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Saturday, August 30, 2008
Cowboys: Cutdown analysis


Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Biggest surprise: If you've been reading the NFC East blog this afternoon, none of these names should surprise you -- save for one. I may have nailed 20 of the 22 cuts, but I didn't see the Mike Jefferson cut coming. After T.O. and Patrick Crayton, I have no clue who's going to play receiver against the Browns. Sam Hurd, Isaiah Stanback and Miles Austin are all hurt. The Cowboys cut Jefferson and "Hard Knocks" favorites Danny Amendola and Todd Lowber, so prepare yourself for an emotional episode.

Third-team quarterback Richard Bartel came close to making the team, but he ended up being the last man on the chopping block. I'm hearing that the Cowboys are actively pursuing quarterbacks Chris Simms and Brooks Bollinger. If they don't get either player, Bartel will once again be on the practice squad.

Cowboys fans who have followed training camp closely will be surprised to see linebacker Erik Walden on the cutdown list. I'm told that a couple of folks at Valley Ranch were fighting for Walden, but the Cowboys decided to keep two extra cornerbacks, Evan Oglesby and Alan Ball, instead.

Rookie safety Dowayne Davis had an excellent training camp, but the Cowboys only needed four players at his position. Tailback Keon Lattimore (Ray Lewis' little brother) didn't survive the final cut, but that's not a surprise. The fact that the Cowboys kept former third-round pick James Marten is mildly surprising. But it's another sign that teams hate to admit when they've screwed up a pick.

No-brainers
: It would've been nice to see what defensive end Marcus Dixon could've done, but his back never allowed him to show anything. Linebacker Tearrius George flashed during a couple of preseason games, but he was fighting an uphill battle. Defensive tackle Junior Siavii is a solid player, but the Cowboys already had too many players at his position. They tried to trade him, but no one's interested in doing deals if they feel like they can get a guy free and clear.

What's next
: The team will continue to search for another quarterback. I know Bollinger a little bit. He wasn't impressive the other night in Dallas, but he's definitely someone who could hold the fort if he had to. The Cowboys will study the waiver wire this evening, so the guys in spots 45-53 shouldn't get too comfortable. Expect lots more shots of the Turk on "Hard Knocks" this week.