FRISCO, Texas – It would be a cruel joke to call this a final roster.
If anything, this is all preliminary – a holding pattern while the Cowboys sort through the business aspect of the NFL.
Keep that in mind while you read through the roster, which is complete with notes on where things stand with each position.
Here is a first look at the Cowboys' current 53-man roster, as well as how it might change in the coming days:
Quarterback (2): Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush
The Cowboys chose Rush over the other guys, holding onto the fifth-year veteran while releasing Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci on Tuesday morning. The question now is whether the front office can find an upgrade elsewhere. It's possible the eventual backup isn't currently on this team, but Rush seems to be the favorite for the role. Don't be surprised to see Gilbert or DiNucci wind up on the practice squad, either.
Running Back (2): Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard
The injury that ended Rico Dowdle's season made this an easy decision. JaQuan Hardy, Nick Ralston and Brenden Knox will be practice squad considerations, but there was no need to keep them on the active roster. It's also likely the Cowboys will be scouring the waiver wire for a new No. 3 running back among another team's cuts.
Wide Receiver (5): Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, Malik Turner, Simi Fehoko
Don't be alarmed, CeeDee Lamb and Noah Brown are still on the team. The veteran receivers are still on the reserve/COVID-19 list and don't count toward the 53-man limit. Lamb should be moved back to the active roster by the end of the week, which will necessitate another move. The same goes for Brown when he's ready to come back. Don't be surprised if Malik Turner is eventually moved to injured reserve to rehab his turf toe injury. By virtue of making the initial roster, Turner would be able to return after three weeks if that were to happen.
Tight End (3): Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz, Sean McKeon
Once again, this will be a fluid situation. McKeon will likely find his way to injured reserve to continue rehabbing his ankle sprain, but placing him on the initial roster will allow him to return. Look for the Cowboys to sign a new tight end to replace him later this week – possibly Jeremy Sprinkle, who was released Tuesday.
Offensive Line (10): Tyron Smith, Tyler Biadasz, Zack Martin, La'el Collins, Ty Nsekhe, Terence Steele, Connor McGovern, Brandon Knight, Josh Ball, Matt Farniok
Much like CeeDee Lamb, Connor Williams is still in the COVID protocol and doesn't count toward the roster limit. The team will eventually bring him back to the 53. In the meantime, Matt Farniok seems to be the big beneficiary. It's also possible that Josh Ball will revert to injured reserve after making the team, giving him the opportunity to rehab his sprained ankle. Ty Nsekhe and Terence Steele both will have the chance to provide some tackle depth.
Defensive Line (11): DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Dorance Armstrong, Tarell Basham, Bradlee Anae, Chauncey Golston, Azur Kamara; Neville Gallimore, Osa Odighizuwa, Brent Urban, Quinton Bohanna.
Once again, a lot of moving parts. Gallimore will likely revert to injured reserve, having hyperextended his elbow a couple weeks ago. Carlos Watkins is still around, but still sitting on the COVID-19 list and doesn't count toward the roster. As exciting as it might be to see Anae or Kamara's name on this list, that might change when veterans need to be brought back.
Linebacker (7): Leighton Vander Esch, Keanu Neal, Micah Parsons, Jaylon Smith, Jabril Cox, Luke Gifford, Francis Bernard
Finally, this one is fairly straightforward. Bernard will likely revert to injured reserve with a hamstring injury, but there shouldn't be many other maneuvers required for this group.
Defensive Back (11): Anthony Brown, Trevon Diggs, Jourdan Lewis, Kelvin Joseph, Nahshon Wright, Maurice Canady, C.J. Goodwin; Donovan Wilson, Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, Israel Mukuamu
Don't be surprised if Kelvin Joseph is another name that reverts to injured reserve, as the rookie hurt his groin in the preseason finale and may need a few weeks to recover. Damontae Kazee is still on the team's COVID-19 list and will return eventually. Darian Thompson has been released, but he is a vested veteran and could potentially return to the practice squad. Sixth-round draft pick Israel Mukuamu worked his way onto the 53 after a strong preseason.
Specialists (2): Greg Zuerlein, Bryan Anger
Jake McQuaide's release is purely ceremonial, a roster trick to get under the 53. The vested veteran can and will re-sign tomorrow.