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Cowboys Camp: 2021 Cut Days are Different Than Previous Seasons

The final month of the NFL's 2021 is upon us and with it will come a new schedule for how rosters are trimmed down to the 53-man limit. This year's schedule is a little different from how it's been done in the past, both from the most recent set of rules and even the format that was used prior to 2017.

From 2017-2020, there's been just a single cut day when the 90-man offseason rosters had to be chopped down prior to the start of the regular season. Before that, teams had an initial cutdown to 75 players before the final game and then reduced to 53 shortly after.

The change in 2017 made sense as it allowed teams to use those extra 15 players in their last preseason game for a final evaluation. More guys to use also meant less risk to the players already expected to make the final roster.

The NFL is trying something new in 2021. An initial cutdown to 85 players will occur on August 17th after the first full week of preseason games. A week later on August 24th, teams must then cut five more and reduce their total roster to 80 players.

The final cuts most occur on or by August 31st, shortly after the third and final preseason games for most teams. Remember, the NFL cut one preseason game as part of their move to a 17-game regular season schedule this year.

The and are the only teams playing four preseason games in 2021. They will meet next Thursday evening as part of the events in Canton, OH.

That means Dallas and Pittsburgh will be the only teams to see their players in two games before they have to start making some decisions on August 17th.

Those initial cuts aren't likely to make much noise. For the Cowboys, we may be a little more familiar with those guys thanks to the team's “” appearance this year but ultimately they shouldn't be players of consequence.

One of the key factors in those decisions will be who's still on the PUP list or otherwise unavailable; having enough bodies to get through practices and preseason games.

We're still a little over two weeks from that first cut day so much could change from what we currently see. But after several years now of not evening thinking about cuts until the end of the preseason, 2021 is presenting some new circumstances and storylines for us to follow.

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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