Breaking Down the Cowboys Depth Chart

    The start of the comes with a lot of questions about how certain players will be utilized. Debates over named starters and workload distributions abound, and only the actual games will tell us the full story.

    However, the team's posted does share some interesting nuggets about where the Cowboys are leaning regarding certain players and positions. For today, let's look at their list and see what it tells.

    WR D. Bryant B. Butler
    TE J. Witten G. Swaim G. Escobar
    LT T. Smith
    LG L. Collins R. Leary
    C T. Frederick J. Looney
    RG Z. Martin
    RT D. Free C. Green
    WR T. Williams C. Beasley L. Whitehead
    QB D. Prescott M. Sanchez
    FB R. Smith K. Smith
    HB E. Elliott A. Morris L. Dunbar D. Jackson


    Going down the list, the first noteworthy item is Geoff Swaim being above at . During the I assumed that , based on his new contract, had leapfrogged Escobar as the second tight end thanks to his blocking ability. It appears that Swaim has taken up the mantle while Hanna is on the PUP list, leaving Escobar buried in what is likely his final year as a Cowboy.

    At quarterback, wasn't even put on depth chart. That tells you just how “out” he is for the moment. Perhaps they felt it was be an indignity to put him anywhere but QB1, but also didn't want to create any confusion about his availability.

    Rod Smith is currently the starter at fullback over Keith Smith, which is a surprise as Keith appeared to have the better . This could indicate that Dallas intends to use the fullback more as an offensive weapon than a traditional blocker, which would work in Rod's interests more so than Keith.

    Everything else is what you'd expect. So, let's move on to the

    LDE J. Crawford D. Irving
    LDT T. Crawford M. Collins
    RDT T. McClain C. Thornton
    RDE B. Mayowa C. Tapper
    WLB S. Lee J. Durant
    MLB A. Hitchens M. Nzeocha
    SLB A. Gachkar K. Wilber D. Wilson
    CB B. Carr
    CB M. Claiborne D. Swanson
    CB O. Scandrick A. Brown
    SS B. Church J. Wilcox K. Frazier
    FS B. Jones J. Heath


    Benson Mayowa is no surprise as a starting . He was signed to nearly $3 million in average salary as a , indicating that Dallas saw him in a significant role. gets the nod over for now while is suspended.

    Dallas' biggest 2016 free agent , , is listed below in the base defense. This is more of a technicality than anything; Thornton will get plenty of reps and may even see more total playing time as one of the nickel tackles. However, after two years of waiting for McClain to be healthy, Dallas is probably anxious to finally get their money's worth.

    At , is listed as a starter over or Justin Durant. This is a surprise to me, especially in regards to Wilber. While Gachkar had a good season in 2015, Wilber seems more like the prototypical strong side linebacker. Like with McClain and Thornton at DT, I expect a healthy rotation and shared duties.

    Dallas made a point to list , , and all as “starters.” Yesterday, said that the base starters would be Scandrick and Carr. This caused a good bit of complaint among fans and followers. Personally, I think it's a temporary issue.

    Dallas is showing veteran deference to Carr right now, a locker room leader who hasn't missed a game since signing here. The job is Claiborne's to take if he can stay healthy and finally carry his Oxnard and preseason hype into September. It's just another carrot for Claiborne in an all-important reclamation season.

    K D. Bailey
    P C. Jones
    PR L. Whitehead C. Beasley
    KR L. Whitehead M. Claiborne D. Jackson
    LS L. Ladouceur


    The only notable items here are in the return game. I'm still flabbergasted by seeing Morris Claiborne's name anywhere on these lists. I can't fathom how a guy with his would ever be allowed to return kickoffs. It will be interesting to see if, should Lucky Whitehead have an issue, they're truly ready to put him in.

    It's also surprising to not see 's name on either list. His return ability was clear during the preseason and seemed to be a reason he made the team. That he's not in the mix as a returner likely says that Dallas doesn't plan to dress him for games at this time.

    ~ ~ ~

    These charts certainly don't tell us the full story, but they do give us some early indications of how the team perceives certain players. There will be plenty of room for change, of course, over the next four months of football.

    Who will move up the depth chart? Who will keep jobs and who will lose them?

    Maybe we'll start getting some answers this Sunday.

    Jess Haynie
    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!


    Week 14 Preview: Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys

    The Dallas Cowboys welcome the Houston Texans to town...

    Perfectly Flawed – Cowboys continue dominance heading into the playoffs

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Indianapolis Colts tried...

    The Cowboys can win it all IF they can overcome inconsistency

    The Dallas Cowboys improved to 9-3 after last night's...

    Anthony Brown out for the year with a torn Achilles

    Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown is out for the...


    Daily Cowboys News in Your Inbox
    Your email address:*
    Please enter all required fields Click to hide
    Correct invalid entries Click to hide

    Trending Now

    Cowboys Reveal New Uniforms for Week 17 vs Titans

    Another uniform emerges for the Dallas Cowboys to wear...

    The Star: Getting Inside the Dallas Cowboys New Home

    The Dallas Cowboys star logo is one of the...

    Cowboys Nostalgia: Before Jerry Jones

    25 years ago Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys...

    Why are the Dallas Cowboys Considered “America’s Team?”

    The Dallas Cowboys are one National Football League team...

    Diggs Island – Trevon Diggs is entering elite status

    It’s hard to find a cornerback that is under...

    Reasons why the Cowboys have the best defense

    Out of all the 32 NFL teams, it's always...

    Fantasy Outlook: It’s Hard to Trust any Cowboys Player Next Season

    I am already looking forward to my fantasy football...

    Will Jalen Tolbert suit up again this season?

    The third-round pick out of South Alabama has been...

    3 Questions Surrounding the Dallas Cowboys After Minicamp

    The Dallas Cowboys have finished offseason training activities and their minicamp and have moved into the quiet portion of the offseason. The rookies will...

    Depth Chart Based on 2021 Offseason Guide to Fix the Dallas Cowboys

    After sharing with you my attempt at being the General Manager in my 2021 offseason guide to fix the Dallas Cowboys I thought I'd...

    Xavier Woods’ Recent Injury Raises Serious Concerns About Cowboys’ S Depth

    Cowboys Nation, we may have a serious problem. The Dallas Cowboys lack of safety depth was already a pretty big concern prior to this...