Paul's Projected 53 Man Roster: Preseason Week 1 ✭
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Paul’s Projected 53 Man Roster: Preseason Week 1

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Paul’s Projected 53 Man Roster: Preseason Week 1

After cutting Cody Mandell and trading Ben Bass to the Patriots for Justin Green, Paul has updated his first preseason projected 53 man roster. Check out his picks for the defensive line. And in case you’ve missed it, this series of staff projections is a weekly deal during the preseason, so check out the other staff projections out already: Mike Harlos, Jonathan Day, Christopher Mak.

Defense (28 players)

Safety – 4
Barry Church
J.J. Wilcox
Jeff Heath
Ahmad Dixon

To me, Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox are the only locks of this unit. Jakar Hamilton has seemed to impress the coaching staff and guys like Bryan Broaddus all off-season, so I think he makes it but he’s been hurt. Maybe Dallas tries to sneak him on the PS to start the year. This could be where the Scandrick deal really bites them in the ass. Jeff Heath provides depth and gained a lot of experience by being thrown to the wolves last year. Also a solid special teams member. Ahmad Dixon is kind of my pet cat. Brings a ton of attitude to defense and special teams, which is badly needed.

Cornerback – 6
Brandon Carr
Morris Claiborne
Orlando Scandrick
Terrance Mitchell
B.W. Webb
Sterling Moore

With the four-game suspension for Scandrick, I think the Cowboys are forced to keep six corners. I think it’s too early to give up Webb at this point, but man does he ever need to get it rolling. I believe that last spot comes down to Webb, Tyler Patmon, and the newly acquired Justin Green.

Outside Linebacker – 4
Bruce Carter
DeVonte Holloman
Kyle Wilber
Will Smith

Again, pretty simple to me. Carter, Holloman, and Wilber are all locks. And Will Smith is a 6th round pick that will help enough on special teams to stick. Wilber will also be used a lot as a nickel rusher, so kind of a two-for-one deal.

Inside Linebacker – 3
Justin Durant
Rolando McClain
Anthony Hitchens

All locks. The biggest question is who wins the starting role. According to camp reports both McClain and Durant are off to hot starts. One of those two guys will not be here next year so this will be an excellent year for Hitchens to relax and learn from Sean Lee while getting in on special teams action. Camp reports also have him looking good at OLB.

Defensive Line – 11
Henry Melton DT
Nick Hayden DT
Terrell McClain DT
Davon Coleman DT
DeMarcus Lawrence DE
George Selvie DE
Jeremy Mincey DE
Tyrone Crawford DE/DT
Ken Boatright DE
Ken Bishop DT
Anthony Spencer DE

11 D-lineman is a big number but I’ll try to explain.

Defensive Tackles: Of course Melton is a lock. And say what you want about the Golden Cock Nick Hayden, but the coaching staff loves him. Terrell McClain provides too much depth and position flex to let go. If you aren’t familiar with Davon Coleman then you need to be. I think we have our next UDFA future super star here.

Defensive End: Originally I had Spencer starting the season on PUP. But recent reports seem to show that the Cowboys front office think he will be ready to roll by week 2 at the latest. The plan for the d-line is to attack in waves, which is the reason for keeping so many guys. I decided to keep Boatright over Ben Gardner simply because I think Gardner could slip through to the practice squad considering his injury, and that we haven’t seen him play at all.

 

Offense (25 Players)

Quarterback – 2
Tony Romo
Brandon Weeden

I seriously considered keeping Caleb Hanie as a 3rd QB simply because of the uncertainty of Romo’s back. But I just couldn’t justify cutting from another position group.

Running Back/Full Back – 4
DeMarco Murray
Joseph Randle
Lance Dunbar
Tyler Clutts

Murray and Dunbar are the only locks. And boy is it going to be fun to watch the battle between Ryan Williams and Joseph Randle. I just can’t possibly see them keeping 4. I could see them trading Williams much like they did Donte Rosario last year after the 53 was finalized. Neither of the FBs on the roster have really impressed but Clutts, by all accounts, has been the better of the two.

