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Way-too-early Dallas Cowboys 55-man Roster Prediction

Post 2020 NFL Draft Dallas Cowboys 55-man roster prediction.

The NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement expanded rosters from 53 to 55, which means the Dallas Cowboys now have two extra roster spots to work with to put their team together for the 2020 season. These two extra roster spots will certainly come in handy at some point, but having more to work with doesn’t make it any easier as it pertains to deciding who stays and who goes.

The Dallas Cowboys are going to have a lot of tough decisions to make. New Head Coach Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff are really going to have to evaluate not only the players currently under contract, but also those they could still add via free agency in order to put the best 55-man roster together as possible.

Now, I’m not going to predict any further offseason moves that could bring in more talent, instead I’m going to take a shot at a way-too-early Dallas Cowboys 55-man roster prediction with the players currently under contract. This was no easy task and I don’t envy the amount of tough decisions Mike McCarthy and his staff are going to have to make.

Let’s get started…

QUARTERBACK (3)

Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
  • Dak Prescott
  • Andy Dalton
  • Ben DiNucci (R)

Whether he plays the 2020 season on the franchise tag or a freshly inked long-term deal, Dak Prescott is the unquestioned starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys upgraded the QB2 position by signing Andy Dalton to a one-year contract, which means Cooper Rush is likely out of a job shortly despite signing his $2.1 million restricted free agent tender. The big question here is whether or not Mike McCarthy wants to carry Ben DiNucci on the active roster or risk losing him on waivers. For now, I think he sticks.

RUNNING BACK (4)

Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard
Dallas Cowboys RBs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard
  • Ezekiel Elliott
  • Tony Pollard
  • Rico Dowdle (R)
  • Jamize Olawale

Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard will once again be a formidable RB duo with Jamize Olawale reprising his role as the fullback. The fourth spot likely comes down to Jordan Chunn or one of the three undrafted free agent RBs the Cowboys added after the draft: Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua from TCU, and Rico Dowdle out of South Carolina. Dowdle is the more talented of the group so I’ll give him the nod for now. I’d also keep an eye on Olonilua though, he could challenge Olawale for the FB job.

WIDE RECEIVER (6)

Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup
Dallas Cowboys WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup
  • Amari Cooper
  • Michael Gallup
  • CeeDee Lamb (R)
  • Cedrick Wilson
  • Ventell Bryant
  • Kendrick Rogers (R)

Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb give the Dallas Cowboys the best wide receiver trio in the entire NFL, but behind them things look pretty bleak. Cedrick Wilson is probably the best of the rest and should stick around, especially if he can stay healthy. Ventell Bryant has a good chance of making it because of his special teams ability and undrafted free agent WR Kendrick Rogers is an intriguing prospect worth sticking around. I do however think the Cowboys will try to add some veteran help at some point to improve the depth.

TIGHT END (3)

Blake Jarwin
Dallas Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin
  • Blake Jarwin
  • Blake Bell
  • Dalton Schultz

As things stand right now I think the trio of Blake Jarwin, Blake Bell, and Dalton Schultz are a good bet to remain as the Dallas Cowboys top three tight ends. The Cowboys do have Cole Hikutini, who spent last season on the practice squad, and they added undrafted free agents Sean McKeon (Michigan) and Charlie Taumoepeau (Portland State). They however will really have to stand out to unseat one of the Top 3 to earn a roster spot.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8)

Zack Martin
Dallas Cowboys RG Zack Martin
  • Tyron Smith, OT
  • La’el Collins, OT
  • Brandon Knight, OT
  • Zack Martin, OG
  • Connor Williams, OG
  • Joe Looney, G/C
  • Connor McGovern, G/C
  • Tyler Biadasz, C (R)

Tyron Smith and La’el Collins are the starting offensive tackles. Zack Martin and either Connor Williams or Connor McGovern are the starting guards. Joe Looney, Tyler Biadasz, and even McGovern will compete to take over for Travis Frederick. Beyond that it’s guesswork. Right now I have Brandon Knight as the swing tackle, although Connor Williams could serve in that capacity as well. Going a little short along the OL is a risk, especially with Tyron Smith’s inability to stay healthy for a full season, but the position flex this unit has allows them to go this direction if they so choose.

DEFENSIVE LINE (11)

DeMarcus Lawrence
Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence
  • DeMarcus Lawrence, DE
  • Dorance Armstrong, DE
  • Bradlee Anae, DE (R)
  • Randy Gregory, DE
  • Aldon Smith, DE
  • Tyrone Crawford, DL
  • Ron’Dell Carter, DE (R)
  • Gerald McCoy, DT
  • Dontari Poe, DT
  • Neville Gallimore, DT (R)
  • Trysten Hill, DT

Projecting who stays and who goes along a defensive line is going to be really tough for the Dallas Cowboys. Right now I have them going a little deep at the position with seven DEs and four DTs. Tyrone Crawford’s position flex to play both helps with depth. Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith are the wildcard. If reinstated, they both probably make the team. The biggest surprise here is probably keeping Ron’Dell Carter and parting ways with Antwaun Woods. If the Cowboys want to keep Carter around it will likely have to be on the active roster. Woods unfortunately just got caught in a numbers crunch, which unfortunately leaves Dallas a little thin at the 1-tech behind Dontari Poe.

