On the bubble: Five players sweating draft

April, 10, 2012
4/10/12
9:10
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The NFL draft is a little more than two weeks away, and whom the Cowboys select over those three days could have a profound effect on the roster.

Here are five players who might get cut because of draft selections:

1. Kenyon Coleman. The Cowboys save $1.9 million with his release, but he's a trusted veteran and was one of two players defensive coordinator Rob Ryan brought to the team to help with his scheme. There are some younger players on the roster (Sean Lissemore, Clifton Geathers) who might be of more value during to the team than Coleman. If the Cowboys draft a defensive end in the early rounds, Coleman is a possible cut.

2. Felix Jones. Yes, Felix Jones. The Cowboys were interested in Boise State running back Doug Martin, but he wasn't able to visit Valley Ranch for a pre-draft visit because of last week's storms. Jones isn't a feature back -- in fact, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett continues to call him a complementary running back -- and the team did have internal discussions about trading him. If the Cowboys find a younger version, it wouldn't surprise anyone if he's let go. DeMarco Murray, Phillip Tanner and quite possibly a draft pick doesn't make the Cowboys significantly younger, but it does give them some fresh legs. Jones, like Marion Barber and Julius Jones before him, might need a fresh start somewhere else.

3. Marcus Spears. He's been nothing but a good soldier. He took less money, based on the NFL salary structure, two seasons ago. Meanwhile, backups Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher made more. Spears was finally rewarded with a new contract last year, but he might be sent packing with the Cowboys seeking to go younger along the defensive line. Spears had a solid season, yet it depends on Ryan and if he values Coleman more.

4. Phil Costa. If the Cowboys don't draft a guard, getting a center at No. 14 or in the early stages of Round 2, is a possibility. Costa wasn't that bad, but he wasn't great. And if the Cowboys find a bigger center, it might be time to move on. Kevin Kowalski impressed the coaches in his limited action at center and he also has the versatility to play guard.

5. Kevin Ogletree. It was a surprise he re-signed considering his underachieving play the last two seasons. But among the backup receivers, he's got the most experience behind Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. However, if the Cowboys draft a wideout in the late rounds or find an undrafted free agent, maybe Ogletree gets pushed out at some point during training camp.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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