There are 2 preseason games remaining for the 2014 rookie class and we’re counting on them to contribute immediately. The Cowboys will travel to Miami on the 23rd, and then we close out when we host the Broncos on the 28th
— First round of roster cuts will happen on the 26th, three days after the Miami game.
— Final round of roster cuts will happen on the 30th, two days after the Broncos game
Let’s attempt to find which of the 2014 rookie class will make the team.
1st Round (#16): Zack Martin, OL, Notre Dame
2nd Round (#34): Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State
4th Round (#119): Anthony Hitchens, OLB, Iowa
5th Round (#146): Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh
7th Round (#231): Ben Gardner, DE, Stanford
7th Round (#238): Will Smith, LB, Texas Tech
7th Round (#248c): Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor
7th Round (#251c): Ken Bishop, DT, Northern Illinois
7th Round (#254c): Terrance Mitchell, CB, Oregon
Definitely Making the Cut: Martin, Lawrence, Hitchens, Street
Zack Martin has been everything the Cowboys have wanted and more, could end up being the best offensive lineman drafted in the 1st round when this is all said and done. DeMarcus Lawrence will miss half the season, but he’ll be thrown into the fire once he is ready to go. Anthony Hitchens still has work to do, but provides the Cowboys with depth, he’ll likely take over for Carter after this season. Devin Street bolsters the WRs corps especially after the oft injured Miles Austin was released.
Probably Making the Cut: Dixon and Mitchell
To me, Ahmad Dixon and Terrance Mitchell probably make the team because we are short-handed in the secondary right now and they have shown promise during minicamp and training camp. They provide depth and could step in if needed, more reps and experience will help both players out. Dixon will need to make up from his hiccup by playing well in these last two games to cement himself in the safety mix.
On the bubble: Bishop and Smith
Of all the rookies I think Ken Bishop and Will Smith are on the bubble, but Bishop less so. Bishop has been getting a pretty good workload in the preseason. The Cowboys do like Bishop’s versatility as a 1-tech or 3-tech, and they would like to bring the pressure from the middle with fresh legs, so this could help Bishop out. Will Smith isn’t a player we have heard much of most of minicamp, training camp or the preseason and that could be seen as a bad sign or perhaps not. Smith may get a bump on the depth chart if Holloman is going to be out for a significant time, which looks to be the case.
Injured Reserved: Gardner
Ben Gardner looked to be a possible late round steal, but he came on board with a shoulder issue, which turned out to require shoulder surgery. Gardner will be out for the season, so we’ll have to wait some more on what Gardner could do for the Cowboys.
These next two preseason games are going to go a long way when it comes to evaluating who the Cowboys will be keeping. It’ll be interesting to see what the Cowboys do when the cut dates arrive. What’s the deal with Terrell McClain and Amobi Okoye? How will the arrival of Zach Minter effect who stays and goes? We’ll get a better answer in the next two weeks