Wide Receiver – 5
Dez Bryant
Terrance Williams
Cole Beasley
Dwayne Harris
Devin Street

Again, pretty simple. One of the young UDFAs would have to come on strong to steal a roster spot because all five of the WRs listed are locks. They will have to force them to keep six. Keep an eye on Chris Boyd for that.

Tight End – 3
Jason Witten
Gavin Escobar
James Hanna

Because that’s all we’ve got. Literally. None of the other TEs stand a chance. If they keep four, it’s going to be a blocking TE from another team’s cuts.

Offensive Line – 8
Tyron Smith OT
Doug Free OT
Darrion Weems OT
Travis Fredbeard C
Mackenzy Bernadeau G/C
Ron Leary G
Zack Martin G
Jermey Parnell OT

Pretty solid group right there. Fantastic mix of youth and experience that could be one of the best units in the NFL.

Special Teams – 3
Dan MFN Baily K
LP French Canadian Daddy LS
Chris Jones P

No surprises here. These are the guys and I have zero issues with it.

Practice Squad – 8
Jamar Newsome WR, Chris Boyd WR, Ronald Patrick G, Ben Gardner DE, Dartwan Bush DT, Will Smith LB, and Tyler Patmon CB.

Family, God, and the Freaking Dallas Cowboys. That’s my life. Married to a wonderful wife that knows to let me be during football season and she can have me for the other 6 months of the year. Father of 3 wonderful kids. 1 son that is proudly serving his country in the United States Air Force. 1 son that is a toddler and will be the future left tackle of the Dallas Cowboys. And one amazing and beautiful daughter that passed away in 2009 at the age of 4 that I can guarantee is running through heaven shouting “GO COWBOYS”!!! Everything I do in life is for them.

5 Comments
  • KOWBOYKRAZY

    Paul,

    You may want to check on the Scandrick slot, because I believe suspended players do not count against the 53. If I am correct, you have an extra slot for 4 weeks.

    I want to disagree w/ you about Gardner, but the guy can’t get on the field. I hope he makes it to the PS.

    I don’t think Hanie has any shot. We may need to put Dustin Vaughan on the 53 if he keeps playing as he did vs SD. Raw, but potential is there. 5000+ yds & 50+ TDs his senior yr!

    I like WRS Newsome, Boyd, Byrd & Briscoe and fear we may be in danger of losing 1 or all of them if we waive them. Mucho talent at WR.

    I have read all the talk about committing to the run, but Tyler Clutts has shown me nothing to warrant a spot. JC Copeland seems talented but uninspired. I think he was in on 2 plays vs SD.

    They may decide to keep Vaughan, Nwaneri, Patrick, or Wetzel instead of using a spot for FB.

    Good reasoning. Enjoy your work.

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      @kowboykrazy:disqus You’re right about the roster spot at CB. Suspended players fall into their own category during active suspension, so he won’t count against the roster until after week 4. Nice catch.

      Who would you add/remove and why, Paul?

      • Paul Leatherman

        Can’t believe I missed that. I would probably add Jakar Hamilton.

    • Paul Leatherman

      Good catch on the suspended CB roster spot. I can’t believe I missed that. I actually wrote most of this before the Chargers game. Had I written it afterwards there is no way I would even consider Caleb Hanie but I would be forced to consider Dustin Vaughn.

      Also, I don’t care for Tyler Clutts either. But I think they will keep a FB but I think that FB is currently on another teams roster.

      And it sounds like Gardner is going to be put on IR at the cut to 75 according to reports I just read a few moments ago. So that will answer that question.

      The 3 cuts I had the hardest time with were Ceasar Rayford, Uche Nwaneri, and Chris Boyd. Can’t keep them all.

      I could have easily made a case for keeping Nwaneri over Parnell or Weems. And I’m also a fan of what Patrick has done thus far as well as Wetzel.

      • KOWBOYKRAZY

        Paul,

        I’m on board w/ Jakar Hamilton and read the report about Gardner ‘s shoulder and that he will probably be lost for the season. Shame.

        It’s still early and after only 1 preseason game, so there is a lot of future tape on these kids to be analyzed. I am looking forward to seeing this unfold.

        Thanks for the roster projection to chew on.

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