Surprise Cuts: 5 Cowboys Battling For Life After Camp

Last week I took a shot at determining who the Dallas Cowboys might keep on their final 53 man roster, and that started me thinking who could possibly be the surprise roster cuts that we have to say goodbye to.

Year in and year out, we have to say goodbye to players that we were hoping would be able to make an impact with the team and this year is no exception. Sometimes, these players are veterans that have been with the team for a while or they are rookies, but having to say goodbye to them is sometimes a little hurtful.

Below are some of the players that I could see the Dallas Cowboys having to say goodbye to before the 2016 season gets underway.

J.J. Wilcox, #27

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys: 6 Possible Surprise Roster Cuts
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

J.J. Wilcox was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys knowing full well that he would have to spend time developing his skill set as a safety in the NFL, but unfortunately that development hasn’t quite gone as smoothly as they might have hoped.

Wilcox was a third round draft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and is entering his final year of his rookie contract. He has yet to establish himself as a consistent contributor on defense and will more than likely have to accept a backup role now that Byron Jones has made the switch to safety full-time.

Wilcox could face some stiff competition from rookie safety Kavon Frazier. If Frazier can show that he has more upside, it could force the Cowboys hand and thus make Wilcox a roster cut.

It’s unfortunate, because Wilcox has the physical skill set to play safety in the NFL, but he can’t quite get a grasp on the mental aspect that is causing him to be a liability in coverage.

Darren McFadden, #20

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(Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

Darren McFadden finished fourth in rushing last year in 2015, but that was then and this is now. His elbow injury couldn’t have come at a worse time and it could possibly end up costing him his job with the Dallas Cowboys.

Once Zeke Elliott was drafted, the writing was on the wall that it would likely come down to Darren McFadden or Alfred Morris as to who remains with the Cowboys in 2016.

Unfortunately for McFadden, Morris will now receive more practice repetitions in training camp and could possibly solidify himself as Elliott’s primary backup. The fact that Morris was guaranteed $1.8 million when he signed his two-year contract with the Cowboys doesn’t help McFadden much either.

McFadden will have a lot of work to do once he’s back to 100%, but it may just be a little bit too late.

Lucky Whitehead, #13

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(Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

Lucky Whitehead made the Dallas Cowboys final roster in 2015 as an undrafted free agent to help replace Dwayne Harris. It took the coaching staff a while to trust him before he finally took over the punt/kickoff return duties and even longer to find role for him on offense.

The simple fact is that Whitehead is limited to what he can do as a wide receiver because of his size (5’8″, 180), and he is best suited to play in the slot where Cole Beasley currently locked in.

The Cowboys can continue to use him as a gimmicky player the way they did in 2015, but his roster spot may be in jeopardy if the organization decides there is another WR that can contribute more.

I’m a fan of Lucky’s, but his time with the Cowboys will ultimately depend on how many WRs they decide to keep on the final 53 man roster. He could receive stiff competition from Andy Jones and Ed Eagan, and might just have to prove he’s worth keeping around.

Lance Dunbar, #25

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(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

When healthy Lance Dunbar can be a key contributor on special teams and offense, but unfortunately he can’t seem to stay healthy.

Dunbar has yet to fully recover from last year’s knee injury and may have to start out the season on the PUP list. This could possibly be bad news  regarding his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys already have really good depth that the running back position and now due to the fact that Darren McFadden will miss time due to his elbow injury, Alfred Morris and Darius Jackson now have the opportunity to establish themselves.

Dunbar’s recovery from injury will ultimately determine his fate with the Cowboys, but with a crowded backfield he will have to reestablish himself when he can finally get back on the field.

Kellen Moore, #17

Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys: 6 Possible Surprise Roster Cuts 6Kellen Moore is penciled in as the backup QB for the Dallas Cowboys, but his name hasn’t been written in ink yet. I don’t know about the coaching staff for the Cowboys, but I would still like to see him progress more once he’s received more practice repetitions.

He’s not someone that’s going to scare you with his physical presence. He relies more on his football intelligence and anticipation in order to get the job done.

I think if either Dak Prescott or Jameill Showers are close to performing just as well as Kellen Moore, he could end up being a final roster cut.

Unfortunately, Moore doesn’t have quite the upside that Prescott and Showers seem to have and this could be his last chance to establish himself in the NFL. I don’t really see him getting another chance with another team in the league.

So, not only is he competing for the backup position with the Cowboys, but he could be playing for his NFL career.

Agree or disagree?

Feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions. I look forward to hearing from you so that we can discuss this topic further.

What do you think?


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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