From my experience in this league, it was never an easy time of the year when it came to reducing your roster but you had to put your feelings aside and do the job to the best of your ability. You apperciate the hard work and effort that these players give you but you have to move on. I have always felt that the really good front offices were never married to their roster.
What Jerry Jones and this scouting staff need to do is treat these cutdown days as the second draft. It's an outstanding opportunity to potentially add one or two players to this 53 man roster but also look outside the box at different teams and their cuts to see if those players might be a nice fit for the practice sqaud. Use those players to build depth that you can develop. This is the last significent opportunity to help your team and they need to be ready to take full advantage of it.
Of the players released Tuesday, in my view, there were only two real surprises. The club taking a look at cornerback, Xavier Brewer over Brandon Underwood for another week and wide receiver Eric Rogers not getting one more shot as well. There were some practices early in this camp where I thought if they were going to keep six cornerbacks, that Underwood would have been a consideration but his play tailed off in practice and didn't make enough plays in the preseason games to remain on the roster. Rogers like Underwood was an early star at camp with some circus catches but he just could not sustain that type of momentum to carry him on this roster. We will have to see if there is another opportunity for him down the road because he did flash some skill.
Of the reserve catgories, placing Jay Raliff on the physcially unable to perform list does buy this team some time to get him completely healthy but it's a huge blow to this defensive line that had also lost a key backup in Tyrone Crawford. I hear what everyone is saying about Ratliff and how this team should just move on from him because of his age and health but frustration doesn't always lead to wise decisions.
When this front office sat down in the Spring and went through how they were going to construct this 4-3 defense, I guarentee that Ratliff's name at three technique was high on everyone's idea of how this defense could look. I also guarentee that when Jerry Jones asked Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli what they thought the possiblitles were working with Ratliff that to a man they were positive of the fit. Just take a moment and look back how the draft went for this club in regards to selecting a defensive linemen. Both Kiffin and Marinelli conviced Jones that they could play with the current group and Jay Ratliff was a big part of that.
It's a shame that Jay Ratliff is unable to open the season on the active roster because his ability in this scheme would have been a great fit and hopefully for this club in six weeks, he will be able to prove that.