Saturday, August 18, 2012
What to do with the final roster spot
By Calvin Watkins
SAN DIEGO -- Friday's release of running back Ed Wesley leaves the Dallas Cowboys with 89 players on their 90-man roster.
At some point this weekend, they will make a decision on bringing in another player. At least 20 players on the roster are currently injured and some, such as Caleb McSurdy (torn Achilles) and Kevin Kowalski (ankle tendinitis), aren't expected to return anytime soon.
Let's look at three positions the Cowboys should explore expanding:
Center: Phil Costa should return before the start of the regular season and David Arkin has been getting plenty of snaps -- Jason Garrett said close to 600 during one stretch of camp -- but adding a veteran at this spot couldn't hurt. The Cowboys worked out Jamaal Jackson, but he wasn't in shape and the team decided not to sign him. Former Cowboys center Andre Gurode is also available, but the team hasn't made any moves to bring him in. He might be a good pickup to back Costa up.
Wide receiver: The Cowboys front office is pleased with their young receivers, yet no one is emerging as the No. 3 wideout. If we had to make a decision today, Kevin Ogletree, again, would take over the No. 3 spot. He's earned it. But Andre Holmes and Dwayne Harris have played well, too. Raymond Radway, who earned a roster spot last season until suffering a fractured leg in the final preseason game of 2011, is struggling. Tim Benford has shown flashes but he's inconsistent. The Cowboys could sign a veteran receiver, but it would delay the development of younger players. The team held preliminary talks with Plaxico Burress' agent and former Longhorn Jordan Shipley is on waivers, but they won't go for a veteran before determining the dependability of the young kids.
Cornerback: Yes, cornerback. There's nothing wrong with Orlando Scandrick, Morris Claiborne or Brandon Carr, but if Mike Jenkins (shoulder) doesn't come off the PUP list by the start of the season, he's lost for six weeks. Behind Scandrick, Claiborne and Carr are unproven players such as Mario Butler and C.J. Wilson. Akwasi Owusu-Ansah has showed some signs, but not enough. The team placed Teddy Williams on the second-team defense at the start of camp, and he's since been moved down the depth chart. Getting a veteran corner couldn't hurt, especially at the late stages of camp with the younger players not performing on a consistent level.