Changes are coming for the Dallas Cowboys. Now in full offseason mode they have a lot of work to do between now and the start of the 2021 season. Already we’ve seen both Mike Nolan and Jim Tomsula given their pink slips and they’re likely not the only coaches let go. But, what changes will we see to the roster?
With the evaluation process fully underway the Dallas Cowboys must now decide which players to retain and which to let walk. Knowing that will help them determine which direction to take in both free agency and in the 2021 NFL Draft. With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you which players I consider roster locks right now.
The Dallas Cowboys sound pretty adamant about their desire to re-sign Dak Prescott, but until they do they don’t have a quarterback who should be considered a roster lock. Ben DiNucci, the only QB currently under contract with the Cowboys, is a developmental prospect at best.
Running Back (2)
Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard are without a doubt roster locks right now. The only way this changes is if somehow the Dallas Cowboys trade Zeke, but I highly doubt that happens considering his current contract and the fact that would leave yet another whole to fill on the roster.
Wide Receiver (4)
Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, Cedrick Wilson
The Dallas Cowboys receiving core is without a doubt the deepest and strongest position group on the entire roster. All four of these WRs are a shoo-in to be roster locks in 2021.
Tight End (2)
Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz
With the emergence of Dalton Schultz and the return of Blake Jarwin the Dallas Cowboys have two capable starting TEs for the 2021 season. Sean McKeon is an intriguing developmental TE, but far from a roster lock right now.
Offensive Line (7)
Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, Zack Martin, Connor Williams, Tyler Biadasz, Connor McGovern, Brandon Knight
The only surprise here might be the exclusion of Terence Steele, despite him starting 14 games at right tackle for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. With Tyron Smith and La’el Collins returning from injury and a potential rookie to compete with, Steele gets pushed down the depth chart.
Defensive Tackle (2)
Trysten Hill, Neville Gallimore
Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore are the only two DTs I think are roster locks right now with the Dallas Cowboys. Antwaun Woods is a possibility, but he’s a restricted free agent who could be pushed aside by a rookie or veteran offseason addition.
Defensive End (3)
DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Dorance Armstrong
DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory give the Dallas Cowboys a really good DE duo in 2021 and Dorance Armstrong is a capable backup for both. I really wanted to include Bradlee Anae, but Dallas’ unwillingness to get him any playing time in 2020 makes me question their faith in his ability.
Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Francis Bernard
Jaylon Smith and LVE are fortunate Dallas’ LB depth is so poor or otherwise their jobs would seriously be in jeopardy. For now though I think they are roster locks in 2021 and Francis Bernard has shown enough as a rookie to earn a spot as well.
Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown
Trevon Diggs is the only CB for the Dallas Cowboys who I believe should feel confident about their job security. Anthony Brown is probably a roster lock, however, Dallas can save about $2.75 million if he’s released. That could possibly make him a salary cap casualty, although an unlikely one due to the lack of CB depth.
Donovan Wilson is the only safety under contract with the Dallas Cowboys who I consider a roster lock right now. I really wanted to include Reggie Robinson here as well, but the fact he was rarely used in 2020 despite all of the injuries in the secondary suggests Dallas doesn’t have much faith in him.