If you read our Friday night prediction of who would make the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster as of 3 p.m. Saturday, you already are aware of the coming brag: We nailed it. Every single guy, every single move.
Good for us. But now comes the harder part and the less-predictable part: What handful of moves will be made in the coming hours ahead of the Giants season-opener? And might one of those moves be a headline-grabber? Here goes, with insight you get only at CHQ:
WHAT WE PREDICTED:And how about this: What if Dallas goes with the unusual move of keeping both Vaughan and Jameill Showers on the practice squad?
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW:Yup, that's still the plan. Tim Tebow? The Cowboys' only opening for what he does well would come if Babe Laufenberg retires from the radio broadcast booth.
WHAT WE PREDICTED: I know you want Dallas to trade for somebody. But you need to separate yourself from the silliness; Dallas sources told me they never even talked to Denver on Friday about Montee Ball ... I mean, never happened. These are your three. In the unlikely event a "star'' is needed later, I suppose they'll shoot for that. More likely: A cheap, young back who plays teams. Oh, and Gus Johnson is going to beat out Ben Malena for the P-squad.
One more thing: Man, you hope Randle has grown up out of goofballdom.
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW: Ball never got cut. Nor did Terrence West in Cleveland. Nor did Christine Michael in Seattle. Nor (technically) did Robert Turbin, who as near as I can tell is on the Seahawks season-long IR list. The Pats did cut Jonas Gray, but the Cowboys have no fondness for him. Indeed, it's important to remember what Dallas thought of these guys just a few years ago when they were draft-eligible: In the cases of West and Michael, they were in the box for behavioral questions.
Why would that change now?
I said going into this process that a fourth-running back better be a "Garrett Guy'', that there's no value in having a fourth-string troublemaker. I might've nailed my 53, but I've gotten this one wrong. Dallas is giving up a conditional pick for Christine Michael ... who has both injury and behavioral concerns. Was the need for a No. 4 back that great? Apparently. A need for a power back? Yes. Did Will McClay loosen up the "box'' view of him? Absolutely.
Additionally .... put this in your mental filing cabinet: While a knucklehead No. 4 back is not usually desireable ... It can also be a pain to have a first-string runner who is trouble. Cross your fingers that Randle has removed himself from that category. Cross 'em tightly.
Let's call this reading tea leaves for now, but here goes: What if Randle's absence from Tuesday's kickoff luncheon wasn't just about shoplifting in Frisco or about alleged violence in Wichita ... but was, rather, a new incident, a new concern, another screw up?
Michael went from not being on Dallas' radar to where now, as he will be the No. 4 back today. That stinks of concerns over Randle as an off-the-field worry. If I'm right, Michael might rise right up the charts in a month ... as long as he too is not an off-the-field worry.
WHAT WE PREDICTED: Jason Garrett believes in having one. Period.
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW: Done deal.
WHAT WE PREDICTED:A.J. Jenkins, I think, was an "almost'' here. If Street reaches the coaches' goals for him, this is a special group, all the way down to Lucky's Percy Harvin-type sub packages.
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW: Fans like Reggie Wayne. NFL teams don't. He can't run anymore.
WHAT WE PREDICTED: Is there a trade-able commodity here?
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW: That's a lot of TEs.
WHAT WE PREDICTED: They might be a guy short here -- and they might end up shopping for swing-tackle help. Remember, the rookie Green is on PUP and maybe the rookie Gibson moves to the P-squad.
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW: The Gibson idea remains in play. The Rams cut Isaiah Battle but we don't think Dallas liked him when he came out. The Jets cut Charles Brown; I am asking the front office about him today.
WHAT WE PREDICTED: So they keep 11 D-linemen? Yeah, I think so. And remember, this is after releasing a good player like Gardner and without counting a great player like the suspended Greg Hardy.
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW: Cross off Lavar Edwards for the new RB.
WHAT WE PREDICTED: Remember, like Hardy above, Rolando McClain doesn't count against this group yet.
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW: But unlike Hardy, McClain CAN continue to practice with the team for the next month. You know, if he's in the mood or whatever.
WHAT WE PREDICTED: The Cowboys aren't done looking here. Tim Scott will be a practice-squadder. He came on fast.
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW: Remember on waiver claims, they go in at 11 a.m. Sunday. (Teams will know tonight if they get their new guys.) Dallas is 27th in order there, so the higher-quality players -- relatively speaking, because remember, that name you as a fan might like is a name that his own team just cut -- might get snapped up by the first 26 teams.
WHAT WE PREDICTED: Nailed it!
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW: The Cowboys are done with specalists but of course they aren't done. This was the 53 at 3 p.m. Saturday ... with more moves, more churning, to go. A fourth RB soon? We bet so. Some real knucklehead-type concerns about Joe Randle? We're worried it is so, yes.