OXNARD, Calif. - Dallas Cowboys training camp is here, and so, just around the corner, are roster cut-downs. A quintet of Cowboys vets who figure to be on the bubble here in Oxnard:
1 Cooper Rush - There might be logic in keeping two quarterbacks behind starter Dak Prescott, though one might be plenty. But somebody is going to out. Garrett Gilbert is viewed as the No. 2. Ben DiNucci remains coach Mike McCarthy’s hand-picked project.
That leaves Rush getting squeezed.
2 Noah Brown - Rookie receiver Simi Fehoko has a big mountain to climb here, but if Dallas keeps six wideouts, he’s got a shot. And at 6-4, 225 and with speed? If he proves he can do some of the things that Brown is touted as being able to do? Maybe he bumps Brown entirely.
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3 Carlos Watkins - He was a starter last year in Houston’s 3-4 defense, and he posted a career-high two sacks,, at 6-3 and 305 getting upfield a little bit. But new Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn had a big voice in the recent NFL Draft in which Dallas selected three D-linemen. What if all three show something? Youth might win out.
4 Jayron Kearse - The big-bodied vet doesn’t have much of a history of playing safety; he’s made his money on special teams. He was signed via free agency, so somebody in the scouting department likes him. How much will somebody on the coaching staff like him?
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5 Darian Thompson - Would Dallas cut two vet safeties? Unlikely, but again, beyond special teams, Thompson - who started seven games last year - doesn’t really help the defense. Atlanta’s Damontae Kazee is here to take over at free safety. At strong? Donovan Wilson should be the starter, but otherwise? This is a chance to get younger, and hopefully better.