In the most important game of the preseason, the Dallas Cowboys put on a dominating performance, winning 34-0 and making future roster decisions difficult.
We all know that preseason games are largely unimportant when it comes to the result, however the Dallas Cowboys certainly did not show that Saturday night. In an absolute tail kicking, the offense, defense and special teams all dominated a Houston Texans team that won 11 games in 2018.
Last week, I gave our readers a projection of the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster once the 2019 season starts. Beyond the fact that no one sustained any sort of major injury, a night like Saturday was perfect in every way besides one. It is clear that the coaches on this team will have many difficult decisions to make August 31st.
Several positional battles went undetermined thanks to great play from multiple players Saturday night. Even though Elliott is still M.I.A., the running back battles are intense. Rookie Tony Pollard is a lock but behind him is anyone’s best guess.
Can the Cowboys afford to keep Alfred Morris despite his lack of special teams help? How do they let Jordan Chunn go? Will the other rookie, Mike Weber, be cut and hopefully stashed on the practice squad? With Zeke on the team, there is not a lot of action to go around. Whoever can find multiple ways to contribute will likely make the cut.
At wide receiver, do the Dallas Cowboys keep five, six or seven? The first four are locks. Receiver Noah Brown has not played all preseason as is still physically unable to perform. His blocking prowess and special teams contributions are huge to this team however and almost lock him into a spot.
With that being said, both Cedrick Wilson and Devin Smith have done their best to go toe to toe all camp. It would be hard to cut either but are seven receivers necessary? It’s possible that Brown stays on the PUP list for the first six weeks of the season, while Wilson and Smith continue to fight it out.
Along the defensive line, I have the Cowboys keeping nine which is no shock. Who gets how much playing time, however, will be the tough part to determine.
Defensive tackle Maliek Collins has been unblockable all preseason. Defensive end Taco Charlton had a monster game against Houston and really looks like he’s starting to get it. Kerry Hyder has been disruptive in two preseason games. All of this without starters DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford and Robert Quinn not playing a single snap.
In the secondary, how many defensive backs to the Dallas Cowboys decide to keep? Sixth round rookie Donovan Wilson has done everything necessary to make the free agent signing of George Iloka unnecessary. C.J. Goodwin has shined on special teams and solidified his roster spot. Both were probably not expected by most to earn these spots.
With one week and one game left before cut down day, these questions will be answered shortly. One thing seems to be pretty clear, the Dallas Cowboys will be entering 2019 with a deep and loaded roster.