DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys have to get to 85 men on their roster by Aug. 17 at 3:00 p.m. Central Time.
"I've always looked at the roster development as, it's really the responsibility of the players, because they compete, and things shake out," coach Mike McCarthy said on Aug. 11.
The players did their part helping shake things out in the Cowboys' 19-16 loss at the Arizona Cardinals last Friday. Now the decision must be made. Here are five players who the Turk could visit by Tuesday afternoon:
1. LB Francis Bernard — The former 2020 undrafted free agent from Utah didn't see any action against the Cardinals. The linebacking corps is fine, and the breathing room would help to give fourth-round rookie Jabril Cox more snaps.
2. WR Brennan Eagles — The former Texas Longhorn is trying to make the team as an undrafted free agent, and special teams does afford an opening given the team is resting cornerback C.J. Goodwin, their ace, throughout the exhibition season. Eagles saw seven special teams snaps and none on offense against the Cardinals.
3. CB Kyron Brown — The 25-year-old was among the 15 who did not play against the Cardinals. The Cowboys have enough cornerbacks that need work, or youngsters trying to make an impression on special teams. On July 27, McCarthy said one of the reasons they brought in Brown was for the competition. "The first thing is our numbers are not exactly there and you’re always looking," said McCarthy. "I know our personnel staff felt really good about him so I think he gives us another young man to compete."
4. WR Aaron Parker — The 6-3, 208-pound wideout provides promise as a big-bodied receiver, but he only saw two targets among his 20 snaps on offense. Parker did contribute with 10 special teams snaps. If the Cowboys don't feel he is viable enough to play special teams, they could let him go.
5. QB Cooper Rush — This could be a risky one, but why it shouldn't bite the Cowboys is because his upside is relatively known to the rest of the NFL. Rush has been in the NFL since 2017 and has bounced between the Cowboys and the New York Giants, who have had former Dallas coach Jason Garrett on their staff since 2020.
A bigger risk would be letting Ben DiNucci out of the building as the former 2020 seventh-round pick from James Madison still technically has some upside.
Which of these five players do you think is most likely to survive the first round of roster cuts? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.