Dallas Cowboys 53-Man Roster Projections: How the Cowboys’ Second Preseason Game Has Impacted the Roster

With the Dallas Cowboys falling short in their first two preseason games and new injuries occurring, what could the final roster look like?

With the Dallas Cowboys entering the last week of the preseason, the final roster cut is right around the corner.

The Cowboys’ rookie class continues to pressure veterans for final roster spots, with competitions becoming even more intense this week.

Dallas Cowboys 53-Man Roster Projection: Offense

Quarterback

Cooper Rush should remain Dak Prescott’s backup.

Will Grier has struggled in the first two preseason games to release the ball quickly and finds himself running into sacks. Grier will likely get the most playing time in this last game, so to see improvement with these two problems would be a plus.

  • Dak Prescott
  • Cooper Rush

Running Back

This competition changes almost every day but becomes more apparent as time passes.

Deuce Vaughn continues to show why he is a viable backup to Tony Pollard. He is shifty and makes it hard for defenders to stop him once he is on the go. He scored a touchdown in both preseason games, showing his reliability in the red zone.

Rico Dowdle has grown throughout the preseason. He has been a physical back that pushes for yardage, even with multiple players making the tackle on him. Dowdle has also been efficient in the pass pro. He is still learning some aspects of the game, but the rust is being shaken off throughout the preseason.

Malik Davis (34) during training camp at River Ridge Playing Fields in Oxnard, CA.

Malik Davis has been strong in the pass pro and has taken advantage of his opportunities when on the field. He can run in tight windows and has the burst needed to take off with the proper play call.

Hunter Luepke could still play a significant role at fullback. However, he was more involved in the second preseason game against the Seahawks. The last preseason game could clarify if he has a spot on the team. But it is still worth noting how he can contribute in pass pro.

  • Tony Pollard
  • Rico Dowdle
  • Deuce Vaughn

Wide Receiver

Jalen Tolbert continues to impress and show the amount of confidence he is playing with. It would be surprising to see him get more than a series of preseason play this week. It will be exciting to see what midseason form looks like for Tolbert with the foundation he has set over the last month.

Jalen Brooks still has a fair shot at making the roster, and if he keeps playing like he has been, he could make it. Brooks has not only been impressive with his ability to run routes well and create separation, but his run blocking has been noted as well.

John Stephens Jr. received a devastating blow after suffering a torn ACL that will keep him out for the season. He was on track to making the final roster and even putting some veteran players on notice.

  • CeeDee Lamb
  • Brandin Cooks
  • Michael Gallup
  • Jalen Tolbert
  • KaVontae Turpin
  • Jalen Brooks

Tight End

With Stephens out for the season, this room is set and positioned to succeed this year.

Peyton Hendershot has started to emerge more this preseason and was great run blocking on Saturday’s game against the Seahawks.

The only question now is if the front office decides to keep a fullback on the final roster, which would impact this room and the flexibility to keep four tight ends.

  • Jake Ferguson
  • Peyton Hendershot
  • Luke Schoonmaker
  • Sean McKeon

Offensive Line

Matt Waletzko is still “day to day” with a right shoulder injury but should make the final roster. He needs to work on having quicker feet and using his hands more.

T.J. Bass has been good as a pass blocker when he is in the rotation thanks to his hands. He has been on top of the charts regarding pass blocking for the last two weeks. Consistency is critical, and he has been consistently growing.

Asim Richards still needs to polish his hand usage, but overall, he has grown to be steady with his feet. He sometimes loses his balance but could learn more as the year continues.

  • Tyron Smith
  • Zack Martin
  • Tyler Smith
  • Terence Steele
  • Tyler Biadasz
  • Asim Richards
  • Matt Waletzko
  • Matt Farniok
  • T.J. Bass

Dallas Cowboys 53-Man Roster Projection: Defense

Interior Defensive Line

Mazi Smith continues to face criticism for being too slow off the ball. Smith does need polishing but is still strong with his ability to pressure multiple linemen at a time.

Neville Gallimore has been noticeably good at disrupting and breaking up plays during the preseason.

