Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster projection (July surprises and more)

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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linebacker Leighton (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster: LBs and DBs

Defensive backs (10)

Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown, Chidobe Awuzie, Reggie Robinson, Maurice Canady, Daryl Worley, Xavier Woods, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Donovan Wilson, Darian Thompson

I’m grouping all the cornerbacks and safeties together because I think guys like Chido and Worley will be used in both capacities. At the end of the day, the magic number of defensive backs will probably be 10 so that’s what we’re rolling with.

As you may have noticed, Jourdan Lewis is notably missing from this list. I don’t think he gets cut, but I do think he gets traded at the end of training camp. It’s clear he doesn’t fit the profile of what Dallas is looking for in a CB and once the coaching staff can see guys like Canady and Diggs prove themselves in the preseason, they’ll feel confident moving on from Lewis.

Now, if everyone falls on their faces in camp, there’s no way they’d give up on Lewis. He’s basically the insurance policy they don’t want to use if they don’t have to.

Donovan Wilson is the project as safety everyone’s excited about and Darian Thompson is a special teams standout and someone the team trusted last year to take some meaningful snaps on defense.

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Linebacker (6)

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

The first three are quite obvious. Joe Thomas is a brilliant nickel ‘backer on a very affordable deal. Luke Gifford is a fan favorite and preseason standout from last year. As long as he plays up to John Fassell’s standards on special teams, he’s someone the Dallas Cowboys want to keep around.

Finally, it’s Jalen Jelks converting from DE to SAM/designated pass-rusher. This is basically just a wild projection based on the Cowboys position profile and Jelks’ skill set. I think a number of players could snag this last spot but Jelks is my favorite.

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That’s it. With no practices to base this on it’s clearly quite speculative but if you think about it, 90% of the roster is set in stone and only a fraction is really up for grabs. What changes would you make? Who would you bump off and what would the impact be? Let’s hear from you!