The Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster was announced on Saturday, but as of Sunday night the Cowboys added offensive lineman Donald Hawkins and are set to sign former Seattle Seahawk linebacker Korey Toomer.
The defensive side of the ball is where the Cowboys had so many problems last season and for the Cowboys to make the playoffs this season they must improve and get better on this side of the ball.
Defensive Linemen on Dallas Cowboys-53 Man Roster
Defensive Ends: Jeremy Mincey, George Selvie, Tyrone Crawford, Anthony Spencer, DeMarcus Lawrence, Lavar Edwards Defensive Tackles: Henry Melton, Nick Hayden, Terrell McClain, Davon Coleman, Ken BishopHenry Melton
The big surprise to me among the defensive line is keeping Ken Bishop. Bishop has prototype size, but he does not show good strength and is way too slow. I did not think he showed enough to make the team. I know they need numbers, but to me they could find someone better. I thought he would be a practice player at best.
I also was surprised to see that Kenneth Boatright was cut, but at least they signed him to the practice squad. I saw a lot of good things from him. He seemed to play hard every down and had prototype size and speed. I also liked what I saw in Dartwan Bush. He showed a good motor and good hustle.
The new man in this group is Lavar Edwards. He is 6-4, weighs 278 pounds, runs a 4.8 40 and is 24 years old. He has the prototype size and speed to be a 4-3 defensive end.
It is also being reported that the Cowboys are going to sign Jack Crawford on Tuesday after they move DeMarcus Lawrence to the short term injured reserve. Crawford was released by the Raiders, is listed at 6.5, 275 pounds, runs a 4.85 40 and is 25 years old. He has prototype size and speed and is coming into his peak years which is between 26 and 31 years old.
Linebackers on Dallas Cowboys-53 Man Roster
Justin Durant, Bruce Carter, Rolando McClain, Kyle Wilber, Anthony Hitchens, Cameron LawrenceRolando McClain
This group went about as I expected. I did like Dontavius Sapp and I thought he had a chance to make the team. He has prototype size and speed and hopefully they can sign him to the practice squad.
It is being reported on Sunday night that the Cowboys are close to signing Korey Toomer, who was recently cut by the Seattle Seahawks. Toomer is listed at 6.2 234 pounds and runs a 4.53 40 yard dash. He is a special teams perfomer, but has been bothered by a bad hamstring. The last thing the Cowboys need is for another player that can't stay healthy.
Secondary on Dallas Cowboys-53 Man Roster
Cornerbacks: Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Sterling Moore, Tyler Patmon Safeties: Barry Church, J. J. Wilcox, Jeff Heath, Ahmad Dixon, Both: Jemea Thomas
The suspension of Orlando Scandrick has definitely impacted the secondary and might have opened up a spot for a player that would not have made it before. I feel that Scandrick is the Cowboys' best corner and his absence will really hurt them.
The new man in this group is Jemea Thomas, who was cut by the New England Patriots and signed by the Cowboys. Thomas played corner and safety at Georgia Tech and has the size and speed to play both in the NFL. Thomas has the prototype size and speed to play both positions.
Quarterbacks on Dallas Cowboys-53 Man Roster
Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden, Dustin VaughanTony Romo
I feel that Brandon Weeden had a very good preseason and I think the Cowboys would be okay if Romo were to go down. With Weeden's success I am surprised the Cowboys kept Vaughan on the 53-man roster. Vaughan only completed 51% of his passes, but he did not throw any interceptions. I feel that Vaughan would be better on the practice squad.
Running Backs on Dallas Cowboys-53 Man Roster
DeMarco Murray, Lance Dunbar, Joseph Randle, Tyler Clutts
I was really surprised, almost shocked to see that the Cowboys did not sign Ryan Williams to their 53-man roster, but at least they did sign him to their practice squad. Lance Dunbar is a good back with talent, but the fact is that he is too small and will get injured. It has been reported that new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan wants to use Dunbar like he used Reggie Bush at Detroit.
Randle really opened my eyes this preseason to what he can do. He made several tackles on special teams and showed that he can be a very good running back. He is on the small side as well, about 20 pounds underweight.
I was very happy to see the Cowboys sign Tyler Clutts to their 53-man roster. I hope this means that the Cowboys will feature their running game more with Demarco Murray and work their play action passing game more instead of stay in the shotgun all game long. It would make my super happy to see the Cowboys keep two fullbacks, but with Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan they are going to live and die with their passing game.
Wide Receivers on Dallas Cowboys-53 Man Roster
Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris, Devin Street.Dez Bryant
The Cowboys have a good wide receiver corp, but I was surprised they did not keep a 6th receiver. I feel they should have signed Jamar Newsome to the 53-man roster. He led the team in receptions during the preseason and has prototype size and speed.
I felt that Tim Benford had a shot to make the 53-man roster because of his special teams ability, but the Cowboys can't keep 7 wide receivers. I was pleased they signed him to the practice squad.
Tight Ends on Dallas Cowboys-53 Man Roster
Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar, James Hanna
No other position on the team has seen more of a philosophical change than the tight end position. Last season the Cowboys had 5 tight ends on their initial 53-man roster, but this year they only have three.
Gavin Escobar has really improved since last year and looks primed to have a really productive season. He got bigger and stronger during the offseason and Linehan is looking to expand on his role from last season.
Offensive Linemen on Dallas Cowboys-53 Man Roster
Tyron Smith, Ronald Leary, Travis Frederick, Zach Martin, Doug Free, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Jeremey Parnell, Darrion Weems, Donald Hawkins
There were really no big surprises with this group except for Darrion Weems. He was injured the whole preseason and I never saw him play any this preseason.
The new guy in this group is Donald Hawkins, who has prototype size at 6.5, 310 pounds, but is very slow being clocked in the 40 yard dash in 5.57. The Cowboys cut John Wetzel to make room for Hawkins. I have not seen Hawkins play, but on paper Wetzel is a better athlete than Hawkins and I thought Wetzel earned his spot on the 53-man roster.
Specialists on Dallas Cowboys-53 Man Roster
Long Snapper: L. P. Ladoucer Kicker: Dan Bailey Punter: Chris Jones
This is the same group as last season so no surprises here.