IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys need to have their roster cuts submitted to the league office by 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. The first batch, that is – not the final cuts.
Tuesday marks the first of two cut days this week, as NFL teams are required to reduce their roster from 90 men to 75. The final cut from 75 to 53 is due by Saturday afternoon. It’s not a new rule, but it is somewhat curious, with plenty of people arguing that teams should just make one cut rather than two.
“It’s been talked about. Very fair question and it’s had a lot of discussion,” said Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones on Monday at AT&T Stadium. “There’s reasons but I think ultimately it may go there sooner than later.”
Jones is a member of the NFL’s competition committee, so he’d certainly be privy to those conversations. Whether the rules change in the future remains to be seen, but Jones said one of the main reasons for the current setup is to give teams access to a wider pool of players.
“Access to players from other teams is something that’s probably been out there forever – ‘Hey, don’t let people hide players, horde players. Let them have a chance to go somewhere else, let other teams have access to them,’” he said.
That’s a viewpoint Jones said he respects, but he added that it might be overcomplicating a process that ultimately concerns players on the bottom of NFL depth charts.
“In my mind we’re not talking about a group of players that are really that meaningful. That’s probably a bad word, but at the end of the day, not that sought after -- very meaningful because they could be very helpful in this fourth game,” he
“Some people have a very firm feeling that you ought to have these cuts and ought to have access to players and clubs shouldn’t be able to hold payer. I respect that. Everyone has their own view, but I think at some point that could change.”
Were it solely up to him, Jones said he’d probably prefer the rule to be changed to utilize just one cut. He did acknowledge, however, that there’s plenty more that goes into the process than his opinion.
“At the end of the day, I would be on the side that you ought to cut them at one time. And I think we can work through all the logistics, the physicals and everything that goes with it,” he said. “But that’s one man’s opinion and we put a lot of work and a lot of thought process into that and you certainly respect the people you work on the committee with and certainly respect where it might end up in terms of a vote, but it wouldn’t surprise me at some point if that changes.”
In the meantime, the Cowboys will carry 75 players into their preseason finale against Denver on Thursday. They still have nearly a week to make their final decisions, and Jones said those choices aren’t set in stone – yet.
“There are jobs up for grabs,” he said. “I think we obviously start right now, starting yesterday, going through a test of who now and what could change and there’s a handful of guys here who are battling and let’s see how they answer the bell on Thursday and here we go.”