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…
- DeMarcus Lawrence
- Tyrone Crawford
- Dorance Armstrong
- 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.
- Gerald McCoy
- Dontari Poe
- 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.
- Jaylon Smith
- Leighton Vander Esch
- Sean Lee
- Joe Thomas
- Francis Bernard
- 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.
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.
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.
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.