With the close of preseason comes the often-dreaded cut-down day in the NFL, and today the Dallas Cowboys have squared their roster at 53, per league rules. While many of the names on the final cut list tend not to surprise, there are always at least a few that incur the ire of Cowboys Nation. This year, the headliner has to be Kicker Dan Bailey.
The complete list of Cowboys roster cuts ahead of the 2018 regular season includes 36 players. Here they are, as DallasNews.com reported Saturday.
- K Dan Bailey (Oklahoma State)
- WR Lance Lenoir (Western Illinois)
- DE Kony Ealy (Missouri)
- G/T Chaz Green (Florida)
- RB Darius Jackson (Eastern Michigan)
- DT Lewis Neal (Louisiana State)
- RB Bo Scarbrough (Alabama)
- DE Charles Tapper (Oklahoma)
- CB Duke Thomas (Texas)
- WR Deonte Thompson (Florida)
- DT Jihad Ward (Illinois)
- CB Marquez White (Florida State)
- WR Dres Anderson (Utah)
- G Kyle Bosch (West Virginia)
- T Jake Campos (Iowa State)
- WR K.D. Cannon (Baylor)
- WR Darren Carrington (Utah)
- RB Jordan Chunn (Troy)
- LS Scott Daly (Notre Dame)
- T Matt Diaz (Wagner)
- S Jeron Johnson (Boise State)
- LB Tre'Von Johnson (Weber State)
- CB Kam Kelly (San Diego State)
- LB Joel Lanning (Iowa State)
- DE Austin Larkin (Purdue)
- G Damien Mama (Southern California)
- WR Mekale McKay (Cincinnati)
- C Jacob Ohnesorge (South Dakota State)
- CB Donovan Olumba (Portland State)
- LB Eric Pinkins (San Diego State)
- LB Kyle Queiro (Northwestern)
- DT Caraun Reid (Princeton)
- S Dominick Sanders (Georgia)
- TE David Wells (San Diego State)
- S Marqueston Huff (Wyoming)
- RB Trey Williams (Texas A&M)
The most notable players being at the top, that list include names like Dan Bailey, Lance Lenoir, Darius Jackson, Deonte Thompson, and Charles Tapper, though Lenoir and Tapper are likely targets for the practice squad. We've seen many predictions where Lenoir and/or Thompson made the cut at wide receiver, a dead hope at this point.
As of yet, we do not know what DAL is planning by cutting the franchise's most accurate kicker, just that they stand to gain $3.4-mil in cap space each of 2018, 2019, and 2020, and eat $800,000 in dead money this year. Could they be freeing up some space to make a move for a veteran? I know many people I talked to first thought of Earl Thomas when they heard the news, and I agree that could be a distant possibility.
Brett Maher — now the team's starting place kicker — booted a field goal from 57-yards out in the Cowboys' preseason finale, which is impressive. However, as impressive as that may be, it still seems tough to grasp Bailey being cut when we know the injuries he battled in 2017, arguably the worst season of his career.