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Making Call on the Dallas Cowboys' Hardest Remaining Cuts

Jonathan BalesAnalyst IAugust 20, 2014

Making Call on the Dallas Cowboys' Hardest Remaining Cuts

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    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    We’re just days away from knowing which 53 players will be suiting up for the Dallas Cowboys this season. Final cuts come on August 30, and the Boys have quite a few players who are on the roster bubble.

    With the way Dallas' roster is configured, there are going to be multiple players who barely make the team whom the Cowboys will still count on for pretty significant contributions. A player like defensive end Martez Wilson, for example, has an extremely wide range of outcomes; he could legitimately not make the team or end up breaking out like George Selvie did last year.

    To give an idea about which players are perhaps fighting for their future in Dallas, let’s run through five very important position battles that will go a long way in dictating which direction the Cowboys will go with their final cuts.

CB Terrance Mitchell vs. B.W. Webb

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    As with every position battle listed, this is one where it’s certainly no guarantee that one of the players will get cut. With Orlando Scandrick’s four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, especially, we could see both Terrance Mitchell and B.W. Webb on the roster.

    However, Scandrick will be back for Week 5, and both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne are locks. Sterling Moore seems pretty much guaranteed a spot, and Tyler Patmon has also performed really well this preseason.

    If the Cowboys keep all of those players, there’s no way both Mitchell and Webb will make the team together. I think Mitchell has slightly more upside. 

    Verdict: Mitchell

DE Martez Wilson vs. Caesar Rayford

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    Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

    Again, both Wilson and Caesar Rayford could make the final roster, especially with Demarcus Lawrence (broken foot) and Anthony Spencer (knee) both still temporarily on the shelf.

    However, there are a lot of defensive ends in Dallas who “could” make the team: Rayford, Wilson, Ben Gardner and Jeremy Mincey, among others. Add those to the locks at the position and there isn’t too much room (particularly if the Cowboys consider Tyrone Crawford a defensive end).

    If Rayford and Wilson are battling for the final roster spot, I think the decision is a no-brainer; Rayford is a 28-year-old with five career tackles and limited upside, while Wilson is 25 years old with elite measurables and a history of production in college. 

    Verdict: Wilson

DT Nick Hayden vs. Zach Minter

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    Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

    A couple weeks ago, the majority of Cowboys fans hadn't heard of Zach Minter. Actually, I’d venture to say that the majority of Cowboys fans still don’t know who Minter is. But he’s about the make the Dallas Cowboys.

    Minter erupted in the Cowboys’ preseason game—just nine days after being signed—with four tackles, two sacks and two tackles for loss, according to Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com.

    Assuming Terrell McClain wins the one-technique job, there isn’t a great incentive to keep veteran Nick Hayden. With the upside of the 23-year-old Minter and Davon Coleman, you can’t like Hayden’s chances of sticking around. 

    Verdict: Minter

OT Darrion Weems vs. Jermey Parnell

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    Dave Martin/Associated Press

    The Cowboys have a great offensive line, but it’s also fragile in that there’s a potentially devastating leak at right tackle. Doug Free is already a potential problem, but the depth behind him—led by Darrion Weems and Jermey Parnell—is frightening.

    Weems probably had the lead on the job, but he got injured and is still out as of Wednesday, according to Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News. Either way, it’s unlikely the Cowboys will keep both Weems and Parnell, so they’re almost certainly fighting for one roster spot. 

    Verdict: Weems

WR Chris Boyd vs. Jamar Newsome

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and Devin Street are all locks to make the final roster. Because of his return ability, Dwayne Harris is also highly likely to be on the club. That’s five receivers right there, which is all that many teams retain.

    I think Dallas will keep six receivers, which opens up the door for undrafted free-agent rookie Chris Boyd. I love Boyd’s upside as a scorer and think he should make the team, but Jamar Newsome came on strong last week.

    Newsome had two catches and a touchdown against the Ravens after grabbing three balls in the Cowboys’ first preseason game. He has good size at 6’1”, 206 pounds and is still only 26 years old.

     Verdict: Boyd

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