NFL owners approve roster reduction schedule; Cowboys’ first cuts due Aug. 16

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From this, the first day of Cowboys OTAs, forward, it’s all about the numbers. Dallas coaches will need to trim the roster periodically over the next 14 weeks to reach specific player totals.

And now we know the actual numbers and dates.

League owners approved the roster cutdown schedule; it will follow 2021’s, which was instituted under COVID-19 restrictions. The news was reported Tuesday by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Teams must reduce their rosters to 85 players after the first preseason weekend, with a deadline of 3 p.m. Dallas time on August 16. A second wave of cuts will take each team to 80 players following the second preseason contests (Aug. 23), and final cuts that set each roster at 53 players are due after the third preseason games (Aug. 30).

As was the case last year, any player intended to be brought back to eligibility during the season must be on that final 53-man roster. Teams may then, after a day, move injured players to short-term IR (as the Cowboys did in 2021 with defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and tight end Sean McKeon). That bit of housecleaning generally requires an agreed-upon cut or two, only to have the player re-signed immediately after the shuffle. (This happened last season with long snapper Jake McQuaid.)

For the Cowboys, first cuts will come after their Aug. 13 preseason opener at Denver. The roster will need to be thinned to 80 following an Aug. 20 visit to the Chargers, and the final 53-man roster will be due in the days after the team’s Aug. 26 preseason finale at home versus Seattle.


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