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Questioning The Dallas Cowboys Final 53 Man Roster

Brian Martin

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- Auto Draft

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?

Cowboys Headlines - Questioning The Dallas Cowboys Final 53 Man RosterWe 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.

Ezekiel Elliott, Alfred Morris, Darius Jackson, and Lance Dunbar all look good on paper, but how the coaching staff is going to determine individual roles for each player is completely mind-boggling.

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?

Cowboys Headlines - Questioning The Dallas Cowboys Final 53 Man Roster 1Minds 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.

We all know that Byron Jones and Barry Church are penciled in as the starters, with Jeff Heath as the reserve after signing a new long-term contract.

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

Cowboys Headlines - Questioning The Dallas Cowboys Final 53 Man Roster 2Probably 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.



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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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Ethan Chazin

    September 6, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Supposedly Wilcox is a ST player and Bisaccia may have lobbied to keep him. the 2 FBs serve other roles as ST players, pitch in LB and possible pass catching RB? I am not sold on this flawed logic, and it now confirms my worst assumptions of this ownership and coaching staff. They don’t get it after 20 years of failure. No wonder Bill Parcells walked away.

    • Bryson Treece

      Bryson Treece

      September 6, 2016 at 8:27 am

      Well, to be fair, Bill Parcells hasn’t coached since. But yeah, I generally agree.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 6, 2016 at 9:23 am

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Ethan. I tend to agree with what you said about the fullbacks. I understand that they serve other roles, but I just think there were probably better ways to use those roster spots. The defense is so thin at defensive end it’s ridiculous. Geoff Swaim played TE/FB in college at UT and I think he could serve the same type of role with the Cowboys. Then you can find some defensive ends that can contribute on special teams and add much-needed depth at the position.

  2. Dru

    September 6, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Def agree. For some reason always wanted to hold onto Wilcox..I’m over that now. Put swaim in the h back role until Hanna returns. I think Hanna has the perfect skill set and size to fit that role. Would love to add those two def ends.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 6, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Thanks for commenting Dru. I really think those roster moves provide better depth from top to bottom on the roster. The Cowboys are dangerously thin at the DE position. They can’t afford to have anybody get injured. And I love the idea of using Swaim as a TE/FB. He filled that role in college at UT and did a pretty good job.

  3. Victor Dowell

    September 6, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Cowboys need 2 bring in a stud at DE,putting presure on the opposing team is a major concern,bite the bullet Jerry Jones bring back Greg Hardy,you can get him on the cheap.”Defense Win Champonships”,Take a page from Jimmy Johnson,as long as you can sack the quarterback,winning will my the haters silient.LoveThemCowboys.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 6, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Victor, there is a reason why Greg Hardy is still unemployed. I think there was a lot more going on behind the scenes then we realized last year with the Cowboys. I think he pretty much burned all of his bridges with the organization and maybe with the rest of the NFL as well. I know it’s kind of hard for us fans to accept, but even though Greg Hardy would immediately improve the pass rush, I think I can say with 100% certainty he will never wear a star on his helmet again.

  4. Kevin Cochran

    September 10, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    I agree 100% they need more help on defense very uncomfortable about this first game I also propose putting Gathers at defensive end

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Dallas Cowboys

3 Reasons Not to Hate Kellen Moore Becoming Offensive Coordinator

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Coaching: Wade Wilson, Joe Baker Out; Who's Will Follow?

Days after firing Scott Linehan, the Dallas Cowboys continue their search for their next offensive coordinator. It all points toward the team making an in-house promotion, with QB coach Kellen Moore taking his mentor's place. According to Adam Schefter from ESPN, the former Boise State passer is the leading candidate for the offensive coordinator vacancy in Dallas.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Former NFL QB Jon Kitna, now offensive coordinator for the San Diego Fleet in the Alliance of American Football, is expected to become the Cowboys' QB coach, per a league source. Dallas' current QB coach, Kellen Moore, is a leading candidate to become Cowboys' OC, per sources.

The main reason to believe this, is the fact that Jon Kitna is expected to be hired as the team's QB Coach. This could mean plenty of things for Kellen Moore, but it's more than fair to believe he'll get the promotion.

Naturally, a huge amount of fans will be infuriated if Kellen Moore does get the coaching gig. His time as a player in the league wasn't any good. He's been part of Scott Linehan's coaching tree and that should mean Moore isn't capable of being an offensive coordinator, right?

