Building a Roster: Projecting the Dallas Cowboys final-53 man roster

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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Sean Lee #50 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys: Linebacker (7)

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

The first three are obvious. If they’re healthy they’re on the team. Jaylon may be moving to outside linebacker (best guess is WILL) and LVE is moving to MIKE. Both are excellent moves:

light. Related Story. Why Jaylon and LVE are better off switching positions

Sean Lee provides valuable insurance at all three LB spots. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s used to rotate in and keep the other two starters fresh or if he’ll be given starting snaps at SAM. That’s definitely something to watch in camp.

After the top-3 the Dallas Cowboys have a handful of intriguing prospects to choose from and they may end up going deep at LB if they can get solid special teams play from LB4-LB7.

First is Joe Thomas. Thomas has been with Dallas a few years now and he’s proven to be one of the better coverage linebackers in the league. He’s making the team for sure. Luke Gifford is a guy who shows tremendous upside but needs to get more opportunities to assume that potential. Gifford lit up the stage last preseason and is a personal pet cat of mine heading into 2020.

Francis Bernard is another player fans are extremely high on. The undrafted free agent has starter potential and should surprise some folks in training camp. He could bump Justin March off the roster as long as he can show on special teams.

Finally, it’s Jalen Jelks. I believe the defensive end will ultimately transition to SAM/Designated pass rusher this preseason and win a developmental roster spot. He has length and athleticism that make him an intriguing prospect as a 2-point stance edge player.