Cowboys Training Camp Starts With 17 Players On The Bubble ⋆
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Cowboys Training Camp Starts With 17 Players On The Bubble

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys: How Many Roster Spots Are Secure?

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Training Camp Starts With 17 Players On The Bubble

About a week ago, I attempted to project the Dallas Cowboys 53 man roster before the team even had one day of training camp practice. Although these projections are entertaining, they’re not very factual. That’s because there’s really no way to predict what the coaching staff is thinking, or how individual players will perform during these practices. All of the Staff Writers here at Inside The Star try our best to provide our readers with the best news and analysis possible in relation to the Dallas Cowboys. One of the ways we do that is to bounce ideas off of one another to try to come up with new or different information that hasn’t been written about over and over again by anybody else covering America’s Team.

About a week ago, I attempted to project the Dallas Cowboys 53 man roster before the team even had one day of training camp practice. Although these projections are entertaining, they’re not very factual. That’s because there’s really no way to predict what the coaching staff is thinking, or how individual players will perform during these practices.

All of the Staff Writers here at Inside The Star try our best to provide our readers with the best news and analysis possible in relation to the Dallas Cowboys. One of the ways we do that is to bounce ideas off of one another to try to come up with new or different information that hasn’t been written about over and over again by anybody else covering America’s Team.

RJ Ochoa – a fellow Staff Writer – and I had one such conversation. That conversation led to the basic idea of this article.

RJ thought it was a good idea to approach the Cowboys’ looming roster decisions in a different way, suggesting we take a look at what we believe to be the players that have already secured their roster spots. Then, we determine just how many spots might still be up for grabs.

Well, I took the idea and ran with it.

Based on my findings, there are 36 roster spots that should be locked down and, if my math is correct, that leaves just 17 spots remaining for the organization to fill out their final 53 man roster.

It’s unlikely that you will completely agree with me, but here is how I see the secured portion of the roster at this time:

Cowboys Offense (14)

Quarterback: Tony Romo, Dak Prescott Running Back: Ezekiel Elliott Wide Receiver: Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley Tight End: Jason Witten, James Hanna Offensive Line: Tyron Smith, La'el Collins, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Doug Free, Ronald Leary

Analysis:
First off, you may have noticed that I didn’t include the hopeful backup QB to Tony Romo. I still believe that Kellen Moore is still fighting to secure that backup role, thus his roster spot isn’t secure.

I have high expectations for Kellen, but I would like to see him handle that responsibility a little more in training camp and preseason before anointing him the #2 QB.

It’s probably no surprise that Ezekiel Elliott is the only secured RB for the Cowboys. Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden, and Darius Jackson are all competing for backup roles. Someone will have to set themselves apart at some point.

The tight end position is pretty obvious also. Jason Witten is hands-down one of the best to ever play the position, and James Hanna just signed a contract extension. It’s still up in the air who will be backing those two players up in 2016.

The offensive line is probably the most secured position on the entire team. It’s made up of three Pro Bowl players and I wouldn’t be surprised if La’el Collins becomes the fourth.

Cowboys Defense (19)

Linebacker: Sean Lee, Rolando McClain, Anthony Hitchens, Kyle Wilber, Jaylon Smith Cornerback: Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Orlando Scandrick Safety: Byron Jones, Jeff Heath Defensive Line: Randy Gregory, Demarcus Lawrence, Charles Tapper, Benson Mayowa, Ryan Russell, Jack Crawford, Tyrone Crawford, Cedric Thorton, Maliek Collins

Analysis:
I was surprised at a few of the players I decided to leave off of the defense, and I’m sure you are too.

Barry Church might just be the biggest surprise. He’s considered a sure thing to start at the strong safety position next to Byron Jones. But the fact that the Cowboys tried to upgrade the safety position in the off-season left me with doubts.

Church is entering the last year of his contract and, although he’s been steady, he still leaves you wanting more. Maybe rookie Kavon Frazier or Jeff Heath can make a push for that starting role.

