The Dallas Cowboys announced their 53 man roster a few days ago and to be completely honest they made some head scratching moves, at least to the people outside the organization.
I thought I would take this opportunity to share with all of you some of the questions I have in regards to the Cowboys roster and what I would do to help provide depth from top to bottom.
I personally found it a little strange some of the positions they decided to go long at, especially considering it caused them to go short at positions that were already worrisome to begin with.
Below are three questions and solutions I have regarding the Cowboys 53 man roster as it stands now.
How many running backs is too many?
We all knew that it would be difficult for the Dallas Cowboys to decide which running backs would make the final 53 man roster, but I don't think anyone would've predicted that they keep six total RBs.
It's almost as if they couldn't decide who stays and who goes, so they chose not to make a decision at all.
To make matters even more confusing, the Cowboys decided to keep two fullbacks as well.
The Dallas Cowboys only use a fullback occasionally as it is, so to keep two of them means your sacrificing depth at another position.
It's really going to be interesting to see how the coaching staff handles the RBs for the Week 1 match up against the New York Giants. Maybe then we can get some answers.
My solution: Cut both Rod and Keith Smith, which would free up two roster spots and give Geoff Swaim a new offensive role.
Is there safety in numbers?
Minds were blown when the Dallas Cowboys announced the roster cuts and safety JJ Wilcox was not among them.
For years now fans have been calling for Wilcox to get the ax, but for some reason the Cowboys decided to keep five safeties, which saved Wilcox's job for now.
It was thought that the Cowboys would just keep four safeties, with rookie Kavon Frazier claiming that last spot based on his performance in the preseason. That simply wasn't the case, but again the decision to go a little long at the safety position means you have to go a little short somewhere else.
The Cowboys must want Wilcox around mainly for special teams, because he has yet to develop as a reliable safety. He may however be on a short leash if the Cowboys decided to add another player and need a roster spot.
My solution: Keep Wilcox for now, but if depth is needed at a different position (defensive end), then cut #27 and use his vacated roster spot.
Defensive end depth or lack thereof
Probably the biggest surprise when the Dallas Cowboys announced their 53 man roster was the lack of depth at the defensive end position.
I'm sure all eyes will be on who the bookends are on the defensive line when they square off against the New York Giants Week 1. Nobody really knows who is going to start it DE or the Cowboys.
David Irving has shown a little promise in the preseason and it looks as if Jack Crawford will be in that DE rotation somewhere. Then you have the unknown in Benson Mayowa. He played a little bit against the Seahawks, but not really enough to gauge the type of player he is.
I almost completely forgot about Charles Tapper. That's because he has been sidelined with a back injury that we have just found out was more serious than believed. Supposedly he has a small fracture that he's lived with for a while now.
Who knows when or if he will be available?
It's no secret that the Cowboys need depth at DE. That's why it was a little surprising they didn't bring in anybody through waivers.
My solution: If you been paying attention, I freed up two, possibly three roster spots by releasing Rod Smith, Keith Smith, and possibly JJ Wilcox.
I would use those three roster spots to bring in some defensive end depth by poaching Tyrone Holmes from the Cleveland Browns practice squad and sign veteran free agent Ryan Davis. That would give the Cowboys a young developmental player in Holmes and a veteran DE in Davis.
I know that would personally make me feel a lot better about the depth at defensive end.
Do you agree or disagree?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.
Cowboys WR Allen Hurns: Number 88 Is “All Dez”
Friday, the Cowboys "finally" made a splash in free agency, and did so in a big way. By signing former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns to a two year deal worth $12 million, Dallas bolstered their weak receiving corps with another big-bodied threat.
Due to some similarities in their game, and the number of resources already invested into that wide receiver room, some have anticipated that the signing of Hurns signals the end of Dez Bryant's time in Dallas.
Allen Hurns, however, clearly has different plans.
Not sure what number I'll be rocking yet but that 88 all Dez
Hurns took to Twitter to state that the number 88 is "all Dez," hinting that both he and Bryant will be on the roster in 2018. A receiving corps with both Hurns and Bryant can be dangerous, especially if used correctly.
Allen Hurns may "look" like an X receiver, but he has the ability to move into the slot as well. He can be used as a compliment to what Bryant does, and is a legitimate number two option for the Cowboys going forward.
While Hurns may believe that Bryant is safe, Terrance Williams may not be. Williams has struggled with inconsistencies and bone-headed plays during his time in Dallas, and most fans believe it's time to move on from him. The problem is, the Cowboys just paid him.
According to cap gurus, Dallas gets basically nothing back from cutting Williams, meaning they may need to find a trade partner if they want to move on. Reacting to the public reaction of the Hurns signing, Williams also took to Twitter to voice some frustrations.
