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Monday, July 15, 2013
Pre-camp 53-man roster projection

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys will fly to California on Friday for the beginning of training camp, so here is the final offseason projection of the 53-man roster.

Without knowing the injuries that could happen, there looks to be roughly seven roster spots up for grabs.

When we get to Oxnard, Calif., Tim MacMahon will take over the projections.

Quarterbacks (2)

Tony Romo
Kyle Orton

The Cowboys have sniffed around better No. 3 quarterbacks in the offseason, which could mean they will look to keep one on the 53-man roster. It just won’t be Nick Stephens or Dalton Williams.

Running backs (4)

DeMarco Murray
Joseph Randle
Lance Dunbar
Phillip Tanner

Tanner had a good offseason and enters with the final job, but Kendial Lawrence could push him with a strong camp. The past two camps have seen undrafted runners make it, with Tanner and Dunbar as surprises. Could Lawrence be the third in a row?

Tight ends (4)

Jason Witten
James Hanna
Gavin Escobar
Dante Rosario

No change here from the projection after the minicamp, but Colin Cochart could play himself into contention.

Wide receivers (5)

Dez Bryant
Miles Austin
Terrance Williams
Dwayne Harris
Cole Beasley

No change from the minicamp projection.

Offensive line (10)

Tyron Smith
Nate Livings
Travis Frederick
Mackenzy Bernadeau
Doug Free
Jermey Parnell
Phil Costa
Ronald Leary
Darrion Weems
Kevin Kowalski

After the minicamp, I dropped Kowalski from the list with hesitation. With some time to think about it, I put him back on the roster. He can play all three interior line spots.

Defensive line (9)

DeMarcus Ware
Jay Ratliff
Jason Hatcher
Anthony Spencer
Tyrone Crawford
Sean Lissemore
Kyle Wilber
Ben Bass
Nick Hayden

Nick Hayden gets the final spot for now. I wonder if the Cowboys could find a trade partner late in camp if they really like their depth.

Linebackers (6)

Bruce Carter
Sean Lee
Justin Durant
Alex Albright
DeVonte Holloman
Brandon Magee

No change from the minicamp projection, but I wonder if carrying six linebackers is smart, especially as ones as inexperienced as the backups are.

Cornerbacks (5)

Brandon Carr
Morris Claiborne
Orlando Scandrick
B.W. Webb
Sterling Moore

No change from the minicamp projection, but I think the Cowboys will be looking at that final cornerback spot in camp.

Safeties (5)

Barry Church
Will Allen
Matt Johnson
J.J. Wilcox
Danny McCray

I have McCray on the bubble because of his price tag, but he is a terrific special teamer and new coach Rich Bisaccia would want to keep a guy like that. If Jakar Hamilton shows some skills, then he could fight his way into the picture.

Specialists (3)

Dan Bailey
Chris Jones
L.P. Ladouceur

No change from the minicamp projection.