IRVING, Texas -- Five Wonders is usually a Tuesday staple during the regular season, but after Saturday's final cuts we decided to break it out on Sunday.
For the first time since 2011 with Stephen McGee the Cowboys have kept three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster with Dustin Vaughan joining Tony Romo and Brandon Weeden. I wonder if the Cowboys did not want to risk losing Vaughan at the final cuts and might look to cut him in the next day or two after the opposing teams settle their roster. It would be a way to sneak him through waivers and onto the practice squad. It might be a reach and nobody truly can “sneak” a player through waivers these days, but I believe teams are reluctant to add young quarterbacks to the roster in which they have no previous relationship. Vaughan really progressed since signing in May. He was erratic in the spring but started to come on in camp and in the preseason. Will he ever be a starter? I wouldn't go that far, but he has enough tools to make him worth developing. He has a big arm and he showed some surprising mobility.
Last week Jerry Jones said there would be no additions to the Ring of Honor this year, but that could be subject to change. I wonder if he will put Ryan Williams in there after the 112 yards he put up on the ground in three preseason games. I kid, I kid. But the Cowboys' decision to cut Williams was panned by a lot of people. I had one guy tell me Williams was the Cowboys' best runner, and I wonder if I needed to introduce him to DeMarco Murray. Williams had a good summer. He ran hard. He showed some good vision against the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins. But there is more to being a backup running back than just running the ball. The fourth tailback has to play special teams. Williams was only OK and certainly not as good as Joseph Randle, who is the third tailback. When it was ones against ones in the first preseason game, Randle did a nice job and enough to show the Cowboys he was worth keeping but he would have been inactive every week. If Williams clears waivers, which is a distinct possibility because of his injury history and lack of production with the Arizona Cardinals, then he could be brought back to the practice squad and signed to the active roster at any point.
On Tuesday I expect the Cowboys to put rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence on injured reserve with a designation to return. Lawrence can't go on that list sooner than Tuesday. I wonder if the Cowboys look to bring back Kenneth Boatright or Dartwan Bush to the active roster. Boatright and Bush were among the final cuts and also practice-squad eligible. To me, I would put Boatright on the active roster because he has more pass rush. Even with the addition of Lavar Edwards, I don't see enough natural pass-rushers on this roster.
If you're wondering about whether the Cowboys will add veteran players after these cuts, I think you should stop. Maybe Kevin Vickerson of the Denver Broncos would make sense. He was hard for the Cowboys to block in the last preseason game. But I had people ask via Twitter if the Cowboys would go after Champ Bailey. Well, if it was the Bailey everybody remembered, I would say yes, but that guy never would have been available. But here's the big reason as to why I don't think they'll go after many (or any) vested veterans: if they are on the roster the first week of the regular season, they are guaranteed their base salary for the rest of the season. I believe that played a part in the departure of veteran guard Uche Nwaneri at the final cuts.
I wonder who the 53rd player on the roster is right now. Could it be tackles Darrion Weems or John Wetzel. I wonder if Wetzel played better in the Broncos game that it would have spelled the end for Weems, who hurt his shoulder the first week of camp. I wonder if it is safety Jemea Thomas, who has yet to have a full practice with the club after getting picked up off waivers from the New England Patriots. I wonder if it is linebacker Cameron Lawrence, who figures to be a key special teamer, or fullback Tyler Clutts. The bottom of this roster should not exhale for quite some time. The Cowboys will be rolling through players over the next few days, weeks and months.