We knew the Cowboys were going to have to make some tough decisions when cutting the roster down to 53 players on Tuesday, but waiving Isaiah Land wasn't something fans were ready for. Still, there was hope he may not be gone from Dallas for good, since he'd be eligible for the practice squad if nobody claimed him.
Well, Cowboys fans, that dream is over. Isaiah Land was claimed by the Indianapolis Colts, so he officially will not be returning to Dallas,
Cowboys Lose Isaiah Land
Land had holes in his game, for sure, but you're never going to carry 53 perfect players on your roster. Bottom-of-the-roster guys are kept around because they can contribute in specific areas and because they have big upside, and Land checks both of those boxes.
There were questions around how he'd handle a step up in competition at the NFL level, since recording 19 sacks in an MEAC season at Florida A&M doesn't exactly prove you can handle NFL o-linemen. But Land went on to look terrific as a pass-rusher in his first NFL preseason.
Pro Football Focus gave Land a pass rush grade of 73.4 and an overall grade of 78.8 fot the preseason. Those marks ranked #2 (pass rush) and #3 (overall) among all Cowboys defenders. That should have erased concerns that he only looked good at Florida A&M because of the weaker competition.
But still, Dallas decided to take a gamble by waiving him, and now we've been burned.
Was it really so important that we carried Neville Gallimore as our sixth defensive tackle? Is it worth losing a guy who has the potential to develop into an outstanding pass rusher to make sure we carry Nashon Wright in the secondary?
You've gotta think the Cowboys expected to be able to sneak Land on the practice squad, because it would have been completely absurd to be willing to completely give up on him already. But fans knew there was no chance of Land clearing waivers, and the fans ended up being correct this time.
I wish Land all the best in Indy, where he'll have a chance to develop on a young defense. If there's any saving grace, it's that Land signing with an AFC team means he'll have fewer chances to terrorize Dallas if he does develop into the stud pass-rusher that it seems like he has the potential to be.
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