Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster prediction (Youth and Potential Edition)

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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dallas cowboys
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys Defense

Linebacker (6): Micah Parsons, Keanu Neal, Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Jabril Cox, Luke Gifford

When you’re building for the future, you typically cut bait with veterans who don’t figure into the long-term plans. Guys like Neal, Jaylon, and LVE are all potentially out next year either via free agency or as a cap casualty.

Even still, the Dallas Cowboys are locked in with all three and Keanu Neal specifically stands to have one helluva season and could get a second deal out of it. Where the eye to future lies is with Micah Parsons, Jabril Cox, and Luke Gifford.

All three possess special skills and good size/length. And all three have a pretty high ceiling (albeit Gifford also has a low floor). The reason Gifford gets the nod at LB6 over someone like Francis Bernard is his potential. Bernard is fairly limited as an athlete, thus capping his potential. While the 6-foot-3 243 lb. Gifford has sky-high potential.

Cornerbacks (5): Trevon Diggs, Kelvin Joseph, Jourdan Lewis, Nahshon Wright, Reggie Robinson

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Let’s be clear here – this is not how I’d build the CB room in Dallas if I was in charge. I value Anthony Brown as a versatile piece with inside/outside ability and wouldn’t want to cut him with so many unknowns at this position group. But if the Dallas Cowboys want to base their roster on potential ceilings, this is the way to do it.

Kelvin Joseph is being thrust into the starting role in order to achieve the quickest possible development arch. Nahshon will join him as the main Cover 3 option on the boundary and Jourdan Lewis will playing inside in the nickel.

Instead of giving CB5 to a special teams ace (CJ Goodwin) or a trusted veteran (Maurice Canady) they roll with Reggie Robinson. Robinson has traits the Cowboys love and could be every bit as good as Wright or Joseph one day.