The Cowboys’ final 53-man roster will leave no unimportant player left standing. These are three potential cut candidates this summer.
In this quiet lull of the offseason, NFL powerhouses are building formidable rosters to bring home some brass, and the Dallas Cowboys are no exception.
“Powerhouse” may not exactly describe a franchise that hasn’t reached the conference championship round in this century, but America’s Favorite Team always has a horse in the race. Even if that horse has blinders on and can’t properly manage the clock.
This offseason, the Cowboys restocked on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, injecting their roster with both grizzled faces and new talent. Is it the Cowboys’ year this year, as every Dallas fan yells into the void in the months leading up to September, or is it just never going to happen?
Before thinking about winning a Super Bowl, the team will have to trim its fat. Here are three potential cut candidates heading into the summer.
Cowboys Cut Candidate No. 3: Rico Dowdle
Ezekiel Elliott may not have played his last snap as a Cowboy, and there’s still a chance the team will bring him back later this offseason. For the purposes of our sanity, we assume he finds his much-needed fresh start elsewhere.
In any case, the Cowboys’ running back room could do with a little thinning, and 24-year-old running back Rico Dowdle may teeter the line between value and excess.
Now, Dowdle has primarily developed into a special teams gadget in two seasons in Dallas, playing 67 percent of snaps on specials teams in 2022. A less utility running back piece, like Ronald Jones, may have a higher chance of getting cut, yet Dowdle’s job isn’t completely safe, either.
With the addition of Deuce Vaughn from the draft, the Cowboys have another explosive player to potentially groom in special teams. Returning duties went to Pro Bowler KaVontae Turpin in 2022, and going into 2023, it’ll be Turpin’s throne to lose.
Dallas may want to give Vaughn some special teams snaps just to get his feet wet, in which case Vaughn would bump Dowdle farther down the depth chart. Like Vaughn, Dowdle poses as a smaller back whose redeeming attributes make him an ideal fit in special teams.
Should the rookie Vaughn struggle to backup Tony Pollard on the offense and be sent to special teams for more experience, then Dowdle may find himself on the outside looking in.
There’s a lot of moving pieces in this year’s running back unit, and other than Pollard, few jobs are secure.