ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys just trimmed their preseason roster to a league-mandated 75 players. On Saturday they'll make final cuts toward determining the 53-man roster for the regular season.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones says Thursday's preseason finale against the Texans is a "big game" for players battling for jobs at the back end of the roster.
"There are spots open," Jones said from the team's annual Kickoff Luncheon at AT&T Stadium. "They're competing not only against what's here on this team but they're competing against all the other players in the NFL right now. They know it's not just on this team where the competition is. This game will be a big game for a lot of players that are looking for those last four or five roster spots that are on the line.
"I know they're aware of that; I know the coaches make them aware of it. But nothing's given to you. It should be a big deal tomorrow night."
Like the rest of the league, the Cowboys will keep an eye on players on the waiver wire. Thirty-one other teams must trim from 75 to 53, too.
The Cowboys have worked diligently to improve their overall roster depth in recent years. When it comes to determining those final four or five roster spots, they'll have to weigh whether their own bubble players fit the team better than players on waivers from somewhere else.
"We might be surprised when we go out there and start looking around (that) it may be harder to find upgrades more than we think it will be," Jones said. "We've usually done a good job of that in terms of looking at the waiver wire and churning the bottom part of our roster. I think Jason (Garrett) is great with that. He's not stuck (on), 'Hey, this is our team and we're keeping it.' And of course Will (McClay) and our scouting staff do a tremendous job of really working the tape and working the wire and looking for upgrades."