Lol at people seriously!
Yes, it appears he read your tweets.
The Cowboys now have a lot of wide outs on their roster, all fighting for roster spots and playing time. Hopefully, this competition breeds success in the 2018 Dallas Cowboys.
Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys
It looks as if the Dallas Cowboys will be adding yet another wide receiver through free agency. According to sources, Allen Hurns plans on signing with the Cowboys.
WR Allen Hurns just told me, "I'm going to sign with Dallas." #Cowboys
This is a move that seemed unlikely after the Cowboys signed Deonte Thompson a few days ago, but I know a lot of Cowboys Nation will be excited about this transaction.
While this move is exciting, it does create more confusion for the Cowboys and their wide receivers. It's difficult to imagine all of these WRs sticking to the roster, which means there will be some tough decisions that need to be made.
What will the Cowboys do with Dez Bryant?
Will Cole Beasley be cut or traded?
Are the Cowboys comfortable absorbing Terrance Williams' cap hit if traded or released?
Will this keep the Cowboys from drafting a WR early?
All of these questions and more will have to be answered eventually. But, one thing is for sure, things are definitely about to get interesting.
Of course, there is a bonus here for the Dallas Cowboys. Since Allen Hurns was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he doesn't count against the Cowboys compensatory picks next season.
Please stay tuned and we will continue to keep you updated on contract details and any other news involving Allen Hurns as it becomes available.
What do you think about the Allen Hurns signing?
What Signing Thompson Means for Hurns and Cowboys WR Position
UPDATE: News of Hurns saying he will sign with the Cowboys broke as this article went live.
Free Agency began a bit late for the Dallas Cowboys, but they've already done enough to get fans discussing about the latest additions to the roster. Adding help on offense, defense and special teams in form of tier-2 free agents may not be what Cowboys Nation wants to see, but I'm certain they wouldn't have enjoyed giving Sammy Watkins a three-year $48M contract, either.
However, the Cowboys are clearly in the wide receiver market after an offensively disappointing season. They have quite a few of this year's class of wide receivers prospects scheduled to visit Dallas, and they've hosted some WR free agents as well.
This week, they even signed one.
Deonte Thompson, who started seven games for the Bills last year, is coming to Dallas on a one-year $2.5M contract. The 29-year old could be the burner receiver this offense is missing and could end up being an improved version of Brice Butler for the Cowboys in 2018.
He hasn't had a great career but last season was his best year so far. Starting three games for the Bears and seven for the Bills, Thompson was able to rack up a career-high 555 yards and two touchdowns.
His best attribute as a player is definitely the speed he brings to the table and his ability to separate down the field, which he'll be looking to do on Dak Prescott's offense this season.
But there was another wide receiver visiting Dallas this week and now we wonder whether or not the Deonte Thompson signing will keep the Cowboys from targeting former Jaguars' WR Allen Hurns.
According to Todd Archer, that won't be the case.
Told the signing of Deonte Thompson does not close the door on the Cowboys' interest in Allen Hurns, who visited the team Wednesday and had dinner. Things could get interesting in the Cowboys' wide receivers' room. https://t.co/Ivt5uk9kBN
It shouldn't be. First of all, Hurns is a much better player than Thompson and would provide this offense with a receiver who can play in the "X" or in the "Z" role. We've been talking about getting Prescott a reliable target to try to give him a "best friend." Allen Hurns could be just that.
Sure, he's had a couple of down seasons, but the talent is there to take.
Simply put, the Deonte Thompson signing shouldn't stop the Cowboys from looking at WR in the first round of the NFL Draft. Allen Hurns would.
It sure would make things interesting in the wide receiver room for Dallas. Despite what many believe, Dez Bryant will probably remain a Cowboy even if Hurns is signed. Let's say the Cowboys go out there and get the 26-year old from Jacksonville and have to decide which six receivers to keep for the season.
They'd possibly have to decide among these:
- Dez Bryant
- Terrrance Williams
- Cole Beasley
- Ryan Switzer
- Allen Hurns
- Deonte Thompson
- Noah Brown
- A drafted rookie?
This is where a lot of dilemmas start taking form. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer are basically the same player and if you're not going to use them both at the same time, do you keep them anyway? What about Terrance Williams? He could be the worst receiver to make the cut just because of his contract.
Noah Brown showed promise in 2017, are they ready to move on from him? And finally, a rookie could very well end up beating Deonte Thompson, who was guaranteed a million in his contract.
Wide receiver is indeed one of the top needs for the Dallas Cowboys. They could head to the 2018 NFL Draft needing one in the top rounds or they could be fine signing Hurns and taking a late-rounder receiver to compete in training camp for a spot on the roster.
As long as they're having a tough time deciding because they are all good, it should be fine.
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