Did The Dallas Cowboys Cut The Wrong Players?

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When you look at the list of players that the Dallas Cowboys waived on Saturday August 31st, a few red flags should go up. You can’t help but wonder if they made the right decision with a few of the players.

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Here’s the list of players that the Dallas Cowboys cut. The ones with an asterisk by them are the ones I have some questions about.

Players Waived By The Dallas Cowboys:

  • Jakar Hamilton, S
  • Tim Benford, WR
  • *Danny Coale, WR
  • Anthony Armstrong, WR
  • Kendial Lawrence, RB
  • *Alex Tanney, QB
  • *Kevin Kowalski, G/C
  • Edawn Coughman, OT
  • Jabari Fletcher, DE
  • Thaddeus Gibson, DE
  • Taylor Reed, LB
  • Micah Pellerin, CB
  • *Sterling Moore, CB
  • Xaiver Brewer, CB
  • Ray Dominguez, G
  • Jerome Long, DT
  • *Demetress Bell, OT
  • Jason Vega, DE
  • *Caleb McSurdy, LB
  • Cameron Lawrence, LB
  • *Brandon Magee, LB

Here are the reasons I find some of the cuts noteworthy:

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WR Danny Coale:

Do you remember all of the hype coming out of Valley Ranch when the Dallas Cowboys drafted WR Danny Coale? You would have thought it was the second coming of Michael Irvin. Much like all of the hype surrounding Terrance Williams this year. I can remember how they continuously put the undrafted WR Cole Beasley from SMU in his shadow. All of the talk was that Danny Coale would be the one to make the cut. I can remember saying to my friends that the Dallas Cowboys have more success with undrafted players than they do with their draft choices; I thought Beasley would be the better receiver. As I predicted, Cole Beasley is on the roster, and the draft choice used by the Cowboys is not.

LB Brandon Magee:

Kerry TaylorIt’s the same story here: you would have thought he was the next Sean Lee. Jerry Jones was so certain that he found a starting player, that he gave the rookie a $70,000 bonus. In the NFL world that doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but for an undrafted free agent it is an exuberant amount of cash. Considering he didn’t even make the 53 man roster, I would say he made a nice piece of change for a few weeks of work in camp.

LB Caleb McSurdy:caleb

I remember watching the 2012 NFL draft and thinking “WHO?” when they called his name. The Rimington award winning C David Molk was still on the board, and the Dallas Cowboys needed help at center. Molk’s draft stock had fallen from a 2nd round prospect and the Nations best center (much like Barrett Jones this year) because of the off-season surgery he had on his foot. It was a minor procedure and was in no way career threatening. Despite all the hype about the draft pick, I remember thinking he should have gone undrafted, and now the Cowboys have cut him.

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OG/C Kevin Kowalski:

At the beginning of the season, many Dallas Cowboy fans believed that the OL would be fine because Kevin Kowalski was returning to the lineup. Bryan Broaddus said on Talking Cowboys that Kowalski had a good chance of earning a roster spot, and that he was a good player. Jerry Jones talked Kowalksi up a lot too. Much like he did Costa when they made the decision to cut Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode. How did that work out? Kowalksi is no longer a Cowboy either.

CB Sterling Moore:

SterlingMoore copyThe Dallas Cowboys are depth starved at numerous positions, and the CB position is one of them. The Cowboys elected to carry 10 defensive backs, but they only have three  CB’s that are starting caliber: Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr and Orlando Scandrick. BW Webb has demonstrated that he has the ability to possibly develop in to a starter in the NFL. But, he is very raw and has no experience at the NFL level.

Sterling Moore is no Darrelle Revis, but he is serviceable; he brings a veteran presence and previous experience. He made some big post season plays while with the Patriots. Moore is a versatile player: I would have tried to use him as a FS because he not only has more speed, but better ball skills than Barry Church.

If Morris Claiborne continues to have problems with his knee, or one of the other 2 starting CB’s gets injured, the Dallas Cowboys don’t have anyone who is ready to step up. Releasing Sterling Moore will probably come back to haunt the Cowboys at some point in 2013.

DSCF4391OT Demetress Bell:

The Dallas Cowboys are also very thin on the offensive line. Nate Livings was just placed on IR, Mackenzy Bernadeu has had his share of injury problems, and Ronald Leary has a degenerative knee condition.

Doug Free has been less than stellar as a RT; due to the injuries at the guard position, the Dallas Cowboys recently moved him to RG. Jeremy Parnell has very little experience playing Tackle; he struggled against 2’s and 3’s in the pre-season. Weems is an undrafted prospect with no NFL experience to speak of.

Demetress Bell is by no means an Erick Williams, but he at least has some NFL experience (75 starts in the NFL). Granted he came to camp out of shape, but surely he has more to offer than Weems as a swing tackle. If Tyron Smith gets injured, the Cowboys have no one with any real experience as a LT –  and we all know how well Free fared at that position. The Cowboys will end up regretting it at some point in 2013 if they don’t claim a decent offensive tackle for depth. The decision to cut the veteran Bell in favor of a project like Weems may have been more about the salary cap due to Sean Lees’ new contract than anything else.

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QB Alex Tanney:

The Dallas Cowboys rolled the dice when they decided to waive the former Monmouth QB Alex Tanney. I was furious at the time because I thought he merited a roster spot over the likes of David Arkin and a few others.

Luckily for the Cowboys he cleared waivers, so he will be signed to the practice squad. When I heard the news on Sunday it was a big relief. I am happy that Tim Benford also made it to the practice squad because those two seemed to have developed some pretty good chemistry (despite the botched TD by Benford against the Houston Texans). Alex Tanney has the ability to over throw Kyle Orton and assume the role of the #2 QB for the Dallas Cowboys.

Conclusions:

I am hopeful that the Dallas Cowboys will have a productive season, but when I look at the current depth, it’s alarming to me how many players have no NFL experience, yet they appear to have made the 2013 53 man roster. All the Dallas Cowboys fans, and Jerry Jones for that matter, can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best.

If the starters can stay healthy, the Dallas Cowboys are extremely talented except in the trenches along the offensive and defensive lines. There are just too many question marks at the DT, DE, OG and RT position for me to expect anything more than 8-8.

If any of the veteran starters such as Demarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher, Tyron Smith, Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick, or Barry Church get injured, there is no one with any experience to step up. The same goes for 2nd year CB Morris Claiborne.

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If Anthony Spencer and Jay Ratliff can’t return to pre-injury form, the odds of a successful season are even worse.

The Houston Oilers rushed for 190 yards against the Cowboys in the preseason finale and the offensive line allowed 7 sacks and a whole lot of hurries. People will say it was only a preseason game, but what they are not considering is if these players got beaten up on that badly by 2’s and 3’s, what will happen if they have to step up as starters against 1’s in the event of injury?

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  • C. Joseph Wright

    From the beginning, the move that surprised me the most was letting S. Moore go, but keeping Frampton and Heath. The roster will look a lot different in October.

    • that was a huge mistake! Moore had enough experience to be serviceable. When I spoke to BB he was in agreement that Moore was one player they should have kept.

  • californy

    I be honest I dont like most of those player on that list. I like Tanney and Reed somewhat as prospects. The boys need better depth and the young guns are not good or experience enough to give us real upgrade to this team. We are young with 26 players being under 3 years of NFL playing experience, we will start a Center,Guard (Leary), a Possible Guard (in Free) and Parnell who only started in 1 game in the NFL. That 4 players with combined 1 game experience at their position.