2023 Dallas Cowboys

PhillyBirds

Mentor
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
1,080
Location
Pennsylvania
2023 Dallas Cowboys Preview
A solid 12-5 regular season record catapulted the Cowboys to a wild card round win over Tampa, before losing to San Francisco in the divisional game. Their roster construction is virtually the same as ever, with one surprising, but not unwelcome addition.

Total White players on 53-man roster: 13
Total White starters: 4
Starters listed in bold.

OFFENSE
QB: Cooper Rush
RB: Hunter Luepke
TE: Jake Ferguson, Peyton Hendershot, Luke Schoonmaker
C: Tyler Biadasz
G: Zack Martin, TJ Bass
T: Matt Waletzko

DEFENSE
LB: Leighton Vander Esch

SPECIALISTS
K: Brandon Aubrey
P: Bryan Anger
LS: Trent Sieg

RESERVE/INJURED
T: Josh Ball
WR: David Durden

PRACTICE SQUAD
C: Sean Harlow, Brock Hoffman
TE: Sean McKeon

As is becoming a normal yearly occurrence, Cooper Rush quietly and effectively handled the Dallas offense when called upon. In 2022, he went 4-1 as a starter, proving himself a competent steward of Kellen Moore's offense. Thank goodness then, that Dallas was able to pry hilarious bust and generally inept "project" Trey Lance away from San Francisco. For after all, the label of "upside" is truly the life preserver that keeps incompetent quarterbacks afloat in today's NFL.

Dallas shocked many by including RB Hunter Luepke on their 53-man roster (albeit at the fringe). A two-time FCS National Champion and 3-time first team all-Missouri Valley Conference "fullback" at North Dakota State, Luepke made some waves in the preseason both rushing and receiving out of single-back sets. There is some precedent for Mike McCarthy utilizing similarly-skilled white players in this manner: power runners like Aaron Ripkowski and John Kuhn were occasionally pressed into service as primary backs on his Green Bay squads. Hopefully Luepke is able to, at minimum, carve out an H-back-type role and further solidify his spot on the roster. A handful of rushing attempts might be too much to ask for, but hey, we can dream, right?

Tyler Biadasz and Zack Martin both again return as starters on the Dallas O-line. Martin is an absolute ironman, a veteran of nine seasons and a member of the NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team. The 32-year old Indiana native started all 17 games in 2022, and looks to anchor their typically strong offensive line. North Dakota's Waletzko and Oregon's Bass are depth linemen.

With talented TE Dalton Schultz departing for Houston, the backups from last year all slide forward a spot. Ferguson and Hendershot were both rookies last year, but Ferguson looks to have won the starting spot to begin the season. With only 30 career receptions between the two, one of them will likely have to stand out to cement a starting spot. Rookie Luke Schoonmaker is the new addition from Michigan and contributes on special teams.

Standing alone on the defensive side of the ball is Leighton Vander Esch, returning to Dallas on a two-year deal in the offseason. Vander Esch put up his typical solid numbers in the 14 games that he played in 2022 with 90 tackles. Unfortunately, his neck issues resurfaced after an injury in week 14, and he missed the balance of the regular season, though he was able to return for the playoffs and record 20 tackles through those two games. When healthy, Vander Esch checks all of the tangible and intangible boxes you're looking for in a star linebacker. Here's wishing him health in 2023, and that his worrisome neck issues don't cut short a great career.

Practice squad features the obligatory white depth linemen and one tight end. Former FCS and Division II star wide receiver David Durden tore his ACL in the preseason, and was placed on IR. The talented Durden played a year of professional baseball in the Gulf Coast League in 2017, before turning his attention to football full time.

Edit: Added practice squad players.
 
Last edited:

woody39

Mentor
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
1,692
Location
Great Britain
Thanks for the write up, great detail .

How alot of teams look with white guys slotted into approved positions.

Tight end has become crucial in a throw first league so is good to see the depth and elite players across the league at that position from our perspective. Luke
Schoonmaker will be a starter down the line looked great in college.
 

Freethinker

Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
7,093
Location
Suffolk County, NY
Great preview!

Regarding the PS, is can be found but it’s not very interesting. Only guys to add are Brock Hoffman (C) and Sean McKeon (TE).

The defense being all-black, except for LVE, struck me even for the Cowboys. Then I remembered that the anti-White fool Dan Quinn was the coordinator. This SOB has had all or nearly all black defenses wherever he goes (Seattle and Atlanta). This guy was a 4 year starter in college on defensive line and a record breaking hammer thrower in T&F. He must be one of those wicked Whites who thinks he was one of a kind. He was so unique and now can’t find any Whites strong, explosive, agile or quick enough to play on his defense. That is how Caste buffoons like this guy must think.
 

Bucky

Hall of Famer
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
9,330
@Freethinker bingo! Guys like Quinn and Lynch must see themselves as honorary brothas. Makes perfect sense.
 

PhillyBirds

Mentor
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
1,080
Location
Pennsylvania
Vander Esch is out 4 to 6 weeks with another neck injury. I really wish Dallas would have let him play on the outside/edge his natural position that he played in college. Leighton is to tall, and lanky to play on the inside and not get injure his long neck. https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id...-esch-miss-4-6-weeks-neck-strain?platform=amp
Hate to say it, but you have to start wondering how much longer he keeps going after these repeated neck injuries. Not a perfect comparison, but he'll soon be bordering on a Luke Kuechly-type "What If" player with these persistent serious injuries.
 

white lightning

Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 16, 2004
Messages
21,054
Injuries have been the kiss of death for many of our guys. Hope he has a quick recovery but a neck injury could lead to
partial paralysis. As talented as he is I hope he puts his health first!
 

Bucky

Hall of Famer
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
9,330
Hate to say it, but you have to start wondering how much longer he keeps going after these repeated neck injuries. Not a perfect comparison, but he'll soon be bordering on a Luke Kuechly-type "What If" player with these persistent serious injuries.
Agreed looking like an injury filled past and early retirement could rob LVE of a great career..
 
Top