IRVING, Texas -- By Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys will have to make 13 roster moves to get to the 75-player limit.
While some teams will make the moves before the deadline, the sense is the Cowboys will not be announcing their cuts on Sunday, so we’ll take some educated (stop laughing) guesses.
The only lock is that defensive end Tyrone Crawford will be moved to injured reserve as he recovers from a torn Achilles. He was hurt in the first training camp practice but if the Cowboys had put him on IR before the cut to 75, they would have had to expose him to waivers, and he would have been claimed. This move keeps Crawford with the team.
With the starters not playing, with perhaps some exceptions, you have to keep numbers at certain spots over others. Running back Kendial Lawrence might not make the team, but if he is cut, then Dallas has two backs ready for Thursday in Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle because of Lance Dunbar’s foot injury.
Another question is at quarterback. Do the Cowboys keep Nick Stephens and play him versus Houston on Thursday and sit Alex Tanney? As we look at the 12 remaining moves, we’ll go with the idea that Stephens will be around.
Wide receiver: Anthony Amos, Eric Rogers, Jared Green. If Cole Beasley is healthy, then the Cowboys would have six receivers to play against the Texans. That’s enough to get through the game. If Beasley isn’t healthy, then Rogers could be kept. Rogers and Green could be brought back to the practice squad after the final cuts on Aug. 31.
Tight end: Colin Cochart would appear to be the odd man out and he’s had a nice camp, but the Cowboys will have four guys to play against the Texans in James Hanna, Gavin Escobar, Dante Rosario and Andre Smith.
Offensive line: Ryan Cook. A back injury has kept Cook off the field for most of the summer. He’s facing a severe uphill battle and an early decision like this could help him hook up with another club. If he can return to the field this week, then Ray Dominguez or Dennis Godfrey could be the odd man out. If you include Jermey Parnell, then the Cowboys would have nine linemen playing against the Texans.
Defensive back: Xavier Brewer, Jakar Hamilton. Brewer had a pick against Cincinnati, so he has his training camp moment. Hamilton was a dark horse to make the roster with the Cowboys giving him $10,000 to sign as an undrafted free agent, but he has not made enough plays and has been surpassed by Jeff Heath. If Morris Claiborne plays at least some against the Texans, Dallas would have nine DBs available. The team could even get by with eight.
Linebacker: Deon Lacey. Just not enough room for Lacey right now and the Cowboys have other linebackers they like more.
Defensive line: Jason Vega, Jabari Fletcher, Jerome Long. Vega signed late last week, so maybe Dallas gives him a game to show something. Long has had some moments in camp but just looks like he will be caught in the wash.
Specialists: Brett Maher. No need to explain here.