching tenure. This seems especially prudent with both Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton on one-year contracts.

OL He’s played well in real games and has flexibility as a guard or tackle. Unless someone like or Isaac Alarcon really wowed in camp, Knight is a virtual lock.

DT Antwaun Woods – I could see him leaving if the Cowboys really want to hang on to more pass rushers or linebackrs, but he’s the best option as a or 1-tech of Dontari Poe gets hurt. And given Poe’s recent , they need that insurance.

LB Francis Bernard – The undrafted has been one of the stars of camp and has value on special teams as well. He’s the new , and that’s why Gifford’s now on the bubble.

DB With more experience than a lot of our DBs put together, plus flexibility between corner and safety, Worley probably isn’t going anywhere. But given what we just saw with Clinton-Dix, perhaps he also gets pinched in a youth movement.

S – While he hasn’t had a chance to wow us like he did in the 2019 preseason, Wilson is still a good prospect and fills a need. There are no other defensive backs I could see Dallas keeping over him, so it really just depends on total numbers.

Adding those six players takes us to 48, leaving just five spots for the rest of the bubble. So where are the Cowboys most likely to use those roster openings?

A key issue will be deciding on how to deal with the loss of FB , who opted out under the COVID-19 policy. Will this open the door for rookie Sewo Olonilua as a true fullback, or could we see Dallas keep an extra tight end (Cole Hikutini or Sean McKeon)?

On the other hand, will Darius Anderson or make it as RB depth? Remember, it was Olwale’s ability to play some that allowed Dallas to keep just Elliott and Pollard on the roster in 2019.

The bottom of the WR depth chart is another intriguing spot. Ventell Bryant is the front-runner with his special teams skills but he’s also a similar play to Noah Brown. Will Dallas instead look to someone like Jon’Vea Johnson or Aaron Parker for diversity, or could they just not even keep a 6th WR this year?

The defensive line is another hot topic. With Bradlee Anae pushing through as a drafted rookie, previous picks Dorance Armstrong and Joe Jackson remain in limbo. I think Armstrong probably make it given his pass-rush skills and potential to play some 3-4 , but it’s hardly certain.

At , Luke Gifford and Justin March are probably battling it out for the 6th spot.  Gifford has nice potential on defense and March has been a strong special teams player. What will the coaches value more, and could we even see both players kept?

And lastly, what other defensive backs have made a case for a roster spot? C.J. Goodwin may be the best special teams player on the squad but he doesn’t do much on defense. The Cowboys may prefer a younger player with a more well-rounded game, but John Fassel could pound the desk for Goodwin.

With only a little over 24 hours to go until the deadline, we’ll get answers to all of these questions ver soon.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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  1. Players with Dallas ties cut today:

    Michael Jackson (CB-NE)
    Nick Folk (K-NE)
    Mike White (QB-NYJ)
    Brett Maher (K-NYJ)
    Parker Ehinger (G-BAL)
    Donovan Olumba (CB-CLE)
    Ryan Switzer (WR-PIT)
    Caraun Reid (DL-JAC)
    Joey Ivie (DT-TEN)
    Matt Moore (QB-KC)
    Rod Smith (RB-OAK)
    Datone Jones (DL-OAK)
    Kyle Wilber (LB-DAL)
    Cooper Rush (QB-NYG)
    JJ Wilcox (S-ATL)
    Jalen Jelks (DE-CAR)

  2. As u mentioned we might wanna look at DE and LB as we will likely lose several from those two positions after this yr, Careful about letting too many young guys go, who have yrs left on contract and where we have invested draft capital. (this especially applies on defense) Have to look beyond this yr as well, when making these decisions At LB.S Lee will be gone and J Thomas is on a one yr contract. Also have to look at LVE injury concerns as well as what J Smith will look like moving forward. At DE could lose A Smith and Griffen as well as T Crawford. We could address some of these needs next yr in the draft and could also fill some holes with some prudent FA pick ups at that time as well. But just food for thought!

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