Another look at the 53-man roster

June, 20, 2012
6/20/12
1:16
PM ET
IRVING, Texas – The other day Tim MacMahon was gutsy to put out his first 53-man roster prediction for the Cowboys. If you haven’t taken a look at it, click here.

Instead of going forward with my own 53-man roster prediction since most of the names will be the same, I’ll just list my differences. And as Tim pointed out, this is ridiculously premature, so don’t hold it against us when the team makes the final cuts.

Cornerback: Tim went with Mario Butler as his fifth cornerback. I’m going with undrafted rookie Isaac Madison, who was working with the first team sub defenses, which means he is ahead of Butler, who spent last year on the practice squad.

Safety: Tim went with five safeties: Gerald Sensabaugh, Brodney Pool, Barry Church, Danny McCray and Matt Johnson. I’m going with four safeties right now and Pool is the odd man out. Again this is fluid and things change, but I’m going with a sixth cornerback and that is undrafted rookie Lionel Smith, who took over for Madison on the last day of minicamp, which means he is also ahead of Butler.

Outside linebacker: Tim went with undrafted Adrian Hamilton as the fifth outside linebacker. I can see that happening and you’re banking on the future with him as a pass rusher. It makes sense right now, but I’m going with four outside linebackers in order to put defensive end Clifton Geathers on the roster. The Cowboys have put almost two years into developing Geathers and I think he might be a Jerry Jones’ pet cat.

There are some other possible changes from Tim’s roster, but I’m conflicted on it. In other words, I’m giving myself some wiggle room for the future.

Here they are:

Defensive line: Tim has Marcus Spears over Kenyon Coleman and notes Coleman’s $1.9 million salary as a negative. Marcus Spears makes $2 million and was not as productive as Coleman last year. Plus, Coleman was a Rob Ryan guy in Cleveland.

Offensive line: I believe Pat McQuistan makes it but don’t count out Kevin Kowalski. The problem is that you’re left with only three tackles on the 53 if McQuistan is out. That might be too light, but the Cowboys did it last year. Let’s see how the young undrafted guys develop in camp. If they do well enough you might be better served to go with your fourth tackle on the practice squad.

Fullback/tight end: Tim went with one fullback and three tight ends. I can see either two fullbacks or four tight ends and that could come at the expense of a third quarterback. Undrafted tight end Andrew Szczerba is not the most gifted athletically but he could be an in-line blocker they lack as a backup. And here’s another thought as a possible blocking tight end: outside linebacker Alex Albright. He made the team as an undrafted rookie last year and showed a knack for being in the right spot at the right time. He can also play special teams. It might be worth a look to see if he can block some as well.

Wide receiver: Don’t rule out Dwayne Harris. He has changed his body from a year ago and is moving much better. His ability to be a return man might help his cause. If Kevin Ogletree is not the No. 3 receiver, I don’t know if it would make sense to keep him because he doesn’t help enough on special teams.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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