Well, not so fast. Here are three reasons why you shouldn't hate Kellen Moore's candidacy for offensive coordinator.

1. Bad Player Doesn't Mean Bad Coach

First of all, let's forget about the idea than a player's performance is any indication of what he can be as a coach. It has absolutely no correlation. A bad player can turn into a pretty good coach and a good player can be terrible at coaching.

When we're talking about Kellen Moore, we're talking about a pretty smart kid. Ever since he was coming out of Boise State, scouts and analysts talked about his excellent football IQ. Moore clearly didn't last in the league because of his talent. What helped him stick around was his intelligence and knowledge. Teams that had him as a backup signal caller basically had a second QB coach on the locker room.

I actually found it funny how the perception around Moore has changed. When he was a backup on the roster, we talked about how he was very smart and could become a great coach someday but he didn't have it as a player. Now that he is a coach, we're talking about how he can't coach because he didn't play well. How is that logical?

2. Working With Linehan Doesn't Mean He’s Linehan 2.0

Now, another big concern is the fact that he worked many years with recently fired Scott Linehan. This doesn't mean Kellen Moore has the exact same offensive philosophy than his mentor. Sure, he worked with Linehan's offense because it was his job. We don't actually know what he'd bring to the table when he's in charge of the offense. Not to mention, Linehan wasn't always awful. There's a reason why for some years his offense was pretty productive. Moore can take the positive lessons from Scott and throw in a little of his own to make the Cowboys' offense efficient.

Dallas could move the chains last season. It was in specific areas like the red zone, long down situations that the team struggled. Kellen Moore could very well have what it takes to change that. At the end of the day, we won't know until we actually see what Moore's philosophy looks like.

3. Jason Garrett Will Take Over the Offense

For some years, Linehan was in complete control of the offense. This time around, it feels like it will be Jason Garrett's unit. This might be the most important aspect of this whole thing. This is Garrett's plan. This could very well be a great staff working together. Moore can be eased into his job with Jason Garrett calling the plays on the sideline at the start of the season.

With TE Coach Doug Nussmeier's help, this group could get this offense going. If Garrett will remain at the wheel, let him have control over his offense. If he fails, at least you gave him the chance to structure his staff and get involved.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

And @mortreport reports that HC Jason Garrett is in line to wind up calling the Cowboys' plays this season. https://t.co/EWri4mZAgH

I know this will not be a popular decision by the Cowboys, but I frankly believe it might work. Although the head coach is the same, this would be a very different staff in 2019. The hire is not yet official, but it all points toward this happening.

Personally, I would've preferred the team to hire an outsider to refresh the ideas in the building. However, I don't hate the idea of Kellen Moore stepping up to the position. And you shouldn't either. At least not until we actually see what he has in store for us.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue to update you with every news regarding the Dallas Cowboys.

What do you think of Kellen Moore being the leading candidate for OC?

Tell me what you think about "3 Reasons Not to Hate Kellen Moore Becoming Offensive Coordinator" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Roster Looking Pretty Good for 2019

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Have a Championship Defense

It was hard to watch the 2018 Dallas Cowboys end their season in the Divisional Round versus the Los Angeles Rams. The widely recognized Cowboys’ defense couldn’t find a way to stop the Rams’ running backs. Even still, it was a successful season in many ways. Dak Prescott played well and clearly improved after the team got him a great #1 wide receiver in Amari Cooper. The defense had a breakout season, getting to be one of the best units in the league. Young talent on the team shined bright.

Yet, as every year, the season ends with questions. What was the reason the Cowboys couldn't hold their own against the Rams? What are the team's weak spots? What position should the Cowboys aim to upgrade in the offseason? What was the most relevant problem?

To answer that last question, I can't avoid thinking of the word "play-calling," which was a huge issue in Dallas both in 2018 and in 2017. But the Dallas Cowboys finally pulled the trigger and made a bigger change in the coaching staff. Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan has been released as the team looks to change its offense heading into 2019. Also, a change at defensive coordinator could also be next for Dallas considering Kris Richard’s success since his arrival.

But let's leave coaching aside for a moment. Let's talk about this team's roster. The Cowboys actually have a talented group of players on the team. Of course, there are needs that must be taken care of, but there aren't really that many positions in which the team requires desperate help. Now granted, the front office will be very busy dealing with in-house extensions trying to extend many players' stays in Dallas.

