Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster prediction (if Dallas plays it safe)

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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Dallas Cowboys Defense

Defensive line (9) DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Brent Urban, Tarell Basham, Neville Gallimore, Osa Odighizuwa, Chauncey Golston,  Calvin Watkins, Dorance Armstrong Jr.

Tank, Gregory, and Urban are the best linemen on the team. Basham isn’t a starter but a top reserve who will be used early and often, The 3-tech will be a rotation and a battle so we’re keeping Gallimore, Odighizuwa, and Golston to battle it out there (Golston is technically a DE but he’s going to reduce inside as well).

Dorance Armstrong is someone the coaches like and trust. He’s more proven than Bradlee Anae so he wins the job here. And the rookie Quinton Bohanna missed the cut because rookie run-stuffing DTs rarely hit the ground running (especially Day 3 ones) and Calvin Watkins is ready to go (albeit with a much lower ceiling). This isn’t fun or exciting but rather safe.

Linebacker (5) Micah Parsons, Keanu Neal, Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, Jabril Cox

The rookie Parsons and free agent signee, Neal will likely see the most snaps in 2021. Neal will be used as a WILL and Parsons will move around between EDGE and off-ball LB.

Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith will rotate in at WILL and MIKE (respectively) and hopefully see some time at SAM a little as well. I’m expecting bounce-back seasons from both in a more reduced role. Cox will be a developmental prospect and coverage specialist. He’s valuable now in certain roles but until he gets his tackling better, that’s about it.