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Mailbag: Toughest Roster Cuts? Confidence In Dak's Practices?
With all the promising young guys on the team, how do they fit in the 53? We can't carry 6 WR, 4 RB, 3 QB, 4 TE, extra DBs while keeping DL depth due to suspensions. Sounds like Noah Brown, Rod Smith, Cooper Rush, Rico Gathers, and Duke Thomas can't be surreptitiously placed on the practice squad.
David: When you have a talented team, you’re going to have to make some tough cuts – that’s the nature of it. I’m not going to say it’s fortunate, but the suspensions this team is facing should allow them to keep some people they normally wouldn’t. As it stands right now, suspensions to guys like Ezekiel Elliott, David Irving and Damontre’ Moore will allow them to hold on to a handful of bubble players. On top of that, the practice squad has been expanded to 10 in recent years, which opens up a few more spots. There will be some tough cuts, but I think they’ll be able to keep the majority of the guys they want to keep.
Rob: I hate to say this, but injuries usually play a factor by the time Sept. 2 rolls around. It’s hard to predict now when we don’t know where the Cowboys might be light entering the opener. Right now, I’d guess Gathers makes the team as the fourth tight end and perhaps Cooper Rush can make a push to be the third quarterback kept over a sixth receiver such as Brown or Andy Jones.
It seems every time I read about practice, Dak has some good moments, but also a decent amount of tipped or intercepted throws. Is this a product of better defensive production or Dak still learning defenses? Or are those things common in camp?
David: It’s the age old question of “good defense or bad offense?” I have watched every rep Dak Prescott has taken in this training camp, and I think he’s been phenomenal. Obviously, he’s going to throw some interceptions, because he’s throwing 40 or 50 passes per practice. That’s the nature of this game. What I’m looking for is his command of the offense, his comfort in the pocket and his ability to read the defense. He’s been great in all of those aspects.
Rob: Let’s not forget Prescott is probably taking 7 of 11 plays in every practice period. That’s a lot more than he had last year as the second-and third-string quarterback. Overall he has been very sharp in this camp. He has said there are times in practice he might take a chance or two with a pass in a tight window. If he’s going to test that, better now than a game. Read