This will be no easy task, but Stephen Jones and company have done a very decent job handling the cap space over the last few years. With much space to work with, there's reason to believe they will get things done. When it comes to adding talent to the team, let's talk about the elephant in the room. The Cowboys lack a first round pick. After all, getting Amari Cooper on the Cowboys had a cost.

But hey, thanks to that trade, Dak Prescott's offense has a great set of wide receivers. Michael Gallup continued to grow as the season went on. The offensive line is not there yet, but I'm confident in Connor Williams being a way better player than he was as a rookie. As for the defense, the Cowboys' front seven is one of the most promising in the entire league. Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch are one of the best LB duos in football. This is a legit football roster.

The team needs a defensive tackle, an upgrade at safety and probably a more prepared tight end. They probably could use help at many other positions, but I don't mean to rank the biggest concerns on the roster heading into 2019. However, if the front office fails to considerably improve any of these positions, it'll be far from the worst thing to happen.

Cowboys Can't Afford Injuries to Travis Frederick or Jeff Heath

Whether you like him or not, Jeff Heath has been decent enough to be a starter on the team. He won't be great, but he can get the job done. Defensive tackle wasn't a very big issue with Antwaun Woods and Maliek Collins stepping up all throughout the season. The tight ends consistently improved week after week, featuring Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin.

Obviously, we want improvements. We want a better player at each position. But once the NFL free agency and the Draft comes around, it'll be important to remember that the Cowboys have a good roster and could get wins with the guys they have now. Desperate moves shouldn't really be on their plans. This is a team with enough talent to win in 2019.

Assuming Kris Richard earns the defensive coordinator title next season, having two new heads among the staff should be refreshing enough to exploit that talent's potential. Talent should be added, and even big time free agents such as Earl Thomas deserve consideration. But this is not a roster that's desperate. In fact, it's a roster in very good shape. The Cowboys might not have a first round pick, but frankly, they are in a very good position to lack a first rounder.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Roster Looking Pretty Good for 2019" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo Won’t Be the Next Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator

John Williams

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It Is Time for the Dallas Cowboys to Move on From Tony Romo

The pipe dream has been going on since former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback-turned CBS Analyst Tony Romo hung up his cleats for the black blazer. Fans from all corners of Cowboys Nation have clamored for a return to the field or at worst the sideline as the Cowboys offensive coordinator.

Let me stop you right there. It's not happening.

First of all. He's never been a coach at any level of football, so to assume that he could leave the broadcast booth and step into coaching an NFL offense and doing so at a high level is a huge leap of faith in number 9. Sure, Jon Gruden left the Monday Night Football booth for his lucrative deal with the Oakland Raiders, but he had won a Super Bowl and had been an offensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL for years before joining the broadcasting ranks.

Tony Romo has an excellent understanding of football. He displays it on a regular basis during the CBS broadcasts. But doing from the broadcast view, seeing what the defense is trying to do, and calling the plays to counter what the defense is trying to do are very different things.

Secondly, the coaching job would be a major time commitment that at the moment he doesn't have. Even if he's working a 40 hour work week in preparation for his three-hour time slot, the demands on NFL coaches are easily twice that with many coaches putting in 100 hour work weeks in preparation for Sundays. Tony Romo has a family that even he's talked about as part of the reason that he went into broadcasting instead of looking to hop on with another NFL team.

Finally, the job would mean a significant pay cut from what Romo is already making. It's estimated that the former Cowboys quarterback is making anywhere from $5-10 million dollars a year with CBS. Jason Garrett is making $6 million per year as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, so even if the Jones family was willing to pay first-time NFL coach Tony Romo a ton of money to come out of the broadcast booth, there's zero chance they pay him what he's making as a broadcaster. To do so, would be to undercut the head coach. Jason Garrett is Jerry Jones' guy. The owner and general manager wants Garrett to be the guy that leads the Cowboys to Super Bowl success, so there's zero chance he'd pay a coordinator close to Garrett's money, which would lead to constant speculation about the head coach and his future with the organization.

I love Tony Romo. His jersey is one of only two Cowboys jerseys that I own -- along with Darren Woodson -- and I think he could make a good coach one day, but I'd be hard pressed to see him come out of the coaching booth to take a coordinator job and have immediate success. The guys that are offensive coordinators in the NFL have been grinding for years to earn their jobs. Most started as position coaches -- see Sean McVay as Redskins TE coach. The Dallas Cowboys will spend the next few days, and perhaps weeks, identifying their replacement for Scott Linehan, but let's put to bed the dream of Romo as offensive coordinator.

It's just not going to happen.



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