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    Don’t Forget Special Teams Value in Cowboys Roster Decisions

    Building a in the NFL is a complex formula, requiring balance between numerous positions on each side of the ball. But what often gets overlooked in our analysis as outsiders is , and that's a huge factor for many of the players hoping to make it past final cuts.

    Some players have survived in the league by being just good enough at their listed positions but excelling in special teams roles. You may think of former Dallas , who was personally responsible for a special teams player being made part of the annual roster. A more recent example would be , who was an adequate safety but a special teams ace for several seasons.

    To be sure, someone is going to be on this 2019 Cowboys more for their special teams value than their actual offensive or defensive ability. Who might he, or they, be?

    One candidate is veteran . He is considered an exceptional talent in coverage on punts, which is probably the only reason he's still in the NFL today. At age 29, Goodwin has never really emerged as a consistent contributor on .

    Young players like or rookie , if not already superior cornerbacks to Goodwin, have far more upside to keep on the roster. But

    considering how little they may get on the field anyway as the fifth or sixth corners, you can see why special teams value becomes so important. It may be the only time you actually see them in the game.

    If the Cowboys don't want to lose a young prospect but can't let go of Goodwin's special teams ability, it may prompt them to go long at the CB position. But that means taking a roster spot from some other position, and thus the balancing act continues.

    Don't Forget About RB Jordan Chunn in the Cowboys Backfield
    Dallas Cowboys RB

    Another player to watch in this discussion is second-year an  Jordan Chunn. He doesn't have ' experience or maybe or 's rushing talent, but he has been showing up on the special teams units.

    Yesterday, Cowboys insider Bryan Broaddus called Chunn “a better Rod Smith” in analyzing his chances of making the roster. If you don't recall, Jaylon's older brother was a solid RB but a standout special teams player in his few years with Dallas.

    As we just mentioned with the 5th/6th CB slots, the third running back is not a guy you expect to see much on . That will be especially true this year as Dallas will be struggling just to give rookie the touches he deserves as the number-two RB.

    Given that, special teams play becomes vital for the value of whoever is behind Zeke and Pollard on the . If Jordan Chunn is superior to his competition in that regard, it could negate whatever he lacks as an actual running back.

    This same conversation can be had throughout the roster. It's why might make the team over more traditionally gifted receivers, or why a certain or safety might be more valued than others.

    We make the common mistake of referring to “both sides of the ball” when we talk about football teams. There are three sides; special teams can't be underestimated. It will certainly play a part in how the Dallas Cowboys finalize their 53-man roster this season and in years to come.

    Jess Haynie
    Jess Haynie
    Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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