Predicting the Dallas Cowboys Final 53-man Roster in 2020 (V1.0)

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Jourdan Lewis #27 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys Defense

Defensive Line (11)

DeMarcus Lawrence, Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Tyrone Crawford, Neville Gallimore, Bradlee Anae, Antwaun Woods, Dorance Armstrong, Randy Gregory, Aldon Smith, Ron’Dell Carter

This projection obviously shows two players getting off the commissioners suspended list and getting on the active roster. Aldon Smith and Randy Gregory have both filed for reinstatement and are both awaiting league approval. Given the NFL’s new policy in its handling of positive marijuana tests, it’s fair to assume they’ll be back by Week 1.

Missing the cut is second year players Trysten Hill and Joe Jackson. Hill didn’t show anything last season and was only active in 7 games despite being perfectly healthy. Jackson latched on last season largely because of his motor, overall length, and his sound technique. He’d be a nice player to keep again this season if it wasn’t for so many higher rated players above him.

Both Smith and Gregory have elite pass-rush ability, Tyrone Crawford is versatile and reliable, and Dorance Armstrong Jr is ahead of Jackson on the depth chart, the primary back-up to Tank at LDE, and someone the Dallas Cowboys are expecting to progress in Year 3.

From there it’s just a numbers game. D-Law, McCoy, and Gallimore are locks. Anae and Poe are pretty safe bets. And Woods is unique enough to not be replaceable. The last spot goes to Ron’Dell Carter who’s a dark horse pass rusher who should turn some heads on the edge.

Linebackers (6)

Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Sean Lee, Joe Thomas, Luke Gifford, Jalen Jelks

Going a little outside of the box here and I’m using the last LB spot to house a defensive end convert. I’m moving Jalen Jelks to the SAM/Designated pass-rusher role the Cowboys were talking about before the draft. Jelks is long and athletic and could be a special weapon if used correctly. He bumps Justin March for the sixth and final LB spot.

There are a handful of guys capable of taking this last “flex” spot. I think Jaylon will play it some, Ron’Dell Carter can play it, and Jelks can play it.