Speaking of Jeff Heath, he is a roster lock due to his newly signed contract.

I thought that the defensive line was pretty obvious, especially considering the Cowboys will probably have to go a little deeper there than they might like because of the suspensions to DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory.

The linebacker position was a little more difficult, but not much. It may have shocked you to see Kyle Wilber’s name, but he also signed a contract extension and is valued for his special-teams work. Jaylon Smith may redshirt his rookie season, but his potential once he is fully recovered secures his spot.

Cowboys Specialists (3)

Dan Bailey, Chris Jones, L.P. LaDouceur

Analysis:
Any surprises here? No, I didn’t think so. This group could be chiseled in stone.

In conclusion…

With 36 roster spots spoken for, that leaves a lot of players vying for those final 17 spots on the 2016 Dallas Cowboys roster. These remaining players will have to establish themselves in training camp and convince the coaching staff that they’re worthy of claiming one of these valued roster spots.

Training camp and preseason games are most important for these players on the bubble, and you can bet they’ll be fighting and scratching their way to catch the attention of the coaches.

This may be just a game for the majority of us, but it is their livelihood.

Do you agree with my assessment of the roster?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to voice your thoughts and opinions. I look forward to hearing you so that we can discuss this topic further.

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Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

4 Comments
  • George Johnson

    Brian: The thing that is different IMO about Kellen Moore from others you have on your list as he has no competition. He is in fact the 2nd team QB with the position his to lose. He is not really competing with anyone as Prescott and Showers are most likely not ready. If K Moore doesn't look that good in TC and preseason games, then I expect Dallas to start looking around for a veteran. K Moore will have to be not very good to pretty bad for this to happen because K Moore knows the Dallas offense/playbook and a veteran coming in doesn't. If K Moore plays okay to good, he probably keeps the job unless there is some outstanding veteran available somewhere.

    • Brian Martin

      George, Kellen Moore may not be competing directly with Prescott or Showers, but I still think he's competing with other QB's around the league that may become available. I don't think his name is written in ink just yet on the depth chart. I think it will take a good showing in training camp and preseason for that to happen.

  • Michael barthel

    I think we are going to trade for either nick files or Mike glennon. Also with the bad news of McClain I say release him and bring in Donald Butler for a one year deal and see if smith knee progresses. Also we have alot of free agents next year with claibourne, carr, butler,Williams, mcfadden, wilcox, church, j. Crawford, irving, and more. I want to know what dallas is going to do about all them players and how we will sign alot of these guys back. I'm excited to see how our 6th round pick Anthony brown progresses and how McKinnon and deji olayte progress to see if we would even need to bring carr and MO back. Just get a corner in the 1st or 2nd round next year. Also get a defensive end in the 1st or 2nd round next year. I wouldn't mind seeing goldson or Whitner signed for safety to go alongside bryon jones. I think offensive line, running back, tight end are the only positions on our roster right now that we know who will play and who will be here for years to come. Corner is questionable next year with free agents. Safety is this year and next year. Qb I think Prescott is going to surprise and be the next wilson. Wide receivers Butler and Williams free agents next year so hopefully Butler has good year to bring back cuz Williams will get huge contract like sanu. Linebacker now is in question. Defensive line at least the ends are in question until Lawrence and Gregory show there ready to grow up and play ball. What do you think

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for commenting Michael. I don't see the Cowboys trading for a QB. If Nick Foles is released by the Rams somehow, I can see the Cowboys trying to get him off the waiver wire. And yes, they have a ton of free agents next year. I can see the majority of them playing for another team in 2017. They definitely need some of the young CBs to step up and continue their development.The Cowboys will definitely be focusing on drafting defensive players in next year's draft. I can pretty much guarantee you that any position on the defensive side of the ball could use an upgrade to the draft. I think the defensive ends for the Cowboys will be okay, but that could depend on how Ryan Russell and Charles Tapper progress in their development. Lawrence and Gregory will definitely have to show they can mature off the field.

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