Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Commanders, Cowboys, Eagles and Giants moves are noted below.
Quinton Bohanna spent the past two years in Dallas after being selected in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. He got into 27 games (10 starts) over the past two years, collecting 29 tackles while playing both on defense and special teams. The Cowboys added first-round defensive tackle Mazi Smith this offseason, making Bohanna expendable.
The Cowboys fielded a revolving door at left guard last year and, for now, it looks like it may continue revolving through the summer. According to Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News, Dallas is looking into multiple possibilities to replace Connor McGovern, who departed for Buffalo in free agency back in March.
The favorite to man the newly open starting spot is Tyler Smith, who manned the position at times last season when he wasn’t at left tackle. With Tyron Smith back to healthy, Tyler can shift inside for good this season. The younger Smith embraced the opportunity to work at guard recently, asserting that being elite at both positions will ultimately help the team the most.
The Cowboys haven’t limited the versatility training to Smith. Gehlken reports that multiple other linemen have received time at both guard and tackle this offseason. Matt Farniok, who has worked mostly at interior line positions so far in Dallas, has been working outside. Chuma Edoga has worked at right tackle and left guard, as well. Even second-year lineman Matt Waletzko was approached by offensive line coach Mike Solari to work at guard for the first time in his life.
As of right now, it looks to be a starting lineup of Tyron Smith at left tackle, Tyler Smith at left guard, Tyler Biadasz at center, Zack Martin at right guard, and Terence Steele at right tackle. With Steele still coming back from a late season-ending ACL and MCL tear, many in the building would like to see Tyler Smith continue to develop at tackle. In the meantime, it seems that Dallas is keeping its options open for both positions.
Here are a few other rumors coming out of Arlington:
Rookie second-round tight end out of Michigan Luke Schoonmaker has been dealing with a plantar fascia issue, reportedly wearing a walking boot on his right foot last week. According to Jon Machota of The Athletic, Schoonmaker was out of the boot this week but was still limited to just sideline work. The injury isn’t considered serious, as he’s expected to be ready for the start of training camp, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.
Owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones continues to leave the door open for a reunion with veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott, according to Machota. His son, and team CEO, Stephen Jones says that the team is looking into adding a bigger back. They signed fullback Hunter Luepke undrafted out of North Dakota State and signed the stout Ronald Jones in free agency, but Elliott could always find his way back to Dallas despite both parties continuing to explore their options.
Lastly, another report from Machota claims confidence that wide receiver and return specialist KaVontae Turpinshould find a spot on the Cowboys’ eventual 53-man roster. While rookie running back Deuce Vaughn and Malik Davis got some opportunities to handle return duties in recent weeks, Turpin is a much more explosive and proven option. It also doesn’t hurt that Turpin has been getting some serious run with the second-team wide receiver group.
After another free agency period featured the Cowboys’ starting left guard leaving in free agency, the team will be faced with a decision. How Dallas goes about that will determine if the team rolls out an O-line featuring its best five blockers or a group that features more positional familiarity.
As for how the team replaces McGovern, multiple avenues look to exist. Both involve in-house solutions, per executive VP Stephen Jones. Door A would involve a backup rising into the starting role. The Cowboys are planning to move backup tackle Josh Ballto the interior this year, and the team drafted Asim Richards in the fifth round. Former Jets third-round pick Chuma Edoga also signed with the team, after having played for the Falcons last year.
“I think we’ve got a talented group of linemen,’’ Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News’ David Moore. “I mean Josh Ball is here today. He’s certainly going to get an opportunity to compete for that spot. As we’ve said, we’re big fans of Chuma. [VP of player personnel] Will [McClay] and his pro staff did a lot of work on him. Probably the only thing holding him back in his career has been some medical challenges that he’s had. We really feel like he can come in there and help.”
A 2021 fourth-round pick, Ball has 41 career offensive snaps on his resume. Edoga 13 career starts but ahs primarily worked as a tackle. Jones also brought up Richards, North Carolina’s left tackle last season, as a potential entrant in this competition. However, he also mentioned the “best five” scenario that would bring a more intriguing configuration.