LINEBACKER (7)

Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch
Dallas Cowboys LBs Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch
  • Jaylon Smith
  • Leighton Vander Esch
  • Sean Lee
  • Joe Thomas
  • Luke Gifford
  • Justin March
  • Francis Bernard (R)

With the exception of undrafted rookie Francis Bernard, the linebacker position for the Dallas Cowboys looks much the same as it did a season ago. Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch will be the starters with Sean Lee and Joe Thomas serving as their primary backups. Luke Gifford, Justin March, and Bernard provide good solid depth and should be key special teams contributors as well.

CORNERBACK (6)

Jourdan Lewis, Anthony Brown
Dallas Cowboys CBs Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis
  • Chidobe Awuzie
  • Anthony Brown
  • Jourdan Lewis
  • Trevon Diggs (R)
  • Reggie Robinson II (R)
  • Maurice Canady

The Dallas Cowboys may have lost Byron Jones in free agency, but they’ve done a pretty good job of restocking the cupboard with talent. I could see both Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson competing for a starting job as rookies, but with Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, and Maurice Canady there’s no need to throw them to the wolves before they’re ready.

SAFETY (4)

Xavier Woods
Dallas Cowboys S Xavier Woods
  • Xavier Woods
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
  • Donovan Wilson
  • Daryl Worley

Barring some free agent addition, Xavier Woods and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix look to be the Dallas Cowboys starting safeties right now. Donovan Wilson is probably the next line on the depth chart. After showing flashes as a rookie and with a year to develop, he could push for playing time or at the very least provide valuable depth. Here’s a surprise…Daryl Worley has been a cornerback most of his career, but I think the Cowboys plan on using him as a safety.

SPECIAL TEAMS (3)

L.P. Ladouceur
Dallas Cowboys LS L.P. Ladouceur (AP Photo/James D Smith)
  • L.P. Ladouceur, LS
  • Greg Zuerlien, K
  • Chris Jones, P

L.P. Ladouceur has been the mainstay at long snapper for well over a decade and will be so once again in 2020. Chris Jones looks to go unchallenged right now to handle the punter responsibilities. The only position battle I see here is between Greg Zuerlien and Kai Forbath. Zuerlien is probably the favorite to win the job though because he was new Special Teams Coach John Fassel’s kicker with the Rams the last eight years.

What do you think?

Brian Martin

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.

Comments

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    • Woods has yet to sign his exclusive rights free agent tender, so technically he’s not under contract right now. Even if he was though, the Cowboys may choose to go the younger/cheaper route in the Hill. It’s one of the many tough decisions they will have to make.

    • I get he didn’t look good last year, but one year is a little early to give up on your second round pick.

  1. Solid opinion, but I don’t believe a rookie WR will beat out Devin Smith or Jon’Vea Johnson for the 5th and 6th spots. Jalen Jelks is a name to look out for in camp at DE as well. Honestly, DL is loaded, especially if both suspended players Aldon Smith & Randy Gregory are reinstated – tough decisions there. Finally, on paper, this team is absolutely loaded on offense and the front 7 on defense. The only questions are in the secondary, but there is talent there – young, but talented.

    • I don’t understand the love for Devin Smith. He’s done relatively nothing since entering the NFL and doesn’t play special teams. JV Johnson could be in the running, but he was a draft pick under the old coaching regime and may not fit what Mike McCarthy and his staff wants in a WR.

      I almost added Jalen Jelks, but there are so many bodies at DE right now it’s going to be really hard for him to earn a roster spot. A move to LB could be in his best interest.

      • I totally understand and your reasoning is totally reasonable, i just believe Devin Smith with his 1st round pedigree and talent and he did play well the few games/opportunities that he had last year – would be hard to beat out by an undrafted rookie. Plus the WR group still lacks top end deep speed in my opinion, but are loaded with playmakers.

        Regarding the DL, I don’t know how that’s going to work out. It’s a good problem to have and they will have to release some very good players.

  2. I say Forbath wins the kicking job, how can you cut someone who did not miss a single field goal???

    • He was available for the Cowboys at the end of last season for a reason. I’m not saying he can’t win the kicking competition, but Zuerlien did receive the bigger contract and previously worked with John Fassel.

    • its easy Fassel is in love with Zuerlein and they wouldn’t have given him the contract they did to cut him. He can also bang 50 yarders a lot better that Forbath

  3. As a Michigan fan I will say that everyone is going to be surprised by Mckeon (pronounced Mik-Koon). Great hands and route runner… not an ending blocker yet… but won’t be surprised if he surpasses and become the #2 TE

    • I think he’s going to need a strong offseason to earn a roster spot, but he could possibly challenge Dalton Schultz for TE3.

  4. I would drop Hill and keep Woods. Also agree with Worley to Safety if need be, but I think Thompson should be given a longer look. Like Devin Smith’s long speed. Maybe he hasn’t done much because they don’t play him much. But agree, would like to see Rodgers too.

  5. I think Devin Smith makes the roster, and I think it’ll be Chidobe Awuzie that gets moved to the safety position, not Daryl Worley…. Chido played a lot of strong safety in college so he makes the most sense to make the move to safety!! And I believe Antwan Woods and Jackson and Jelks all make the team for the defensive line too!! And lastly, I kinda think we’ll keep both kickers in case of an injury!!

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