Dallas Cowboys: Predicting 5 Unexpected Training Camp Cuts

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Dallas Cowboys Training Camp

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For the Dallas Cowboys, training camp is a time for the coaching staff to evaluate and reevaluate players in an attempt to put the best roster together.

Prior to training camp, there are always players firmly on the roster bubble, thanks to lack of production on their part, or added depth via free agency and the Draft. There are also those players that are deemed too expensive to keep, the ones whose pay doesn’t match their play, as in the cases of Marcus Spears and Gerald Sensabaugh who were salary cap casualties.

Earlier this offseason, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett made a statement when the media asked him if he was coaching for his job. In my mind I thought, “wait, isn’t that what coaches do? Haven’t they always coached for their job?” But, I’ve digressed. Garrett answered the question by saying everybody was playing and coaching for their jobs.

“Ever since I have been in this league as a player, as a coach, I think everybody, each and every day, is playing and coaching for their jobs,” Garrett said. “That’s the nature of this thing and that’s what makes the NFL great. You come here to work every day. We use the word urgency a lot, every day is important, as a coach, as a player we are trying to get ourselves better each and every day to become the team we want to be.”

Garrett also told the media that he and his staff want to create competition at every position. I think the competition will cost the following five players their roster spot.

Jesus Flores is a Dallas Cowboys writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SSgtFlo1 or add him to your network on Google

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Phillip Tanner

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner fell out of favor with Garret in 2012 after struggling in pass protection and on special teams. Lance Dunbar eventually replaced him as the go-to guy while DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones were out with injury. Now Tanner will have to hold off Dunbar, Joseph Randle and Kendial Lawrence for the third and probably final running back spot. I don’t see that happening. I think Tanner is the odd man out and will get cut.

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Ryan Cook

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

A starter in 2012, Cook was one of the Cowboys unsung heroes, if you ask me. Unfortunately for him the Cowboys don’t have a need for a third center behind first round pick Travis Frederick and backup center Phil Costa; his $1.25 million salary cap hit doesn’t help either. Cutting Cook would cost the Cowboys $150,000 in dead money, but saves them $1.1 million against the cap.

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Mackenzy Bernadeau

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As a starter in 2012, Bernadeau had a horrible first year with the Cowboys, which might explain why he had never been a full-time starter before. It doesn’t help his case that he’s already missed time during OTAs, which has allowed second-year man Ronald Leary time to shine. Leary has higher upside and will be a whole lot cheaper to keep than Bernadeau. I think he gets the ax.

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Lawrence Vickers

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys have four tight ends on the roster and have expressed their desire to implement the “12” personnel formation into their offense. The “12” personnel formation doesn’t require a fullback, much less a starting fullback that isn’t all that good in run blocking. It doesn’t help that Vickers will be the tenth highest paid Cowboys player in 2013 and count $1.3 million against the cap, cutting him can save the Cowboys $1.2 million.

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Danny McCray

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

McCray went from special teamer to starting safety, and his inexperience showed. Receivers and tight ends exploited his weaknesses in pass coverage on a weekly basis. In 2013, McCray doesn’t project, as more than a special teams player, but his hefty $1.32 million price tag might be too big of a pill for the Cowboys to swallow. Aside from special teams, McCray doesn’t have much to offer the Cowboys and if that’s the case the Cowboys can find his replacement in one of the cheaper guys on the roster.


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  • Patrick Dunn

    They gotta keep Tanner, gonna need 4 rb’s can’t count on Murray staying 100% all season. Its gonna be Dunbar or Lawrence not both, that’s gonna be the battle. I’m ready for Leary to send one of those Guards packing. I’d be content with Livings gone as well.I think you gotta keep Cook, he’s capable of backing up at Tackle too. And bye bye McCray ….sorry dude

    • Guest

      They won’t keep four RB’s it just wont happen. Even if Murray isn’t 100 percent ever. Next year I think they let Murray walk and Randle/Dunbar will be your No.1 and No.2

      • http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/author/jesusflores/ Jesus Flores

        I think Randle will be the starter before the season is over as well

    • http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/author/jesusflores/ Jesus Flores

      Tanner’s gone bro. Wasted his opportunity last season. Can’t see the Cowboys carrying four RBs. The reason I think Bernadeau is gone, is cause he’s expensive and underproductive.

  • Ced/Big C

    Good read…i can definitely see these as possibilities…

    • http://www.rantsports.com/nfl/author/jesusflores/ Jesus Flores

      Thanks Ced