Although the Cowboys recently made a handful of changes to their team, the 53-man roster is now pretty much set. There weren’t any incredibly surprising cuts, but there were still some players who I thought got snubbed. Let’s take a look.
LB Brandon Magee
Magee was among the NFL’s league leaders in preseason tackles, taking down the ball-carrier 20 times in just 102 snaps. That 19.6 percent tackle rate is remarkable, albeit in a limited sample; it was nearly twice that of Cowboys sixth-round rookie linebacker DeVonte Holloman. Magee didn’t make any splash plays like Holloman, but he was consistently around the football.
I’m so surprised that the Cowboys cut Magee because they decided to keep and trade for multiple veteran linebackers. There might be some uncertainty surrounding Magee, but that doesn’t make him risky. There’s a difference between those two traits—a difference it seems like the Cowboys still can’t recognize. Why not retain just one of Justin Durant and Ernie Sims, then pair Magee with Holloman as young outside backers with upside?
WR Eric Rogers
Rogers was actually cut last week, but I’m not sure why. The Cowboys love Cole Beasley, but wide receivers at his size just don’t offer much value. Beasley will never be a red zone-relevant receiver, and he’s not even very efficient between the 20s.
Meanwhile, Rogers is 6-3, 210 pounds. And size matters way more than speed for receivers. The average size of the top 10 wide receivers from 2012 is 6-2, 218 pounds. That’s pretty remarkable and speaks to the importance of height in particular. When dealing with two players who are really around just for upside, why not retain the one whose ceiling isn’t imaginary?
DT Jerome Long
Long didn’t generate much buzz, but he was really efficient as a pass-rusher from the inside. The defensive tackle had nine pressures on 82 snaps—an extremely high 11.0 percent pressure rate. In comparison, Jason Hatcher, who had a career year in 2012, posted a pressure rate of just 6.2 percent.
With Jay Ratliff out on the PUP list and veteran Nick Hayden set to start next to Hatcher, the Cowboys really need depth at the defensive tackle position. They decided to go with Ben Bass and Landon Cohen, but I think Long is probably an even better option.