Here are some thoughts I have as the Cowboys get ready to end the preseason Wednesday night against the Dolphins at Cowboys Stadium.
Not Many Spots AvailableBy the time you get to the fourth preseason game, the hay is usually in the barn. Sure there are some roster spots that might be in question but it's really about one or two. The front office and coaches are trying hard to figure out who player 52 and 53 are and that can make things a little tricky but for the most part training camp practices and games should have told you all you needed to know about you're squad. What you also have to factor in is are these players even on your roster or is the waiver wire or a phone call from another team going to bring those last two players?
Avoid InjuriesThis game with the Dolphins will be more about trying to get through it healthy, we all remember what happened to receiver Raymond Radway on the very last play of the pre-season in 2011 when he had an excellent shot to make the final roster but suffered a leg injury that ended those dreams. The biggest fear of the front office and coaches is to lose a player or two that you are counting on for depth in the upcoming season. You have invested a great deal of time in trying to put together this roster for the grind that is the NFL season. To lose a backup tackle or safety that you are counting on to an injury is a sick feeling for a personnel staff.
How many QBs?The biggest debate on Thursday in the offices at Valley Ranch will be does the team carry two or three quarterbacks? I personally believe they will carry two and focus on other positions for extra depth. I have always believed that you should go long at your offensive and defensive lines because those are the hardest positions to find off the street. Teams don't want to give up on those players quickly without taking a shot to try and develop them. Another factor will be age, look at the defensive line for the Cowboys. Jay Ratliff, Marcus Spears, Kenyon Coleman and Jason Hatcher have had a great deal of service in this league and getting up there in age. The line on both sides of the ball is a position where you don't want to get old all at once.
Long at Safety?The safety spot is another position where they might be forced to go a little long as well. I would try and create some kind of injured reserved situation for Matt Johnson but they might be forced to carry him to try and get him well. Remember also that Danny McCray was injured in the Rams game so what is his status? In my view, Mana Silva will make this football team if McCray struggles to get back. You have to protect yourself here and Silva has done enough to give you that option.
There still are goals to try and reach tonight for this football team but the most important one is to walk out of Cowboys Stadium with everyone upright.