Cowboys 2022 Roster Projection: Preseason Week 2

    With almost three weeks of training camp and now our first preseason game in the books, this seemed a lovely time to update the roster projection for 2022.

    The last projection came out immediately following the draft. Since then we've had some interesting developments with free agent additions, issues, and risers and fallers during recent practices and Saturday's game.

    As always, we try our best to not overreact to the preseason games. How many times have you seen a player have a great preseason and then not make the roster or vice versa? There is way more going on in the evaluation process than we have access to.

    Still, if you pay close enough attention, it's not hard to predict the majority of who makes the cut. Here's our best effort based on current information.

    Offense Depth Chart (23)

    We've switched from Cooper Rush to Will Grier as QB2. This isn't just about Rush's play in Denver but the consistent reporting from camp that has Grier as the more impressive of the two. Assuming Grier maintains that once he gets into the preseason games, a switch feels imminent.

    Remember, Rush is a holdover from the era. Grier was claimed off waivers last September by this and is only now really getting his first chance to compete. So far, he appears to be winning.

    The RB3 and FB positions are getting much harder to project. Rico Dowdle looked good in Denver but so did Malik Davis. We didn't really see much of Ryan Nall as he deals with a minor injury. Only one of these guys may actually make the final roster; it all comes down to . For now, I'm deferring to Dowdle and Nall given their proven work there.

    We hope that Michael Gallup and James Washington will return sooner than later but it's a safer bet that they will begin the year on PUP and IR, respectively. Policy changes would allow them to come back after just four games and that lines up with their projected recovery timetables.

    Matt Waletzko will probably spend the year on IR with his shoulder issue; a way to stash the rookie without costing Dallas a roster spot. Even if he could play through the injury, Waletzko is missing too much work to be a viable backup to Tyron Smith.

    Throw in Josh Ball's poor showing in Denver and in camp and we expect that a veteran swing tackle will be signed or traded for in the next few weeks. We'll give that roster spot to Isaac Alarcón for now, but it feels like more of a placeholder until the real guy shows up.

    Defense Depth Chart (26)

    As well as Tarell Basham has played at times it's just hard to make the math work in his favor. With Micah Parsons' usage as a pass rusher, and especially after the Anthony Barr signing at linebacker, do the Cowboys really need six defensive ends? I've said all along that Basham and Dante Fowler are competing for the same roster spot and I maintain that now.

    is tough to predict, too. Is the team prepared to dump Carlos Watkins for younger prospects? Quinton Bohanna feels like the odd man out currently but hopefully we get more to go on in the coming weeks.

    The modern prevalence of the nickel scheme, and especially with Dallas using safeties in hybrid roles, make keeping six linebackers questionable. But given the health concerns with Cox, Vander Esch, and Barr there's plenty of reason to think they'll keep a full stock.

    The cornerbacks seem locked in. DaRon Bland has been a camp standout and built on that reputation Saturday night. He may wind up higher on the than Joseph or Wright at his current pace.

    Leaving Donovan Wilson off the roster may be the riskiest move of this projection. It's based on the rise of Markquese Bell as a stud UDFA and an ideal reserve for Jayron Kearse as a strong and hybrid linebacker. With Wilson now in his fourth season it's not hard to see the team focusing on developing younger guys.

    Special Teams (4)

    • ST: C.J. Goodwin
    • K: Brett Maher
    • P: Bryan Anger
    • LS: Jake McQuaide

    Brett Maher vs. Lirim Hajrullahu is an ongoing battle and impossible to really gauge now. But if Dallas was confident in Hajrullahu then Maher probably doesn't get signed, so that's the only reason I'm leaning his way at the moment.

    With Anger and McQuaide locked into their spots, the only question here is with C.J. Goodwin. Will the veteran hang on another year as John Fassel's favorite swiss army knife or will his roster spot be too valuable for a guy who doesn't help on offense or defense?

    I could see Goodwin starting the year on the roster but eventually losing his spot once Gallup and Washington return to duty. Of course, there could be other injury developments by then which create other options.

    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!


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    Well, Nall is gone at FB, so that opens up a spot for Alec Lindstrom as backup C, although, Farniok will likely be the game day active at backup C/G. Lindstrom had some nice plays against Denver, albeit late in the game.

    They protected Donovan Wilson by holding him out against Denver, which tells me he’s ahead of Mukuamu and Bell. Mukuamu got quite a few snaps late in the game and didn’t really show out like Bell did. I think Mukuamu ends up on the PS again unless something happens in the next two weeks.

    Bohanna actually had a decent game. But, I’m having a hard time deciding who should go to keep him. I’m wondering if Chauncey Gholston bulking up so much puts him in competition with Hill at 3-tech/3-4 DE.


    Some are insisting that Golston’s bulking up is setting him up to play inside full time, but he’s now at the size that Tyrone Crawford was when he was set to be a primary interior guy who would also man some edge on run downs. While Crawford would drop weight when needed to play mostly DE, he was always valued for versatility, and that was something that seemed to fit Golston even before he was drafted. Don’t be surprised if he sees snaps inside and outside! And that would also fit the team well, as it would complement Fowler and/or Williams (pass rush specialists) in the edge rotation.


    True. And even though that was under the Marinelli regime, it was at a time where Marinelli was saying to look at the Seattle D to see his vision for our D. The same Seattle D designed by Gus Bradley and our own Dan Quinn.

    They could use Golston like Seattle used Red Bryant. That’s what I thought they were going to do last season when they had Carlos Watkins listed as a DE. Instead, they used him more at 1-tech, possibly because Bohanna was struggling, and they didn’t have a better option. They do have Watkins listed as a DE again this season.

    With Bohanna seemingly playing better and Ridgeway now an option, maybe they go back to that plan? That would give DLaw a rest on obvious running downs and select other situations and keep him fresher to apply pressure on the QB. In which case, does that put Golston in competition with Watkins?

    I said 5-tech earlier because Quinn has had them play a 3-4 look on occasion. In which case, Parsons or Williams at ROLB, Gallimore at RDE, Bohanna at NT, Golston at LDE and DLaw standing up at LOLB? Gallimore has also bulked up and he also played in a 3-4 for the first couple years at Oklahoma. They could also use Gallimore as a NT and have Odighizuwa at RDE.

    With LVE playing the Sam LB and Cox playing the Will LB, that would put our best front 7 all on the field at once and in their best positions to make plays. Could even replace LVE with Parsons at Sam with Williams at ROLB and blitz Parsons while dropping Williams back into coverage. Or, send Williams too and have Kearse slide down to LB with Hooker playing the single high S.

    So many different ways they could play it to keep opponents guessing.

    Ben Miller

    As young as this roster is and with the plethora of rookie and 2nd year players they have in the secondary what is the point in keeping Godwin who really can’t contribute on defense? Turpin seems to be the “ST Guy” now and keeping two ST only contributers would really strain the roster. Quinton Bohanna or Gifford or Mukuamu would seem to be more logical choices as the 53rd guy than CJ.