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Predicting Cowboys’ 2020 Roster Locks: Defensive Edition

Dallas Cowboys 2020 defensive roster locks.

Yesterday I attempted to predict the Dallas Cowboys 2020 roster locks for the offense and not so surprisingly received a little flack for some of the players I omitted. I expect even more of that flack today in my attempt to predict the Cowboys’ roster locks on the defensive side of the ball.

When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys defense, there is a lot of unknown at several positions right now. This made it a little more difficult to nail down who I believe are roster locks at this point in the season than it was on the offensive side of the ball. But here’s what I came up with…

DEFENSIVE END

  1. DeMarcus Lawrence
  2. Tyrone Crawford
  3. Dorance Armstrong
  4. Bradlee Anae

Right now, DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford are the Dallas Cowboys starting defensive ends with Dorance Armstrong and Bradlee Anae as their backups heading into the 2020 season. Beyond that there’s no way of knowing what will happen until we know the fate of Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith. Dallas is taking a big risk here, even if both Gregory and Smith get reinstated.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

  1. Gerald McCoy
  2. Dontari Poe
  3. Neville Gallimore

I don’t think there are any surprises here. Both of Dallas Cowboys offseason signings to beef up their defensive line (McCoy and Poe) have no doubt locked up a roster spot. The same can be said for Neville Gallimore, who they drafted in the third-round in the 2020 NFL Draft. Trysten Hill – the Cowboys 2019 second-round draft pick – has to prove himself to the new coaching staff.

LINEBACKER

  1. Jaylon Smith
  2. Leighton Vander Esch
  3. Sean Lee
  4. Joe Thomas
  5. Francis Bernard
  6. Luke Gifford

Out of all the positions, I think linebacker might be the closest one to being set in stone. They have a good combination of veteran experience and youth. The biggest surprise here is probably saying Francis Bernard is a roster lock. I think he was one of the few undrafted free agents who the Cowboys had a draftable grade on, which is why I think he’s earned a spot.

CORNERBACK

  1. Chidobe Awuzie
  2. Anthony Brown
  3. Trevon Diggs
  4. Reggie Robinson II

Chidobe Awuzie and Trevon Diggs are probably the starting outside cornerbacks for the Dallas Cowboys with Anthony Brown manning the nickel. That unfortunately leaves Jourdan Lewis out in the cold, putting his roster spot in jeopardy. Reggie Robinson makes it as a draft pick this year and a developmental CB capable of becoming a starter in a year or two.

SAFETY

  1. Xavier Woods
  2. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
  3. Donovan Wilson

Xavier Woods and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are the Dallas Cowboys starting safeties in 2020, but behind them things aren’t quite as clear. Second-year former Texas A&M Safety Donovan Wilson showed enough flashes last year to lock up a roster spot and will likely serve as the primary backup this year.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  1. L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is the only specialty player who I believe has locked up their roster spot. The Dallas Cowboys have created a kicking competition by signing Kai Forbath and Greg Zuerlien, and to the victor goes the spoils. There’s currently no competition for Punter Chris Jones, but in no way do I believe his job is secure.

What do you think?

Brian Martin

Written by 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.

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  1. Only reason I would classify brown a lock over Lewis is because of his new contract. Lewis is by far the better player. I sure hope they resign J-Lew after this year. But I think it all depends on the play of Diggs and Robinson. Unless they somehow trade brown or something.

    • I actually think Anthony Brown is better in the slot then Jourdan Lewis, whereas Lewis is better on the outside IMO. I have a hard time seeing Lewis stick around after the year even if he is offered a new contract. His time in Dallas hasn’t gone the way he’d have liked and probably has him looking for a better opportunity elsewhere.

      • You are the only person I’ve ever heard of that think Brown is better than Lewis!! That is just crazy!! Lewis is way better in the slot!! And we would be stupid if we signed Brown and let Lewis walk!! These coaches like ball hawks and Brown is not that, but Lewis is!! Not to mention the fact that Lewis is really good at getting to the QB too!!

    • I really don’t see the Cowboys moving Awuzie to safety unless it’s in an emergency situation. They could use him in a hybrid CB/S role, but even then Lewis will be in a backup role. It really all depends on how well the rookies play early IMO.

      • Awuzie is the best option to be moved to safety!! He played more box safety and slot safety in college than he did at corner!! Awuzie is good if he can play looking at the QB!! I don’t think he’ll keep his job as the starting corner cause he can’t get his head turned around!! I really think Daryl Worley or Reggie Robinson will take that corner spot from him!!

    • That would be the best move since chido doesn’t know how to turn his head around. Chido is gonna lose his spot to Diggs eventually. Just a matter of when.

      • I think Diggs will be taking over for Byron Jones right away!! So I don’t think he’ll be taking Chido’s place, but I think Reggie Robinson or Daryl Worley will take his spot!! I do agree that Chido will be best if he was moved to the safety position!!

  2. Pretty spot on, nice job! Only minor hiccups are maybe giving the Free agent LB too much love, and Lewis is a lock to make the roster, but maybe not a starter. Because of the way I suspect they’ll keep an open mind to having a CB who can move to S, they’ll keep more than 4 CB’s and no one can say Lewis doesn’t earn that?

  3. I really like Lewis too.think he’s a starter somewhere. In the league anyway.what was purpose of Worley signing. Or hoopla over it

    • I like Lewis too, Steven and Jerry now without Jimmy and Branth , an all the legendary coached we had in the past that went to be head coaches for other NFL teams .finally have learned to Draft with will mc clay . Use free agency without getting burned. How to add player with ending contracts . Sorry , it’s bad luck to remember going into a season to think of what the roster was like back then. Starters was at back-up.

  4. I don’t think they’re gonna go through the season with just 3 DT…. Therefore they will keep Tristen Hill…. Not to mention the fact that he was a 2nd round pick just a year ago!! They’re not gonna give up on him that fast!! Maybe if he don’t do anything after year 2 or 3, but they’re not gonna cut a 2nd round pick after just 1 season!! And we have 4 safeties on the team right now and I think we’ll keep all 4 of them…. We didn’t bring the one you didn’t mention back for nothing!! And we are good at DE even if Gregory or Smith don’t get reinstated!! I believe in the edge rushers we have…. Even the undrafted one we signed!! And we didn’t bring in Daryl Worley for nothing, I think Chido will make the switch to strong safety and Daryl Worley or Reggie Robinson will take his spot at outside corner (CB2)!!

    • I am really impressed on your approach, I can’t really say anything about what you had to say.DE’S Gregory, Smith with or without . Reggie , worley over chico. New coaches an a New scheme will determine the final roster spots . On the field the the old fashion way you earn it

      • If you can remember the last three years , Right before the season started . The Cowboys added a Free Agent . Don’t be Surprised if it’s a Safety this Year .

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