The Dallas Cowboys cut their roster down to 53 players Friday.
Head coach Jason Garrett and his staff made some difficult decisions, and as the season unfolds they will see if those choices pan out.
Dallas cut four offensive linemen and defensive backs Friday.
By the numbers, offensive linemen and defensive backs were the most cut with four at both positions, and Dallas let go of three linebackers, defensive linemen, and wide receivers apiece.
Below are five highlights from Friday's cuts.
Stephen McGee Still a Cowboy
There was speculation as to whether Dallas would start the season with three quarterbacks, and McGee would have to either be kept or released because he is no longer eligible for the practice squad.
For now he's on the roster, but the Cowboys could be in the market for another tight end as a precaution in light of Jason Witten's lacerated spleen, according to DallasCowboys.com. If Dallas makes a trade or signs a free agent, McGee could be released.
North Texas Running Backs
The duo of Lance Dunbar and Jamize Olawale performed very well during the preseason, but both were cut and could be headed to the practice squad. The Cowboys went with second-year running back Phillip Tanner, taking his experience in the NFL over the possible upside of Dunbar and Olawale.
Still, with starter DeMarco Murray and backup Felix Jones prone to injuries, one of the North Texas rookies could be called up during the season.
Michael Jenkins Must Be Healthy
Dallas cut four defensive backs, which could mean five-year veteran cornerback Mike Jenkins is healthy. Jenkins missed all of training camp and the preseason as he recovered from off-season shoulder surgery. Reportedly he was scheduled to return to practice Saturday. The Cowboys hit the free agent market and the draft to improve a secondary that was one of the worst in the NFL last season. If Jenkins does get hurt again, Garrett may regret these cuts.
Talent Will Only Get You So Far
On paper alone, defensive tackle Clifton Geathers should be a perennial Pro Bowler, but he was released Friday. The 6-foot-7, 325-pound Geathers has nothing but upside, but was considered a long-term project and didn't wow Dallas' coaches during training camp or the preseason.
Four Offensive Linemen Gone
During training camp, the Cowboys experimented with many combinations on the offensive line due to injuries. The results were less than underwhelming and Dallas traded for tackle Ryan Cook Thursday, which made it easier to let four linemen go.
The Cowboys will now rely on Cook, center Phil Costa's sore back, guard Nate Living's hamstring, and rookie David Arkin to help protect quarterback Tony Romo.
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