With the San Francisco 49ers win over the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs win over the Tennessee Titans, the two teams playing in the Super Bowl is set. Unfortunately, the Dallas Cowboys aren’t one of those teams. That means they and the rest of the league are in offseason mode.
Roster evaluations should be fully underway, because you can’t really know how to approach free agency and the NFL Draft without knowing which players are staying and which are going. That’s why decided to take a look at the Dallas Cowboys current roster to determine who has secured a spot and who hasn’t.
Let’s take a look…
Despite not being under contract right now, Dak Prescott is the only QB who I believe is a roster lock heading into the offseason. Like it or not, but the Dallas Cowboys are going to lock him up long-term at some point in the next few months. Who serves as the QB2 though is completely up in the air.
Running Back (2)
Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard
I think Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard are the only two roster locks at the running back position right now. I don’t see any reason why their status should change under the new coaching regime, but I can’t say the same for Fullback Jamize Olawale. He could become a salary cap casualty.
Wide Receiver (2)
Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup
I went ahead and made Amari Cooper a roster lock despite not currently being under contract with the Dallas Cowboys. Keeping him around for at least the 2020 season will be one of the Cowboys top priorities this offseason. Michael Gallup is the only other WR I feel 100% comfortable about sticking around.
Tight End (1)
Blake Jarwin is technically a restricted free agent, but right now he’s the only proven TE on the Dallas Cowboys roster. He’s shown flashes of being a difference maker in the passing game, but I’m not quite sure if he will ever be starting material. For now though, his a roster spot seems secure.
Offensive Line (7)
Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, La’el Collins, Connor Williams, Connor McGovern, Brandon Knight
I don’t think there is any surprises here. Smith, Frederick, Martin, Collins, and Williams could once again be the starting five in 2020, although Connor McGovern could challenge for starting role. Brandon Knight proved to be a valuable backup in 2019, which secured his spot in my opinion.
Defensive Tackle (1)
Trysten Hill is the only Dallas Cowboys DT I believe has locked up a roster spot right now. The the Cowboys aren’t going to give up on their second-round pick in 2019 after one season. Other than Hill though, the position is pretty bare. Tyrone Crawford could be a cap casualty and Antwaun Woods is an exclusive rights free agent. Of the two, Woods might have the best chance of sticking around.
Defensive End (3)
DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorrance Armstrong, Joe Jackson
DeMarcus Lawrence isn’t going anywhere and I don’t think either Dorrance Armstrong or Joe Jackson are either. Armstrong was Lawrence’s main backup in 2019 and Jackson showed enough as a rookie to keep around and develop. All three are versatile enough to fit in Mike Nolan’s defensive scheme, which sounds as if it could be a hybrid 3-4, 4-3 defense.
Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Luke Gifford
It’s pretty easy to project Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch as roster locks heading into the offseason. When healthy, they are arguably one of the best LB duos in the NFL. What may surprise you though is the fact I believe Luke Gifford is a lock as well. He showed quite a bit of promise as a rookie to make me believe he could be looking at a much larger role in 2020.
Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis
Sadly, I think only Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are the only roster locks I have right now at the CB position. I’m a little more confident about Lewis than I am about Awuzie, but with the lack of depth behind them both should feel pretty secure right now. If the Cowboys re-sign Byron Jones and draft another starting caliber CB though, Awuzie could be the odd man out. He took a pretty big step back in 2019, which might not sit well with the new coaching staff.
Xavier Woods, Donovan Wilson
Odds are Xavier Woods will once again reprise his role as one of the Dallas Cowboys starting safeties, but who starts opposite him is completely up in the air. Donovan Wilson will certainly throw his hat into the ring. He showed flashes as a rookie of having starting potential, but didn’t get much of a chance to prove what he can do in the regular season.