These “On the Bubble” Cowboys Helped Themselves in the Rams Game

Safety Mana Silva helped his chances to make the roster Saturday night.

Prior to the Cowboys preseason game with the Rams, in a BLOG I identified players that needed to show up big in the Rams game to help make their case for making the 53 man roster which will be named on Friday.  As the cuts are getting closer, here are the guys that I think separated and helped themselves in the Rams preseason game:

BUBBLE: WRs Andre Holmes, Tim Benford and Danny Coale:

Coale stepped up– Out of this group, I think Danny Coale with a catch for 8 yards helped himself the most since it is the first we have seen of him on the field. The Cowboys face quite a dilemma at WR. I think they would like to sneak Holmes and/or Coale past waivers and on to the practice squad.

Also they are considering keeping 7 WRs instead of 6. A healthy Danny Coale complicates things for the Cowboys when it comes time for cuts.

BUBBLE: RBs Jamize Olawale, Javarris Williams  and Lance Dunbar:

No One– Very little change here as these guys saw little action and had little production. The Dolphins preseason game will be big for these three guys and Tanner too. Right now I think Olawale holds the edge to make the roster.

BUBBLE: QBs Stephen McGee and Rudy Carpenter:

McGee stepped up– Stephen McGee had the best game of the two against the Rams as McGee was 4/6 for 52 yards. Not exactly a great game but better than Carpenter’s dismal 0 for 5 performance.

The Cowboys are considering 7 WRs and if they do that, then they must find room from another position which means maybe they only keep 2 QBs on the roster (Romo and Orton). I imagine they would like to have either Carpenter or McGee on the practice squad. However sliding either past waivers without another team grabbing them for their own practice squad, may prove to be tricky.

Both will play plenty in the Dolphins game and their performances may be the deciding factor. Right now I say McGee will be the 3rd QB.

BUBBLE: Defensive Linemen Geathers, Bass, Callaway, and Atkins:

Atkins and Bass stepped up– Atkins finished with 3 tackles to help himself and Bass had a QB pressure in the game. With NT Ratliff injured in the game, it may open the door for two of these guys to make the roster. For now I think Bass and Atkins are in the running but the Dolphins game matters to all these guys.

BUBBLE: LBs Orie Lemon and Adrian Hamilton:

Lemon and Hamilton both stepped up– Both of these LBs showed up big and had good games. Lemon finished with 5 tackles which tied Sean Lee for the most. Hamilton had 3 tackles including a spectacular sack where he knifed through the Rams line to flatten the QB and caused a fumble. Wow Hamilton sure can get after the QB. Perhaps a 3rd down pass rushing specialist?

I would hate to be the one to decide which one of these to keep. Hope Dallas finds room for both of them. The Dolphins game is big for these two guys.

BUBBLE: Secondary Mana Silva, Matt Johnson, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Teddy Williams:

Mana Silva stepped up– Mana appears to be sent from heaven as his name would suggest. He finished with 2 tackles including a nice play on a screen pass where he came up and blew up the screen for no gain. With rookie Johnson aggravating his hamstring again in the game, the door opens a little more for Mana.

Also safety McCray suffered a neck stinger in a collision with teammate Sensabaugh making the need for depth at safety larger perhaps.  Out of these four players, I like Mana’s chances best to make the final roster. He will need a solid game against the Dolphins.

Rookie Matt Johnson represents a dilemma for the Cowboys. They drafted Johnson in the 4th round and have high expectations for him but to say the least, he hasn’t proven himself yet. With the injury, his progress has been very limited and as a player coming form a lower college division, no one can assume that he has what it takes to play in the NFL.

I think sending Johnson to the practice squad for more development would be best.

I think most of these guys will clear cuts on Monday but the final preseason game with the Dolphins will determine if they survive final cuts on Friday.