Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster predictions: Training camp rolling

Dak Prescott, Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
Dak Prescott, Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports /
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Randy Gregory, OLB, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Randy Gregory, OLB, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive Line (10)

EDGEs and OLBs: DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Bradlee Anae, Tarell Basham, Chauncey Gholston

IDL: Brent Urban, Neville Gallimore, Osa Odighizuwa, Trysten Hill, Quinton Bohanna

It has been a month since I penned this piece and already I see two changes. One change was the inclusion of a tenth player while the other was switching out Dorance Armstrong for fan favorite Bradlee Anae. Camp is a week old and things are looking up; you love to see it!

DeMarcus Lawrence is the team’s best defensive player and Randy Gregory sounds like he’s comfortably the team’s second-best. Basham was one of the team’s more costly free agents and it would take a lot to go wrong for him to not be apart of the final 53 man roster when it’s all said and done. A lot of the same could be said for Brent Urban who is supposed to anchor the defense at the one-technique spot.

Both second-year players, Neville Gallimore and Bradlee Anae, have been relative disruptive in training camp. Gallimore has come to camp having reworked his body and arguably playing stronger showing he can win with power more consistently. As for Anae, the fact that he’s able to show anything is a big boost of confidence from whatever happened last season. Let’s just be glad things are happening!

The rookies currently participating at camp are Osa Odighizuwa and Quinton Bohanna. The former Iowa Hawkeye, Chauncey Gholston, is still on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list but his chances of being cut seem fairly slim considering he was a third round selection and he does show the versatility to play multiple positions. Consider him a poor man’s version of Tyrone Crawford with the same leadership ability and personality.

Bohanna has started to come alive the last couple practices and seems to be turning heads with the shape he is currently in. Outside of Urban, it was unclear who would provide relief at the one-technique spot. If Bohanna keeps making the case for playing time, that question will soon have it’s answer and it won’t come in the form of Osa Odighizuwa being forced to play inside.

As for Odighizuwa, there hasn’t been much buzz since he’s started training camp. As a fan of his technical ability and versatility as are many, it has certainly been interesting to hear players like Neville Gallimore and Carlos Watkins have more buzz. However, we haven’t played a single preseason game yet so a lot could change. Odighizuwa could also just be a late bloomer as far as we’re concerned.

Everyone has now been accounted for except Trysten Hill. The final competition to break down is Carlos Watkins vs Hill. Hill currently on the PUP list is doing absolutely nothing to strengthen the grip on his spot and McCarthy’s recent praise of Watkins should give him the edge if anything. So why Hill in the end?

SportDFW’s main man, Reid Hanson has you covered in a detailed explanation.

"If the Dallas Cowboys want to, they can keep Hill on the list all training camp. If players stay healthy and the competition is strong, they shouldn’t feel any obligation to bring him back. When the season starts, Hill would be eligible for the regular season reserve/PUP list. This would keep him out through the first six weeks of the season, after which he could be activated and return to practice."

Injuries are a common problem in the sport especially at a physically demanding position like interior defensive line. If the team is smart with his injury designations, which they usually are, Hill could fit in nicely as a reserve under tackle midway through the season where in the past the team has tried out lesser players coming off waivers.

Consider it strategic roster management while giving your underachieving second round pick one more chance to prove himself in a system that should bode well for him.