There’s certainly been a flurry of moving parts on the Cowboys’ roster since Tuesday’s cut deadline. But while most of the dust has settled, Dallas still has to address a few more issues regarding their punter, a starting offensive lineman, and a key offensive roleplayer before they begin the 2021 season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Right now the Cowboys have 52 players signed and none of them is a punter. That’s because veteran Bryan Anger, who’s been with the team since April and was awarded the job over incumbent Hunter Niswander, was cut on Wednesday in a procedural move to allow Dallas to claim QB Will Grier off waivers.
Anger, like other veterans, didn’t have to go through waivers and has a handshake deal with the Cowboys to rejoin them for Week One. That could happen as soon as today.
But while adding the punter will give Dallas a full 53-man roster it isn’t the last move that they’ll have to make before heading to Tampa. Starting Guard Connor Williams and Wide Receiver Noah Brown are still on the COVID-19 list and don’t currently count against the roster limit.
Both are expected to rejoin the team any day now just as CeeDee Lamb and a couple other guys did yesterday. Dallas will have to make room for Williams and Brown by either releasing two players or moving someone who qualifies to injured reserve.
Connor Williams’ return will likely spell doom for either Matt Farniok, Brandon Knight, or Terence Steele on the offensive line. With Ty Nsekhe seemingly the swing tackle and Connor McGovern the primary depth on the interior line, one of these other three backups should be expendable and headed to the practice squad. My guess would be either Knight or Steele.
Making room for Noah Brown may have more of a ripple effect. While he would give Dallas six receivers, I don’t expect them to cut Simi Fehoko and so that means someone at another position would have to be the fall guy.
The most logical candidate there is LB Azur Kamara. Sorry to all his recently-acquired fans from “Hard Knocks,” but Kamara is our seventh linebacker and not really valuable enough to warrant going long at the position.
Another spot where Dallas is currently long is at safety but Israel Mukuamu seems like a more worthwhile developmental project than Kamara. He’s also more important to the future with Malik Hooker, Damontae Kazee, and Jayron Kearse all playing on one-year contracts.
Bradlee Anae at defensive end is another player to watch. Dallas currently has six at that spot but a few of them are still getting back from injuries. I don’t know if Anae will still be there by Week 17 but I don’t think the team can lose him just yet.
We’re only six days from the season opener but the Cowboys’ roster still isn’t “final.” After a few more moves, though, we should have our official 53 players who will do battle with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.