Dallas Cowboys: The best practice squad in the NFL?

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 29: Cedrick Wilson #16 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 29: Cedrick Wilson #16 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

If reports are correct, the Dallas Cowboys were able to sneak multiple promising prospects onto their practice squad making it, quite possibly, the best in the NFL

Having a strong practice squad may not sound like a big deal, but as the closest thing to a minor league farm team, the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad could be an excellent a feeder unit throughout the season.

If reports are to be trusted, all of the Dallas Cowboys final cuts cleared waivers and Dallas was able to sign everyone they wanted to their practice squad this weekend. This came as a surprise to many since Dallas not only cut fairly well known players, but those players also shined in preseason. It’s seemed almost certain many of our “pet cats” (fan favorites) would be gobbled up by the competition.

But those fears did not come to fruition and all of those players were available to the Cowboys to retain on the practice squad.

This matters because Dallas prides themselves on cultivating their own talent. To that point, Dallas is 4th in the NFL in fielding the most homegrown talent. According to Jason from Over the Cap, the Cowboys have 44 homegrown players on the roster.

It’s true, practice squad players don’t always have a clear path to the NFL. They face long odds to ever make a 53-man roster, let alone become an impact player. But this practice squad is not your ordinary unit.

The Players

A player like Daniel Wise, who absolutely exploded in the Cowboys final preseason game, clearly has NFL talent. If it wasn’t for the logjam of defensive linemen in front of him, he’d be on this team.

His natural athleticism and explosion is uncommon for a man his size and if he just hones his technique and improves his strength he can be a member a highly-productive defensive line rotation. And the ability to play either end or tackle only helps his chances of one day making the Cowboys roster. Dallas values position flex and seem willing to let Wise try his hand at both rather than force him into a specific role.

Mike Jackson also appears to have the skills to be an NFL boundary cornerback. But like Wise, depth and rawness kept him from making the roster. Donovan Olumba lacks the ceiling of Jackson (speed issues), but he could be plugged into the lineup today and thrive if the Dallas Cowboys deployed him correctly.

Mitch Hyatt looked pretty bad in the preseason, but his pedigree can’t be ignored and the idea of him one day becoming a swing tackle isn’t an absurd one. RB Jordan Chunn could have easily made the initial team as well. With Zeke’s status still technically uncertain, Chunn has already been called up to The Show *(edited to reflect recent roster move).

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Last but not least is Cedrick Wilson. The big play receiver from Boise State was a beast this preseason and frankly, it’s surprising he wasn’t kept as the sixth WR and just shocking he didn’t get picked up on waivers when the Cowboys cut him. Wilson is another player who could be plugged in at any time and likely produce both on special teams and as a receiver. If injury should strike Tavon Austin, as it always seems to, Wilson could be the roster replacement

These players on the practice squad are available to any NFL team that’s willing to give up a roster spot, but Dallas keeps a watchful eye on the practice squad situation, and isn’t afraid to promote a player if they think the future looks bright. That’s what they did when the Eagles trying stealing Blake Jarwin from their practice squad back in 2017.

dark. Next. Taking stock of the Cowboys risers and fallers entering week 1

I’m not going to pretend to know everyone’s practice squads, but I feel fairly confident the Dallas Cowboys are amongst the very best in the NFL. And I have a feeling one or more of these players has a bright future in the NFL. Let’s just hope it’s with the Cowboys…

  • Published on 09/02/2019 at 12:49 PM
  • Last updated at 09/02/2019 at 16:12 PM