The Bengals need all the good DT depth they can get. Geno Atkins is still recovering from his season-ending injury, Domata Peko took a noticeable decline last year and won't be getting any better, and Brandon Thompson and Devon Still (especially Still) need to show more progress.
Besides those guys who will almost certainly make the roster, we have 3 other DT's. Because of the problems I mention above, we will certainly want to keep one of the remaining DT's on the practice squad for a potential roster call-up, and as a contender for a future long-term roster spot.
One of our remaining DT's has done well in training camp and preseason, Christo Bilukidi. Many have made the point that he clearly deserves to make it over Still, if you disregard Still's second-round draft status. Unfortunately, it probably won't happen. Bilukidi is not PS-eligible, so he will likely be released.
That leaves two, LaKendrick Ross and Larry Black. Both are PS-eligible.
We haven't heard much about Ross, other than that a backup Jets C manhandled him:
Favorite low key moment of last nights #Jets game was the icon Dalton Freeman burying that monster LaKendrick Ross on his first snap.— Drew (@DrewfromJersey) August 17, 2014
He's also been battling an injury at times. Ross is incredibly strong, but raw.
Black had a really bad first preseason game. Pro Football Focus had this to say about Black in that game:
Larry Black(-3.9) Back after a year of rehab, I would have loved to have seen the Indiana product forcibly make his way to the top of a crowded interior line competition. That just wasn’t the case on Thursday. Black failed to earn a positive grade on any of his 12 snaps and didn’t even show enough agility to reign in Cyrus Gray on a play where he was completely unblocked (Q4, 7:54).
For much of training camp, there was a forgotten DT on the roster, Zach Minter. Standing at 6'1" 307 pounds, Minter is a UDFA out of Montana State. Due to injury, he was sidelined. Once he got healthy, we immediately cut him without second thought on August 8th. The Cowboys signed him.
What has Minter done since?
Blogging The Boys, the Cowboys SBN site, had this to say about Minter:
Zach Minter. Just signed this week, DT Minter came in and immediately had multiple impact plays, including two sacks, one a strip of the quarterback, and two tackles for a loss. He was into the backfield on almost every play. The competition he faced was not the greatest, but this guy jumped off the screen with his play. He should move up the depth chart rapidly.
The Dallas Morning News had this to say about Minter:
Minter, who had practiced only once with the team, finished the game with four tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble.
Minter, 23, played in two games last year with Chicago and also spent some time with Cincinnati. He went undrafted in 2013 out of Montana State.
"He came out and made a big splash," said Cowboys defensive end George Selvie, whose strong play last preseason earned him a roster spot. "We need playmakers like that. I did the same thing last year, so I got excited for him."
Re-watching last night's game, Minter reminds me of what I saw from Aaron Donald's tape.— Cowboys Nation (@CowboysNation) August 17, 2014