DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys weren't the only team that had to finalize their roster on Tuesday. The other 31 teams also had to make a series of difficult decisions to get down to 53 players on their active roster.
In the NFL, it is part of the constant talent evaluation. Cowboys COO Stephen Jones told "K&C Masterpiece" on 105.3 "The Fan" Monday that the Cowboys' personnel and scouting department has been doing their extensive homework on the rest of the league.
"Our scouts do a great job of going through all the guys who, through communications, we've been told to take a look at to see if we have any interest," Jones said. "And then, of course, we do our own homework if you will in terms of seeing who are backups and who are going to be on that bubble, if you will, and watching those guys, trying to get prepared well in advance before the waiver wire hits."
Dallas is currently No. 10 in waiver wire priority, which works similar to the draft order. The Cowboys were originally going to pick No. 10 overall in April’s NFL Draft. Similarly, the Cowboys have the 10th priority when it comes to waiver claims.
That means if either the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, or Denver Broncos make an equal claim, the tie goes to those teams and the Cowboys will be left looking elsewhere.
No. 10 overall is still an advantageous position to be in when it comes to waiver wire claims. With that in mind, here are four players that the Cowboys should consider claiming:
1. RB Buddy Howell — The former 2018 undrafted free agent spent the past three seasons playing for the Houston Texans. Through 45 career games, Howell was more a special teams guy with 795 such snaps compared to 86 on offense.
The Bill O'Brien regime in Houston never allowed him a real shot at running back as he carried just 21 times for 74 yards and caught a 3-yard pass. Howell is a big back at 6-1, 215 pounds and would provide steadiness at the third running back spot in Dallas while also having the linebacker bulk to beef up special teams.
2. TE Jared Pinkney — Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn might remember him as he was an undrafted free agent for the Atlanta Falcons in 2020. Pinkney spent the entire season on the practice squad, save for the Week 17 finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Vanderbilt alumnus spent the entire offseason and preseason with the Tennessee Titans, catching one pass for 10 yards. At 6-4, 257 pounds, Pinkney could be more of a run blocker but he could provide the Cowboys with depth as Sean McKeon recovers from his high ankle sprain.
3. DT Kameron Cline — Another undrafted free agent from last year, Cline spent time on the Indianapolis Colts' practice squad before getting to play in Week 12's 45-26 loss to the Tennessee Titans last season. Cline collected two tackles in the loss, but reverted back to the practice squad. Cline is a bit undersized compared to the Cowboys' current defensive tackles at 6-4, 283 pounds.
However, he does come from Indianapolis where former Rod Marinelli assistant, Matt Eberflus, runs a similar scheme to what Dallas is running now. The Cowboys could be in need of some depth behind youngsters Quinton Bohanna and Neville Gallimore.
4. C-G Beau Benzschawel — If you need to beef up your offensive interior, why not pick up a Wisconsin Badger? Benzschawel went undrafted in 2019 and caught on with the Detroit Lions, where he played two games after spending time on their practice squad. In the last month of the 2020 season, the 6-6, 300-pounder spent time on the Houston Texans' practice squad, appearing in one game.
Benzschawel has spent training camp and the preseason with Washington. The 25-year-old has the positional flexibility to play guard and center and could be the next Joe Looney as he spends time in an offensive line room with Zack Martin, Connor Williams, and Connor McGovern.
Do you think the Dallas Cowboys will make any waiver claims to enhance their roster? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.