Ronald Martinez, Getty Images
Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears runs the ball in the second quarter against Danny McCray #40 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.
Tuesday, I posted my top three snubs from the Cowboys’ 53-man roster cut down—a list that included linebacker Brandon Magee, wide receiver Eric Rogers, and defensive tackle Jerome Long. To retain that trio, the Cowboys obviously would have had to release three in their place. Here are the top three players who should have been cut by Dallas.
G David Arkin
This one is painfully obvious. Since getting drafted in the fourth round in 2011, Arkin hasn’t shown anything in games to suggest that he can be a capable NFL starter. Actually, he hasn’t even shown that he should be a backup. It’s really surprising that Dallas would keep Arkin given his presumably low upside, but it might speak to their lack of confidence in the health of their interior linemen.
S Danny McCray
McCray got some time with the starting defense last year because of injuries, and he looked exactly like we thought he’d look. McCray was picked on all year, getting targeted 42 times in only 658 snaps—a really high rate for a safety. He gave up a 71.4 percent completion rate, 12.2 YPA, and a 118.5 passer rating on those throws. Yikes.
My main issue with keeping McCray is that it was obviously done for special teams reasons. It’s popular to argue that special teams is “one-third of the game,” but it isn’t. It’s right around 10 percent of the game, and a highly volatile 10 percent at that. Special teams is obviously important, but the results are influenced more heavily by randomness than offensive or defensive play. In keeping a player around solely for special teams reasons, the Cowboys are just losing a spot for a young player who could potentially work his way into the starting lineup—where his play would really matter.
S Eric Frampton
Frampton played well in limited time last year; he didn’t allow a catch in 117 snaps. But like McCray, he’s a low-upside player and already 29 years old. With Heath, Wilcox, and McCray all backup safeties, I’m not sure why the ‘Boys would hang onto Frampton as well. Even if one of the starters goes down, you’d think the team has enough depth at the position that someone would be able to fill in. Frampton’s place on the team suggests the coaches aren’t ready to see any of the young guns in the starting lineup just yet.