The Cowboys sucked last season for several reasons, one of which being the fact they had a need at almost every single position. As a result, almost every player is at risk of getting the axe. At the same time, then, there are very few players who I’d be shocked to see go, but here are the guys who I think are most likely going to be leaving town.
Darren McFadden, RB
McFadden is certainly the biggest surprise on this list as he was last year’s starter and he was effective. He ran for over 1000 yards and had the 4th most total yards of all running backs. However, Ezekiel Elliot will be the number one back this year and I think Lance Dunbar will be in the best spot to take carries away from the rookie thanks to his receiving ability and change of pace nature. That makes both Morris and McFadden expendable and despite his production, McFadden will only cost the Cowboys $100,000 in dead cap room, whereas Morris would cost them $1.8 million in dead money – more than his cap number for this season ($1.3 million).
Gavin Escobar, TE
Both Escobar and James Hanna are at risk of getting the cut this season. Both of them have failed to really gain ground on Witten – a big ask, I know – and neither seem to be the answer once he retires. Although rookie Rico Gathers is a project, he isn’t a candidate for the practice squad as another team would definitely snatch him up thanks to his upside. That means that for Escobar and Hanna to be on the team, the Cowboys would have to carry 4 tight ends on their final 53-man roster, and I don’t see that happening. If that is the case, Escobar makes the most sense to be a goner thanks to his lower dead money figure.
J.J. Wilcox, S
Wilcox was a starter for the Cowboys last season but wasn’t exactly a huge difference maker for them. With Orlando Scandrick coming back from injury, thus allowing Byron Jones to move to safety full time, Jeff Heath making more of an impact – and with a new contract that makes him a costly cut – and Kavon Frazier now in the building, Wilcox could find himself in a battle for his position on this roster.