  • Neville Gallimore
  • Johnathan Hankins
  • Mazi Smith
  • Osa Odighizuwa
  • Quinton Bohanna

EDGE

Sam Williams continues to put pressure on the pocket and rushes the edge quickly. He recorded a sack during Saturday’s game against the Seahawks as well. Williams needs to work on his hands, but he can do so throughout the season.

  • Micah Parsons
  • Dante Fowler Jr.
  • Demarcus Lawrence
  • Sam Williams
  • Dorance Armstrong

Linebacker

DeMarvion Overshown took a big blow as he will be out for the season with a torn ACL. Mike McCarthy said he was arguably the star of the rookie class.

In his absence, Devin Harper and Jabril Cox will have the opportunity to show out with the reps they get in the team’s final preseason game against the Raiders.

Damone Clark is fast and continues to fly around the field with ease. He continues to showcase his instincts and eye for diagnosing plays.

  • Leighton Vander Esch
  • Malik Jefferson
  • Damone Clark
  • Devin Harper
  • Jabril Cox

Cornerback

Nahshon Wright is still rehabbing from the high ankle sprain from last week.

This group is solid, but the biggest question is if Kelvin Joseph is having a breakout preseason at the right time.

Joseph had the most impressive preseason performance so far, and it’s starting to click for him. According to PFF, he was the fourth highest-graded defensive player against Seattle.

Eric Scott Jr. was good on coverage during crucial moments as well. This week will be telling for young players like Scott.

  • Trevon Diggs
  • Stephon Gilmore
  • DaRon Bland
  • Nahshon Wright
  • C.J. Goodwin

Safety

Markquese Bell continues to shine in the preseason. His run reads have been impressive. Combine that with his speed and physicality, and he can be a significant asset to the safety room.

Juanyeh Thomas showed strength on special teams against the Seahawks, making crucial and complete tackles.

  • Jayron Kearse
  • Donovan Wilson
  • Malik Hooker
  • Israel Mukuamu
  • Markquese Bell
  • Juanyeh Thomas

Dallas Cowboys 53-Man Roster Projection: Special Teams

Brandon Aubrey remains the only kicker on the roster for the Cowboys. Aubrey nailed a kick from the 56-yard line during his pregame warmup.

Although he didn’t have much opportunity during Saturday’s game, it will be interesting to see if he can continue to be consistent this week.

Kicker

  • Brandon Aubrey

Punter

  • Bryan Anger

Long Snapper

  • Trent Sieg

Complete Projected Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart

Quarterback (2)

  • Dak Prescott
  • Cooper Rush

Running Back (3)

  • Tony Pollard
  • Rico Dowdle
  • Deuce Vaughn

Wide Receiver (6)

  • CeeDee Lamb
  • Brandin Cooks
  • Michael Gallup
  • KaVontae Turpin
  • Jalen Tolbert
  • Jalen Brooks

Tight End (4)

  • Jake Ferguson
  • Luke Schoonmaker
  • Peyton Hendershot
  • Sean McKeon

Offensive Line (9)

  • Tyron Smith
  • Zack Martin
  • Tyler Smith
  • Terence Steele
  • Tyler Biadasz
  • Asim Richards
  • Matt Waletzko
  • Matt Farniok
  • T.J. Bass

Interior Defensive Line (5)

  • Neville Gallimore
  • Johnathan Hankins
  • Mazi Smith
  • Osa Odighizuwa
  • Quinton Bohanna

EDGE (5)

  • Micah Parsons
  • Demarcus Lawrence
  • Dante Fowler
  • Dorance Armstrong
  • Sam Williams

Linebacker (5)

  • Leighton Vander Esch
  • Malik Jefferson
  • Damone Clark
  • Devin Harper
  • Jabril Cox

Cornerback (5)

  • Trevon Diggs
  • Stephon Gilmore
  • DaRon Bland
  • Nahshon Wright
  • C.J. Goodwin

Safety (6)

  • Jayron Kearse
  • Donovan Wilson
  • Malik Hooker
  • Israel Mukuamu
  • Markquese Bell
  • Juanyeh Thomas

Kicker (1)

  • Brandon Aubrey

Punter (1)

  • Bryan Anger

Long Snapper (1)

  • Trent Sieg

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