Dallas Cowboys Final 53-man roster prediction

Dan Rogers

The preseason is finally over and now the attention turns to finalizing the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster. All 32 NFL teams must trim their rosters down to 53 players by Tuesday. While things can change in a heartbeat, it's still a fun exercise to try to get inside the heads of the front office, so today I present to you my final 53-man roster prediction.

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Dallas Cowboys pregame@dallascowboys / Twitter

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK (2)

  • Dak Prescott
  • Garrett Gilbert

Despite all signs pointing towards a healthy Prescott, the thought of life without him will always be in the back of our minds. That leaves us with an unsettling feeling that hasn't been soothed by the performance of their backups. While Rush came on stronger down the stretch, Gilbert remains the team's best backup option.

RUNNING BACK (2)

  • Ezekiel Elliott
  • Tony Pollard

Prior to his hip injury, Rico Dowdle was in a commanding position to secure the no. 3 running back spot. With him out of action, the Cowboys will likely roll with just two RB's on the roster.

WIDE RECEIVER (6)

  • Amari Cooper
  • CeeDee Lamb
  • Michael Gallup
  • Cedrick Wilson
  • Noah Brown
  • Simi Fehoko

There's a case to be made for either Simi Fehoko or Malik Turner as the team's sixth wide receiver. You can even rationalize them only keeping five WR's on the roster. Turner has outperformed Fehoko, but I see the Cowboys protecting him for the upside and extra years of player control.

TIGHT END (3)

  • Dalton Schultz
  • Blake Jarwin
  • Sean McKeon (Injured Reserve)
  • Jeremy Sprinkle

You have to be pleased with the Cowboys' tight ends as they give you a little bit of everything. Schultz should see most of the snaps because he's well-rounded whereas Jarwin gives them a nice receiving weapon over the seam. Sprinkle is a solid blocker and should serve as a placeholder until McKeon returns from injury.

OFFENSIVE LINE (10)

  • Tyron Smith
  • Zack Martin
  • La'el Collins
  • Connor Williams
  • Tyler Biadasz
  • Connor McGovern
  • Ty Nsekhe
  • Terence Steele
  • Brandon Knight
  • Matt Farniok
  • Josh Ball (Injured Reserve)

The Cowboys saw how important it was to have good depth on the roster last season as they suffered many injuries along the offensive line. While each comes with questions, there are some solid young players rounding out their depth chart.

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE END (5)

  • DeMarcus Lawrence
  • Randy Gregory
  • Dorance Armstrong
  • Tarell Basham
  • Ron'Dell Carter
  • Chauncey Golston (start the season on PUP)

I've been going back and forth between Bradlee Anae and Ron'Dell Carter for the team's final edge rusher. Carter came on strong at the end and can play special teams and in the end, that was the difference-maker.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE (5)

  • Neville Gallimore (Injured Reserve)
  • Brent Urban
  • Osa Odighizuwa
  • Quinton Bohanna
  • Carlos Watkins
  • Justin Hamilton
  • Trysten Hill (start the season on PUP)

The Cowboys are lacking in elite talent along the interior defensive line, but they have some good depth. Trysten Hill's future is still a mystery, but that can be an issue to deal with later. Hopefully, Gallimore will pick up where he left off once he gets healthy.

LINEBACKER (5)

  • Micah Parsons
  • Leighton Vander Esch
  • Keanu Neal
  • Jaylon Smith
  • Jabril Cox
  • Francis Bernard (Injured Reserve)

It was tempting to put Luke Gifford on this list, but this group of five is pretty solid. In fact, they're going to have a hard time finding reps for everyone.

CORNERBACK (6)

  • Trevon Diggs
  • Anthony Brown
  • Jourdan Lewis
  • Kelvin Joseph
  • Maurice Canady
  • Nahshon Wright

The cornerback position group worries me more than any other position on the roster. The team hasn't got the progress we'd hope for from their rookies, leaving Anthony Brown to man the outside. This could be a dicey ordeal throughout the season.

SAFETY (5)

  • Donovan Wilson
  • Damontae Kazee
  • Malik Hooker
  • Jayron Kearse
  • Darian Thompson

The Cowboys don't have any strong players at the position, but they don't have terrible ones either. This entire group is pretty close together in terms of ability. They may not go this deep all year long, but the talent is good enough to start here and let things work themselves out.

SPECIAL TEAMS (4)

  • Greg Zuerlein (kicker)
  • Bryan Anger (punter)
  • Jake McQuaide (long snapper)
  • C.J. Goodwin (gunner)

This group is pretty set as special teams coach John Fassel has completely remodeled the key members of this group with the guys he likes. C.J. Goodwin is the team's special teams' ace and should be able to once again stick around.

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