The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of time to figure out which 53 players will make the team’s final roster. However, it won’t be an easy task. There are plenty of positions that will feature intense competition in the offseason as young players and veterans battle it out for the final spots.
But there are some under-the-radar players who don’t seem to get as much attention as they deserve ahead of OTAs and mandatory camp.
DE Ron’Dell Carter
Last year, the Cowboys signed Carter as an undrafted free agent out of James Madison. Carter, who started 16 games as a senior in college, had 12 sacks and was regarded as one of the best defenders in the FCS.
The Indianapolis Colts poached Carter from the Cowboys’ practiced squad on September 30 last season. It became clear the Cowboys liked Carter a lot once they claimed him off waivers after the Colts let him go five games later, all of which Carter was left off the 46-man gameday roster.
After signing his Exclusive Rights Free Agent tender, Carter will compete for a spot in Dan Quinn’s defense. He has an uphill battle to climb competing against Dorance Armstrong, Bradlee Anae, among others. But the coaching staff likes Carter and as a 6’3” 23-year-old, I like his chances.
OT Isaac Alarcón
After spending the entire 2020 season in the Cowboys’ practice squad, the offensive tackle from Mexico is a legitimate candidate to make the roster this season. Recently, he led the offensive tackles’ drills in rookie minicamp, according to ESPN’s Carlos Nava.
Mike McCarthy also talked about his improvements over the last year.
“I liked the way he looked when he stepped inside. Isaac is here every day. I don’t think there’s been a workout or a time going into the weight room that I haven’t seen him. He’s very diligent. You just love his attitude. He’s definitely made a lot of improvements since last year.”
Private coach Duke Manyweather recently talked to A to Z Sports Dallas about what he sees in Alarcón and what makes him “one of those freaks.” As a member of the International Player Pathway, the Cowboys are allowed to keep Alarcón as the “91th” member of the offseason 90-man roster.
DL Carlos Watkins
Length, length, length. That seems to be the new Dallas Cowboys’ mantra on defense. In the NFL Draft, the front office consistently got Dan Quinn defensive prospects with long arms. But this trend started with free agency.
Cowboys signed three defensive linemen as unrestricted free agents this offseason. Their arm lengths. Sense a pattern?
Tarell Basham: 34 1/4”
Brent Urban: 34 1/4”
Carlos Watkins: 34 5/8” https://t.co/rkmU6Y9rH0
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) May 1, 2021
As excited as Cowboys’ fans are about their young players along the defensive line, it’s always a good idea to keep veterans around. We still don’t know how Osa Odighizuwa will actually look like on the field. The same goes for Nose Tackle Quinton Bohanna or even Trysten Hill.
Watkins’ $1.35 million will make him fight a tougher battle in camp, but he has a strong chance at making the 53-man roster.
Featured image via Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports