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2016 Preseason: Cowboys Projected Week 1 Depth Chart

Jess Haynie



Cowboys Headlines - Dak Prescott & The Rarity of QB Investment in Dallas 1

Earlier this week the Cowboys' website updated the team's depth chart. While interesting, it's also inexact as it doesn't reflect players who are currently out with injuries.

Using that chart and all of the latest information on players' statuses, here is a projected depth chart for tonight's preseason opener against the Los Angeles Rams.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Sophomores: QB Jameill Showers 1Quarterback

  1. Dak Prescott
  2. Jameil Showers

Tony Romo is going to sit this one out. It appears that Dallas will give Prescott the first half and probably switch to Showers. However, Prescott is their priority and could get more than 30 minutes.

Running Back

  1. Alfred Morris
  2. Darius Jackson
  3. Rod Smith

Fans will have to wait at least one more week to see Ezekiel Elliott in action. He is expected to be held out tonight as he nurses a hamstring injury. The veteran Morris will get the start but the majority of carries should go to sixth-round rookie Darius Jackson.

Remember, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar are still on the NFI and PUP lists. They have yet to practice with the team but both could return within the next few weeks.


  1. Rod Smith
  2. Keith Smith

Rod Smith will likely serve as the fullback in the first half and then it will switch to Keith in the second. Rod will be needed as the third running back due to injuries there.

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(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Wide Receiver

  1. Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams
  2. Cole Beasley, Brice Butler
  3. Lucky Whitehead, Devin Street
  4. Andy Jones, Vince Mayle
  5. Chris Brown, Rodney Smith

The two question marks here are Bryant and Street. If Dallas lets Dez play at all, it will likely only be one or two series. They could still hold him out to be precautionary with his foot issue.

Street suffered a back injury late last week but returned to practice a few days ago. He also had Andy Jones, an undrafted rookie, breathing down his neck. I wouldn't be surprised to see Jones get a majority of the reps at WR in this game.

Tight End

  1. Gavin Escobar
  2. Geoff Swaim
  3. Rico Gathers

James Hanna is still on PUP and will not play. Witten will get veteran treatment and Escobar still has lingering concerns with his Achilles injury. That likely means we'll see a lot of Swaim, who's had excellent training camp per reports, and the raw rookie Gathers.

Cowboys Headlines - Where Does Chaz Green Fit in Offensive Line? 1Offensive Tackle

  1. Doug Free, Chaz Green
  2. Cam Bradfield
  3. Ryan Mack, Bryan Witzmann
  4. Darryl Baldwin

Tyron Smith is sitting out and Free will only get a series or two, if any. We will likely see Bradfield and Green for the majority of the game.

Dallas still has to figure out who their swing tackle will be this year. Bradfield was signed just before camp as veteran insurance, but you know they're rooting for Green to take the job. A third-round pick in 2015, Green has been inconsistent so far in camp and needs to earn their confidence.


  1. Zack Martin, La'el Collins
  2. Ronald Leary, Jared Smith
  3. Boston Stiverson

We will probably see a lot of Smith and Stiverson tonight. Dallas knows what it has in the top three guys. The only reason to play Leary is if you're trying to showcase him for a trade. Otherwise, Dallas needs to see what the young guys have.


  1. Travis Frederick
  2. Joe Looney
  3. Jake Brendel

We could see Looney playing some guard so that Brendel gets some extra work at center. If they do end up trading Leary, they're going to want the best combination of interior linemen going forward.

Cowboys Blog - 2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: DT David IrvingDefensive End

  1. DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving
  2. Ryan Russell, Charles Tapper
  3. Lawrence Okoye, Mike McAdoo
  4. Shaneil Jenkins

Tapper's status for tonight is uncertain. He sat out of the last practice with back soreness. Dallas certainly wants to give the rookie some reps if he can go, but they will play it safe if needed.

Though he will start, Irving could get more the reps the other first-team defensive players. He is part of the large evaluation process as Dallas tries to figure out regular season starters during the suspensions of Lawrence and Randy Gregory.

Benson Mayowa will be in that conversation, but is still out on the PUP list.  He is expected back within the next few weeks.

