Cowboys Cuts: 'Hangin' Out'

IRVING, Tex. - Jimmy Johnson used to call it "hangin' out.'' It meant being thin in a position group, and taking a risk doing so. –

And as we review this weekend's cuts to 53, it is clear that Wade Phillips and this era of Cowboys management completely understands that definition.

First the moves – highlighted by the headline-grabbing goodbyes to veterans Aaron Glenn and Martin Gramatica – and then some reactions: Gone are 22 guys: CB Glenn, K Gramatica, LB Junior Glymph, C Matt Tarullo, WR Mike Jefferson, WR Damarius Bilbo, CB Joey Thomas, RB Alonzo Coleman, RB Arliss Beach, CB Quincy Butler, FB Lousaka Polite, TE Rodney Hannah, LB Blair Phillips, G Trey Darilek, NT Remi Ayodele, DE Marcus Smith, QB Matt Moore, QB Richard Bartel, TE Adam Bergen, LB John Saldi, LB Khari Long and WR Jerheme Urban.

Now, what does it all mean?

ITEM: Glenn, a 13-year vet, had become a team leader and team spokesman while holding over from his Parcells Guy days. Conventional wisdom had him sticking if only because Terence Newman's partially torn plantar fascia in his right foot meant Glenn was a starter (in three of the four preseason games). Conventional wisdom, however, overlooked the fact that Glenn didn't play at all well during most of those three games.

ITEM: Newman is still up in the air regarding his availability for Sunday's season opener against the Giants. So why cut his backup? Maybe the Cowboys have a veteran CB in their sites. …

ITEM: Or maybe they see something in the likes of Jacques Reeves and Nate Jones that we don't see. At this moment, we're having a difficult time envisioning winning the Nate Jones-vs.-Plaxico Burress duel. But maybe that's just us.

ITEM: Did rookie kicker Nick Folk go out and win the job? Not as much as he went out and didn't lose it. When you spend a draft pick on a kicker, you certainly don't want the face-egg of having the move fail. Martin leaves (to IR, at least for the moment) despite having a new two-year deal with a $200,000 signing bonus. But mostly he leaves with a strained right hamstring that killed Dallas' consideration of retaining two kickers.

ITEM: And more "hanging out'' at linebacker. Greg Ellis is wobbly. Kevin Burnett is returning from surgery and hasn't proven he can stay healthy. Anthony Spencer is a kid. Bobby Carpenter is essentially the only healthy backup LB on the roster. Hmmm.

ITEM: With Matt Moore and Richard Bartel gone, the Cowboys are prepared to go with just two real QBs on the roster. Or, if you've seen Brad Johnson play, make that ONE real QB on the roster.

ITEM: Leading the list of guys who stick not because of what they've done but because of what the Cowboys hope they can do: QB-to-WR convert Isaiah Stanback and O-lineman James Marten. Both rookies have a lot going for them – but they haven't shown it on the field much.

ITEM: Of the 10 offensive linemen on the club, nine were fairly predictable. We did not, however, have the name "Joe Berger'' in our office pool.

ITEM: Logic dictates that when the practice squad is assembled, it included a QB (Moore) to do some scout-team stuff, and as many CBs as it can bear. … because at this moment, any one of them might be called on to actually play.

ITEM: The Falling Star Honorees are Glymph, Joey Thomas, Lousaka Polite, Remi Ayodele and Jerheme Urban. In that group are punt returns for TDs and dynamic one-on-one coverage and a starting-caliber blocking FB. … but not enough consistency in being those things.

ITEM: Can all eight of the draft picks play? We don't know yet. But all eight the draft picks stay. At least for now.

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