Cowboys-Dolphins: Kickers, Health and ... Nope, That's About It
I'm interested in tonight's Cowboys-Dolphins pre-season finale in Miami. But just barely. If third-string QB Stephen McGee is in the game, I want him handing off to DeMarco Murray.
With Terence Newman, Tashard Choice, Kyle Kosier and Bradie James not even on the trip and starters like Tony Romo and DeMarcus Ware not expected to play, tonight's game isn't about team -- but rather individuals.
The Cowboys have to cut their roster from 80 to 53 on Saturday. Yikes.
I'm most fascinated by the kicking situation. The Cowboys have five -- that's right, five -- kickers on their roster. They alleviated some pressure this week by placing UCLA alum Kai Forbath on the Reserve Non-Football Injury list, meaning he won't count against the 53 but also can't play until after Week 6.
Since they invested a 5th-round draft pick and a season into him already, I still think it's David Buehler's job to lose. He made 75 percent of his field goals last year but also missed eight and botched an extra point against the Cardinals. His two-week absence with a strained hip flexor won't help his case.
Rookie Dan Bailey and veterans Shayne Graham and Dave Rayner (signed this week after being cut by the Lions) will each a kick or two tonight.
Of all the unsettled positions, it's the Cowboys' most chaotic. But it isn't the only still up in the air.
Another 5th-rounder, cornerback Josh Thomas from Cedar Hill, needs a good game to hold off Mario Butler in the secondary and special teams.
Truth be told, receiver Raymond Radway from McKinney has had a better pre-season than 6th-round pick Dwayne Harris. I hear that Radway is already on other teams' radar, so sneaking him onto the practice squad probably isn't doable.
This might be the last game in a Cowboys' uniform for Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. His kick returns are mediocre, his tackling as a safety is shoddy, and his ball skills are below average. Bryann McCann is a better all-around player.
Since the Cowboys are in a mode of accountability and not afraid to cut overvalued veterans, we might also be seeing the last gasp of linebacker Brandon Williams, part of the forgettable 2009 draft. Boston College rookie Alex Albright is just better at this point.
Fullback. Hmm. Will the Cowboys even have one on this roster? And, if so, will it be incumbent Chris Gronkowski, draft choice Shaun Chapas or rookie Jason Pociask?
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