Defensive Tackle

  1. Tyrone Crawford, Terrell McClain
  2. Cedric Thornton, Jack Crawford
  3. Rodney Coe, Zach Wood
  4. Gerald Dixon Jr.

Although they paid Thornton starter money to come over in free agency, it appears the Cowboys will still defer to Terrell McClain for now. We will likely see Thornton in nickel packages and McClain in the base defense. Given the health issues that McClain and Tyrone Crawford have had, a three-man rotation is prudent.

Keep your eyes on Coe, an undrafted rookie. His stock was low mainly for academic and behavioral issues in college, but he's very athletic. Preseason games tend to allow defensive linemen to show off as they take advantage of weak blocking. Coe could be the next in line of guys like Davon Coleman and Ben Bass who gained a lot of hype in August.

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AP Photo/TUSP, Jay Biggerstaff

Middle Linebacker

  1. Anthony Hitchens
  2. Brandon Hepburn
  3. James Morris

Outside Linebacker

  1. Sean Lee, Kyle Wilber
  2. Justin Durant, Mark Nzeocha
  3. Deon King, Derek Akunne
  4. Henoc Muamba

Lee will play little-to-none tonight. Hitchens may get a little extra work but not much more. I wouldn't expect to see much of Durant, either, as a veteran.

I would expect for Nzeocha to get a lot of minutes and play both middle and outside and they find what role suits him best. Dallas will be without Andrew Gachkar likely all preseason due to a thumb injury.

Damien Wilson is also still out with his offseason eye injury. He is expected back as soon as next week. Like Nzeocha, Wilson still needs to establish his role.


  1. Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr
  2. Deji Olatoye, Anthony Brown
  3. Josh Thomas
  4. Jeremiah McKinnon, Dax Swanson
  5. Arjen Colquhoun, Isaiah Frey

I do not expect Orlando Scandrick to play tonight. Claiborne and Carr will only get a series or two, meaning it will be a big night for Olatoye and Brown.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys on the Clock: Byron Jones, #27 Overall 2Safety

  1. Byron Jones, Barry Church
  2. J.J. Wilcox, Kavon Frazier

Jeff Heath left the team's Thursday practice with a concussion and has been ruled out for tonight. This will give Frazier, a sixth-round rookie, more opportunities to show what he can do.

We could also see Byron Jones get some extra reps as he works to make the transition to full-time safety.

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!


Player News

BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb

Brian Martin



BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb

According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source.

The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.

During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.

After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.

This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.

Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!

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Player News

REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur

Jess Haynie



L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.

Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark...

Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.

Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.

Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.

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Dallas Cowboys

REPORT: Cowboys Negotiating Trade with Dolphins for DE Robert Quinn

Jess Haynie



Robert Quinn

According to a report just minutes ago, the Dallas Cowboys are visiting with Miami Dolphins' Defensive End Robert Quinn today as part of a possible trade. Miami is looking for a trade partner to try to get something back for Quinn before making him a salary cap casualty.

Quinn is in the final year of his contract and is set to count $12.9 million against the Dolphins' salary cap. Most of that is his base salary of $11.8 million, which Miami is reportedly willing to pay part of to help facilitate a trade.

Tom Pelissero on Twitter

Robert Quinn was spotted today on his way to visit the #Cowboys, who are in trade talks with the #Dolphins for the veteran DE, sources say. Quinn would need to agree to any deal. So, this is another step in the process, with a Dallas team that obviously needs pass rush.

The Cowboys need DE help with DeMarcus Lawrence's contract still unresolved and Randy Gregory now indefinitely suspended for another drug policy violation. They signed Kerry Hyder from the Lions yesterday, but he isn't a proven commodity like Quinn.

Turning 29 in May, Robert Quinn is a two-time Pro Bowler and former first-round pick of the Rams. He hasn't had the same production in recent years but still had 6.5 sacks for Miami in 2018 and 8.5 the prior year with Los Angeles.

Ever the bargain shoppers these days, Dallas is probably hoping to get Quinn for late-round draft pick or perhaps a pick swap.

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