Cowboys: Cutdown analysis

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Biggest surprise: I'm a little surprised to see the Cowboys cut two of their Day 2 draft picks, Cincinnati defensive backs Deangelo Smith and Mike Mickens. Both players struggled in training camp, but I'd heard enough good about Smith to make me think the Cowboys would give him an opportunity. And it's not like the Cowboys are that deep in the secondary. Mike Mickens was believed to be somewhat of a steal in the seventh round. But he's still showing signs of a knee injury and he gets beat in coverage way too much. He did sort of rally in the final preseason game, so the Cowboys may try to get him through to the practice squad. And Smith is definitely a practice squad candidate. The Cowboys also announced that linebacker Stephen Hodge out of TCU was going on injured reserve. At this point, the 2009 draft class is looking pretty ragged -- what's left of it at least. You have kickoff specialst David Buehler and linebacker Victor Butler. And that's about it.

No-brainers: Most of these receivers were no-brainers. Manuel Johnson finally did a couple things in the final preseason game, but it was too late. And Jesse Holley had his moment in the sun with the punt return for a touchdown. I don't think there's a place in this league for the "Fourth and Long" reality TV show winner. I guess the Cowboys didn't think they could get Stephen McGee through to the practice squad. He's a fourth-round pick that didn't really show them much in training camp. Reserve quarterback Rudy Carpenter was released this afternoon, but he could end up on the practice squad. I also think tight end Scott Chandler is likely to make the practice squad. Tearrious George was a former Kansas State player who was signed late in the preseason to spark the pass rush. Guess it didn't work out.

What's next? The Cowboys need to scour the waiver wires for help at cornerback. They tried to bring in a couple of young guys toward the end of the preseason, but they didn't get the job done. I know the Cowboys love to see who the Ravens release. That's been a pipeline for them in the past (Lance Frazier, anyone?). Right now, Alan Ball is the fourth corner. And there's really nothing behind him. Pretty amazing that they may have whiffed on both Cincinnati defensive backs. I know they were late-round guys, but you'd like to see at least one of them stick. The Cowboys might look to sign a veteran corner after that first game. They don't want to have to guarantee a salary to a vested veteran.