5 Dallas Cowboys Veterans Who Won’t Make the 53-Man Roster
5 Dallas Cowboys Veterans Who Won't Make the 53-Man Roster
Entering his third full season as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, it’s safe to say that Jason Garrett is, in fact, changing the culture.
He has reshaped the Cowboys roster since taking over, but there is still work left to do. The Cowboys lack depth; injuries have exposed that. They also have some guys who simply haven’t panned out, and it’s time to start trimming the fat off of the roster.
Previously, the Cowboys have underperformed in all three phases of the game; you can tell by their mediocre back-to-back 8-8 seasons. That is why Rob Ryan is gone and Monte Kiffin is the new defensive coordinator, Joe Bisaccia is the team’s new special teams coordinator and Bill Callahan is now calling offensive plays.
Currently, the Cowboys have a bunch of players on the roster, both defensively and offensively that have shown the potential to carry this team for the foreseeable future, but they also have some guys that, whether it be because of injury or inability, just are not producing at the level that this team requires.
The Cowboys have waited on some of those guys to come around for some time now, but eventually you just have to cut your losses and admit failure. I think those cuts will include veterans that have seemingly been around forever, all in an attempt to put together the best team under the new bargaining agreement, which, by the way, is very strict on its salary cap issues.
Because of that, I think the next few weeks will be intense leading up to the first round of cuts on Aug.27 and then Aug. 31 when the 53-man roster is finalized. Keeping all that in mind, here are five veteran players that I think will not make the 53-man roster.
The Cowboys have a new shiny toy in guard Ronald Leary, and he’s being given every opportunity to secure the starting job from incumbent starter Nate Livings. It certainly appeared that Leary would be the Day-1 starter until he was sidelined by injury.
Luckily the Cowboys expect that Leary will be back a couple of weeks after his arthroscopic knee surgery, and expect that he will pick up right where he left off. If that’s the case, then Livings is absolutely expendable because of his $1.7 million base salary and his $2.4 million cap hit. Cutting Livings, however, would cost the Cowboys about $4.5 million, but it will free up about $2.1 million in cap space.
Cook was brought in to be an insurance policy in 2012. Unfortunately for Cook, the Cowboys don’t have a need for him, his $1.1 million base salary or his $1.25 million cap hit in 2013, thanks to a healthy Phil Costa and first round pick Travis Frederick. Cutting Cook would cost the Cowboys $150,000, but it would save them $1.1 million in cap space.
McCray is not much more than a special teams player at this stage in his career and the Cowboys have cheaper options at safety behind him. I can’t imagine the Cowboys going out and paying a special teams coverage guy $1.323 million.
Coale just can’t stay healthy. In 2012, he suffered a stress fracture in his foot causing him to miss the OTAs. He was later placed on IR after tearing his ACL, and his knee has bothered him ever since. He’s not going to supplant any of the receivers from last year and is firmly behind Anthony Armstrong and Eric Rogers right now.
In 2012, Johnson missed most of the season because of hamstring injuries. In 2013, he picked up where he left off; hurt.
In his first game back, Johnson hurt his ankle running down a play. I know the Cowboys have high hopes for Johnson, but it’s becoming painfully obvious that he can’t stay on the field. I think that the Cowboys just need to let this one go. After all, they already have too many players on the roster that cannot stay healthy.