One of the most intriguing players on the Cowboys roster, defensive lineman David Irving, will rejoin the team today after serving his four-game suspension for PED use. Irving will make his 2017 debut this Sunday as the Cowboys host the Green Bay Packers in a critical Week 5 matchup, with the difference between 3-2 or 2-3 on the line.
Because suspended players don't count against your 53-man roster limit, Irving's return means the Cowboys will have to lose somebody to make room. There has been a lot of speculation about who will hit the discard pile. Here's my take.
The question of who should be released is an easy one for me. Backup quarterback Kellen Moore, who got outclassed during the preseason by rookie Cooper Rush, could probably be put on the street and remain a free agent. He also still has practice squad eligibility, meaning Dallas could keep him associated with the team to assist the other QBs and coaches in game preparation. I would pull that trigger without hesitation.
The fact that Moore is still here, though, suggests the team doesn't want to make that play. Therefore, we have to look elsewhere for our roster limit casualty. After being inactive for the first four weeks of 2017, running back Darren McFadden could make sense. Alfred Morris is the clear number-two RB now and Rod Smith brings too much on special teams. McFadden is the odd man out.
However, Ezekiel Elliott's ongoing legal status is why Dallas may not want to part with McFadden just yet. Until they have complete certainty that Elliott will play the entire season, the Cowboys will likely hang on to McFadden as he would probably find work if he hit the open market. Nothing in the NFL emulates fantasy football more than the RB position, where teams are scouring the waiver wire all year to deal with injuries.
Since David Irving is a defensive lineman, some might assume that's where the cut will come from. Second-year DE Charles Tapper has been targeted by some as he's been inactive the last few weeks. Irving is also able to play inside tackle, so Brian Price has also been discussed.
Right now the Cowboys only have nine defensive linemen, so adding Irving as a tenth would not create an unusual surplus. My gut feeling is that they don't want to lose any of their DL pieces this early in the year and with so much time for injuries to take a toll.
That same logic could be said about cornerback, where Dallas has six guys right now. Nolan Carroll and Chidobe Awuzie were out last week with injuries, allowing veteran Bene Benwikere to be active. Awuzie is expected back this week, though, to join Orlando Scandrick, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis at the top of the depth chart.
If the Cowboys are going to have those CBs active, and Carroll waiting in the wings, I think Benwikere is the easiest cut they can make. He doesn't do you any good in street clothes. If a future need arises at CB, Dallas might call up Marquez White from the practice squad or could potentially re-sign Benwikere from free agency.
There are plenty of options but these are the most likely routes that the Cowboys will take. We should find out pretty soon.
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
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