There is an old saying that states the National Football League stands for Not For Long.
The saying rang especially true this past Saturday as hundreds of NFL players had their dreams dashed as teams cut their rosters down to 53 players.
There were cuts of note, such as the Arizona Cardinals letting go of former Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart and the Seattle Seahawks parting ways with $40 million dollar man T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
Not even having a big name or a large contract will not save you on cut down day.
The Dallas Cowboys also made a splash over the weekend, when Wide receiver Patrick Crayton was traded to the San Diego Chargers for undisclosed considerations. Basically the Chargers got Crayton for cheap.
Maybe they gave the 'Boys a box of wine or a pack of chicken flavored hot dogs.
When Dallas drafted Dez Bryant in the 1st round, Patrick saw the writing on the wall. He requested his trade or release from Dallas so that he may find a place to get a fresh start. Crayton was also in search of more playing time. With the arrival of Mr. Bryant, Patrick was sure to drop off the map in Cowboy town.
In San Diego Crayton will no doubt get his fair share of balls as he’s always been a great route runner and has a pretty decent set of hands. He did well returning punts for the Cowboys last season and was in line to lose that job as well if he stayed.
San Diego is also still without star wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Vincent states that he’s well prepared to sit out the first 10 games of the season as a holdout if San Diego doesn’t pony up the greenbacks. With Jackson missing from the line-up quarterback Phillip Rivers is without one of his biggest playmakers. While it’s doubtful that Crayton will fill Jackson’s void in the Charger offense, he will at least provide the team with another weapon.
The Cowboys now plan to increase second year WR Kevin Ogletree's role in the offense. Ogletree is a big target with a huge upside, plus he comes cheaper than Crayton.
By trading Patrick to San Diego the Cowboys saved an estimated $2 million dollars.
Dallas seems well off in the receiver department with Miles Austin, Roy Williams, Dez Bryant, Kevin Ogletree, and Sam Hurd. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones just has to hope that everyone stays healthy and over a 16 game NFL season, that’s nearly impossible.
As far as cuts, Dallas didn’t make any waves.
They let go of cornerbacks Jamar Wall, Teddy Williams, Bryan McCann, and Cletis Gordon. The biggest surprise out of the four was probably the release of Gordon. According to ESPN.com’s Matt Mosley, Gordon had at least 10 interceptions in training camp. But he had a lackluster preseason and that was undoing in the end.
If there were any surprises about these cuts it’s that the Cowboys will enter the season with only three true cornerbacks in Terrance Newman, Mike Jenkins, and Orlando Scandrick. Alan Ball is a converted safety, so if the Cowboys are desperate they can always move him back to his original position.
With concerns coming into the season regarding cornerback depth, why would Dallas make such a drastic move in the secondary that possibly handicaps them? Is there faith that the oft injured Newman will stay healthy or that Jenkins will avoid the injury bug this season?
I’m sure the Cowboys will either sign one of the players they cut or scan the waiver wire for a serviceable secondary man to add depth. But with so many preseason injuries, why not keep Gordon or Wall as insurance?
Heading into the season opener against the Redskins the Cowboys seem to have more roster concerns than anything. If there are continued injuries on the offensive line is there enough depth to at least hold a patchwork line together? Will the tight end position be ok since the team decided to let go of Scott Sicko, DajLeon Farr, and Martin Rucker?
If the offensive line plays down, the secondary sees injuries, and the tight end set of Witten and Bennett get nicked up then the Cowboys may be in a little trouble.
But what team isn’t when their star players get injured?
You can catch Jason's radio show, Monday Night Quarterback, every Monday night at 8pm ET on www.blogtalkradio.com/cowboyjay. Join him this Monday as he welcomes ESPN Radio's Jason Smith from the program "All Night" with Jason Smith.
Follow him on twitter @THenProject