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Mailbag: Keeping Just 2 QBs & 2 RBs On The Roster?


I would appreciate your thoughts on this idea: In building the 53-man roster, consider keeping only two quarterbacks (Prescott and Gilbert) and two running backs (Zeke and Pollard) and use the extra two roster spots to fortify the lines. –GEORGE VUKAZICH / SAN GABRIEL, CA

David: I love this idea, and there's actually some precedent for it. In 2018, the Cowboys opted for just two running backs on the initial roster, keeping Zeke Elliott and Rod Smith while releasing Bo Scarbrough and Darius Jackson. Talented as they might be, it seems like a good bet you could sneak a Rico Dowdle or a Sewo Olonilua onto the practice squad. The big question will be the third quarterback. If Ben DiNucci flashes during the preseason, you can't risk subjecting him to waivers. But if they don't see some potential, I'd have no problem using that roster spot on an extra lineman.

Nick: I've never really thought there was a strong need for three quarterbacks on the roster. So I'm with you there on keeping two. I think DiNucci will be someone that can go to the practice squad. Maybe some team will try to claim him but I would imagine he gets to the PS. As for the running back spot, that will probably come down to special teams. That third back is probably more of a kick coverage and maybe kick return guy anyway. I'd have no real issues doing that as long as I felt good about having some depth on the practice squad.

With all the speculation about the backup quarterback competition, I'm curious if y'all think it's possible that the team's eventual backup isn't on the roster right now? As teams around the NFL begin to trim their rosters down, I'm guessing some other options will become available later in the summer. – CLIFFORD STRICKLAND / JACKSONVILLE, TX

David: This is a great under-the-radar storyline to watch, in my opinion. I don't really want to speculate about specific quarterbacks, because those guys are all currently employed by other teams. But if you look around the league, you can see a handful of situations where a veteran backup might be forced out by the young talent around him. When we get closer to cut down day, I wonder if the Cowboys might maneuver to acquire some more experience at the position.

Nick: If this was something you could bet on in Vegas, and I'm not sure it isn't, but the safest bet would probably be what you just said – saying the No. 2 quarterback is not on the roster yet. I don't have a problem with Gilbert as the backup but we might change our tune after camp and the preseason games. And yes, there will be some names you've heard of that come across the wire. The key is, how quickly they can pick up a new system and how much better they really are than Gilbert, DiNucci or Rush.

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