4. Israel Mukuamu
Israel Mukuamu was a special teams ace in 2022, playing 67% of all of the Cowboys’ special teams snaps and contributing on almost every unit. That continued on the exact same trajectory in 2023, playing 67% across the first two weeks of the season. That's almost a C.J. Goodwin-sized role.
But then we saw that there's simply not room for multiple special teams-only contributors on the gameday roster. Fellow safety Donovan Wilson was active to make his season debut in Week 3, and Mukuamu was immediately relegated to watching the game in street clothes as an inactive.
Markquese Bell saw his special teams snap count jump as he picked up some of the slack, highlighting just how replacable special teams play is. You need to truly be one of the elites in that area to have it singlehandedly warrant a roster spot.
Even when he was active for those first two games, Mukuamu's defensive snaps only came when the games were officially out of hand and the teams began pulling starters. He played well enough in those snaps, but a quarter of action against backups isn't really going to move the needle or shift your position on the depth chart unless it's a really special one.
Mukuamu doesn't offer enough on defense at this stage in his career to earn a gameday roster spot in the Cowboys' incredibly deep safety room, so you can expect a second straight inactive for the third-year vet.