By now, you’ve probably seen the initial Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster. However, one week away from the regular season kickoff versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there are still a few moves left to be made. On Thursday, the Cowboys sent six players to Injured Reserve as they sort out how the final 53 will look like.
Among those Cowboys placed on IR, there are not any big surprises. Most of these players were expected to end up there. Perhaps the most surprising one was CB Kelvin Joseph, who suffered a groin injury in the Cowboys’ preseason finale versus the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Headed to injured reserve for Cowboys, eligible to return this season: CB Kelvin Joseph (groin), NT Neville Gallimore (elbow), TE Sean McKeon (ankle), OT Josh Ball (ankle), WR Malik Turner (foot) and LB Francis Bernard (hamstring).
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 2, 2021
Joseph tweeted out after the game that his injury was minor. Now that he’s on IR, he’ll have to miss at least three games before being eligible to return. It’s been a training camp/preseason filled with ups and downs for the second-round rookie.
The Cowboys’ cornerback was expected to compete for the starting role throughout the offseason. At some point in 2021, he might get it. But even before the injury, it was apparent that the rookie wasn’t going to start against the Bucs on Week 1.
From these, the player that the Dallas Cowboys will miss the most should be Neville Gallimore, who was also injured in the preseason. The sophomore was projected to be the team’s starting three-tech defensive tackle. Without him, an already thin unit might be the Cowboys’ biggest concern heading into the 2021 NFL season.
Josh Ball will have to wait to compete for the swing tackle spot that’s currently held by Ty Nsekhe. Although his play wasn’t the best in the preseason, the fact that the Cowboys “protected” him in the final preseason game tells us he’s the team’s favorite option for the role. Once Ball comes back and starts practicing, that could change deeper into the season.
But not everything is bad news for the Dallas Cowboys. They’ve got three players – all projected starters – returning from the Reserve/COVID-19 list as they get ready for Week 1. Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn is also back in the building, according to reports.
The Cowboys will activate wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, safety Damontae Kazee and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins from the reserve/COVID list, according to a source. Good news as Cowboys intensify prep work for Tampa Bay opener.
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) September 2, 2021
This leaves Connor Williams and Noah Brown as the only two players left on the COVID-19 protocol. Hopefully, they can return in time for the game versus the Bucs. Even more so Connor Williams, who should be starting at left guard. The Cowboys will need him, especially if La’el Collins isn’t ready to return by then.
Featured image via Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports