FRISCO, Texas – If you're putting together a 53-man roster for the Dallas Cowboys, there doesn't seem to be much suspense.
Do they keep six receivers? Do they keep seven linebackers? Do they keep four tight ends? Ten defensive backs? Eight defensive linemen?
There are probably five or six players competing for two or three spots, just like it is every year, but there does not appear to be anybody of note on the block as they get ready for their final two preseason games.
Who do you think will be a "Surprise" cut once the rosters get down to 53. #cowboysmail— JP ✭ (@NYC_Cowsheep) August 24, 2017
Honestly, I don't know if there will be a surprise cut.
Had the Cowboys been able to see rookies Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis practice more, maybe Nolan Carroll would have been on the bubble, even if he was given a $3 million signing bonus in free agency over the offseason.
Cedric Thornton's $3 million base salary is guaranteed, so he likely wasn't going anywhere anyway, but the fact that he has not been able to stay healthy this summer is problematic, especially after he was off to a pretty good start. If the Cowboys line up today to play a game, Stephen Paea would be the nose tackle, not Thornton.
Some fans might think James Hanna could be on the bubble, especially with so many wanting to see Rico Gathers, but there is no talk of that inside the building. And Gathers is getting over what appears to be a pretty serious concussion. Hanna would qualify as a surprise, but that's not happening.
Nzeocha can play his way on to the roster in the final two preseason games but needs to excel in special teams. Cleary, who was the Cowboys' swing tackle for most of last season, is caught in a numbers' game if the Cowboys keep just eight offensive linemen. Hillman remains where he was when he signed with the Cowboys: behind Darren McFadden, Rod Smith and Alfred Morris. It's hard to see the Cowboys keeping five running backs with Ezekiel Elliott suspended.
Morris' fate could be tied to Elliott's fate. If the suspension is overturned, then maybe the Cowboys look trade him, but that will be a last-second move.
It'll come down to the coaches' tastes and priorities, but surprise cuts? I just don't see any right now.