- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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The NFL announced recently that teams can have up to 90 players on their roster heading into training camp.
With the Cowboys adding cornerback Akwasi Owusu-Ansah on Tuesday, they have 88 players on their roster and more are on the way as the team is expected to sign some players who tried out last weekend at Valley Ranch.
But the free-agency period is still ongoing and it begs a question: Should the Cowboys sign a veteran free agent?
We look at three positions that could use a veteran.
Wide receiver: The starters are Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, talented and explosive players. The No. 3 receiver is uncertain. There's a gaggle of players battling for the final three receiver spots, leading with the underachieving Kevin Ogletree, but the Cowboys drafted Danny Coale from Virginia Tech in the fifth round as a possible slot receiver. Signing a veteran could help bolster this unit, considering how Bryant and Austin battled injuries last season. Patrick Crayton comes to mind, but it's doubtful the Cowboys would go back to the talkative receiver, especially after he asked for a trade when Bryant was drafted. Jerheme Urban is another possibility but it's not known if the Cowboys like his skill set.
Running back: This position, like wide receiver, is a strength for the Cowboys. DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones are a solid 1-2 punch. Phillip Tanner can play special teams and get some snaps as a No. 3 runner, but all three running backs were injured at some point last year. Murray didn't finish the season, needing surgery to repair a broken ankle. You can't have four running backs on the roster, yet signing someone such as Patrick Cobbs (North Texas) to mainly play special teams and become an insurance policy might be a good move. Ronnie Brown, a former first-round pick, while he might not play special teams, is someone to look at too.
Punter: Chris Jones is the favorite to win the job, but Mat McBriar, who is a free agent, is recovering from leg surgery. There's some uncertainty regarding McBriar's availability for teams, because some might want him to prove he can punt after recovering from surgery. McBriar should be ready to kick in training camp. Daniel Sepulveda (Baylor) punted with Pittsburgh last season and in eight games had a 40.6 net average. If Jones struggles and McBriar is unavailable due to health or signing with another team, getting a veteran such as Sepulveda might be worthwhile.