Dallas Cowboys 53-Man Roster Projection: Interesting Decisions in RB Room

After a challenging offseason that left many confused, who will make the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster?

The Dallas Cowboys saw a mass exodus of talent off their roster this offseason, and they didn’t do much in free agency to fill the gaps of those who left.

Fresh off three consecutive 12-5 seasons, the Cowboys head into 2024 with those around them wondering if they’ll ever be able to take it over the top and have sustained success in the playoffs.

In the meantime, the hard part will come in a few months when the Cowboys need to figure out who is sticking around in Dallas on the team’s final 53-man roster.

Dallas Cowboys 53-Man Roster Projection

The Cowboys selected eight players in the 2024 NFL Draft, bringing the team’s roster to a total of 88 players.

While it’s only early May, it’s never too early to look into the crystal ball and try to predict what Dallas’ roster will look like come September.

Let’s start by projecting Dallas’ 53-man roster on the offensive side of the ball:

Quarterback (3)

Starter: Dak Prescott

Backups: Trey Lance, Cooper Rush

There isn’t much to debate here for the Cowboys. For at least the 2024 season, Dak Prescott will again be QB1 under center.

However, where it could be interesting if you’re looking for it is the battle for the QB2 spot. Dallas sent a fourth-round pick last season to the 49ers for Trey Lance, and as he enters Year 2 with the Cowboys, he will be battling it out with veteran and long-time No. 2 Cooper Rush.

Running Back (3)

Starter: Ezekiel Elliott

Backups: Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn

This is an interesting dynamic for the Cowboys as their RB situation is a head-scratching situation.

The team has brought back an old friend in Ezekiel Elliott, and while there is no promise he will be RB1 as Week 1 rolls around, nothing around him inspires us to think otherwise as well.

MORE: Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot Still Thinks He Can Dominate

Royce Freeman is on the roster as we speak as well, but the addition of Elliott feels like a this-or-that scenario between the two veteran backs.

Returning RB2 Rico Dowdle will see plenty of touches, as well as Deuce Vaughn who brings the one true homerun threat to the room.

Wide Receiver (6)

Starters: CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, Jalen Tolbert

Backups: KaVontae Turpin, Jalen Brooks, Ryan Flournoy

WR1 and 2 are rock solid with the tandem of CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks being effective and reliable targets for Prescott once again. However, from there, it seems to be a bit less certain.

The team hopes Jalen Tolbert can step up after the release of Michael Gallup in that WR3 spot. KaVontae Turpin as a special teams weapon has been explosive at times, but not nearly as consistent enough offensively as they had hoped.

From there, it is a pair of young, unproven guys, one of which is Jalen Brooks, who showed flashes of promise in limited action last season, while Ryan Flournoy was a sixth-round selection of the team this year but is a big-bodied speed threat that the team has been missing for quite some time.

A sleeper for the group is veteran Martavis Bryant, who has been on the team’s practice squad since the middle of last season. He has had production in the NFL while having trouble off of the field, which has hindered his career.

Bryant just misses out here, but he is someone worth monitoring who could slip into the 53-roster with a strong camp.

Tight End (4)

Starter: Jake Ferguson

Backups: Luke Schoonmaker, John Stephens, Brevyn Ford-Spann

TE1 is a solidified lock as Jake Ferguson has cemented himself as one of Prescott’s most trusted targets. Outside of that is a bit of uncertainty with some interesting names that may get the nod for a roster spot.

Luke Schoonmaker was the team’s second-round pick last year and he is a lock to make the team with the hope he can take a second-year leap in 2024. However, behind him are two names that may catch some people by surprise. But the writing is on the wall for both of them to make a possible impact.

John Stephens is a second-year TE who would have made the team’s 53-man roster last year if he hadn’t torn his ACL in a preseason game. The team thinks highly of the young man, and with a healthy training camp, Stephens may be able to show the world what the Cowboys had briefly seen in training camp last season.

As for Brevyn Spann-Ford, he is a UDFA in this year’s class that many around the team are excited about. He is big, physical, and a nasty blocker in the run game. The team is hoping to have a more physical running game in 2024 and with Spann-Ford’s ability to bring that element to their offense with his pass-catching ability, he is a sneaky name to remember.

Offensive Line (9)

Starters: Tyler Guyton, Tyler Smith, Cooper Beebe, Zack Martin, Terence Steele

Backups: Chuma Edoga, Brock Hoffman, T.J. Bass, Matt Waletzko

There will be a lot of change in the Cowboys’ OL room, and that starts with two new starters at key spots who will both be rookies.

Oklahoma rookie Tyler Guyton is penciled at left tackle, while Kansas State G Cooper Beebe is reportedly being readied for a switch to center.

KEEP READING: Grading the Cowboys’ 2024 NFL Draft Picks

For backups, the Cowboys are surprisingly deep and comfortable with their four backups as they have Edoga, who is a veteran with T/G flex, in addition to both Bass and Hoffman, who can play any of the three interior spots.

Waletzko is a true tackle who has dabbled at the guard spot in practice, but the big athlete has had trouble staying healthy and has limited his ability to make an impact.

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