The issue with that quintet would be Steele’s lack of guard experience. The former UDFA has been a tackle with the Cowboys and at Texas Tech. But with Tyron Smith back (and expected to slide to the right tackle spot he played last season), the Cowboys do not look to have a tackle job available. The team placed a second-round RFA tender on Steele, who has made 40 starts during a three-year career, earlier this offseason. Last year’s Week 1 right tackle is also rehabbing ACL and MCL tears. That stands to delay a Cowboys decision on where to use the contract-year blocker.
A third option would be moving Tyler Smith back to left guard, where he began his career before Tyron Smith’s avulsion fracture changed the team’s plans last summer. The younger Smith played left tackle for most of last season but started two games (Week 18 and Dallas’ wild-card win) at left guard. The second-year lineman said (via ESPN’s Todd Archer) he would be fine playing anywhere on the offensive front. With Jerry Joneslabeling Smith a tackle, however, the prospect of the former first-rounder playing guard at Steele staying at right tackle might be a last resort.
McGovern’s experience gave the Cowboys an easier answer to replace Williams. The team may not know its McGovern replacement for a while.
Adams, a former seventh-round pick, collected 55 tackles across 58 games (nine starts) with the Colts to begin his career. He spent the 2022 campaign in Chicago, compiling 26 tackles in 10 games (three starts).
The Cowboys previously tried to trade for Edoga, so it’s not a surprise that he’s finally landed in Dallas. Per Nick Eatman of the team’s website, the lineman could be a candidate to start at left guard to replace Connor McGovern. The former third-round pick has only appeared in seven games over the past two seasons in stints with the Jets and Falcons.
Anderson hasn’t started a game since the 2020 season, but he can still be a reliable special teamer and situational defender for a rebooted Panthers squad. The veteran got into 11 games for the Colts last season, collecting 18 tackles.
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s NFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
Chuma Edoga did not clear waivers, nor did he make it too far down the priority list. The Falcons submitted a successful claim for the former third-round pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
The Jets cut bait on the fourth-year tackle on Tuesday, in trimming their roster to 53. Edoga was drafted just prior to GM Joe Douglas taking over in New York and was unable to carve out a steady role there.
The Jets moved on from a plan of Edoga competing for a starting job early, signing George Fant in 2020 and then drafting Mekhi Becton in that year’s first round. Despite Becton going down with a severe injury this summer, the Jets signed Duane Brown. He and Fant are now in place as Gang Green’s tackles. Edoga, who started 12 games from 2019-20, will have a chance to vie for a steady Falcons gig.
This news also comes after a report indicated the Cowboys were interested in trading for Edoga. While the East-division teams were unable to work out a deal, the Falcons’ claim prevents the Cowboys from bringing in the USC alum. Atlanta resides ahead of Dallas on this year’s priority list. The Cowboys are facing the prospect of Tyron Smith missing a few months due to suffering the same injury Becton did — an avulsion fracture — late during training camp.
New York has done a good job with their rookie class with every drafted rookie making the final 53. The Jets even were able to find spots on the roster for two of the six undrafted free agents they signed. Running back Zonovan Knight and safety Tony Adams will start the season on the roster after going undrafted out of NC State and Illinois, respectively.
The Jets will enter the season with three quarterbacks on the roster as second-year quarterback Zach Wilson will be backed up by veterans Joe Flacco and Mike White.
Lawrence Cager returned this offseason to the team that signed him after going undrafted out of Georgia in 2020. After spending two seasons attempting to make rosters as a wide receiver, the 6-foot-5 Cager bulked up in an attempt to transition to tight end. It appears that the position change is working so far as Cager will start the season on an active roster for the first time in his career.
New York will have a chance to make moves necessary to form their 16-man practice squad tomorrow. Any players cut today who have not vested will have to clear waivers before returning to the Jets.