Another stab at Cowboys roster projections

June, 26, 2012
6/26/12
11:25
AM ET
Tim MacMahon and Todd Archer had all the fun last week with their roster projections.

I agree with some, but not all, of their selections, so I've picked five positions where we might have some issues.

Quarterback


The starter is Tony Romo, of course, and the backup is Kyle Orton. The No. 3 man is ... I don't believe Stephen McGee or Rudy Carpenter make this team. The Cowboys should go with just two quarterbacks and save this roster spot for another position player, such as offensive or defensive line.

Offensive line

I'm going with 11 linemen here and while Timmy has Kevin Kowalski looking for work, I believe he wears a star on his helmet this September. The interior of the offensive line is unsettled and the Cowboys want competition at those spots. Pat McQuistan was a late pickup during the offseason and I just don't see him having much of an impact, but he does make the team. Ronald Leary, if he remains healthy, could challenge for a starting job.

Inside linebacker


This is going to be interesting. I do believe Bruce Carter and Dan Connor will have a fierce battle to be the starter alongside Sean Lee in training camp. The projection is Conner will start with Lee, but I haven't given up on Carter getting first-team reps. Among the backups, Alex Albright is the favorite to make the squad due to his work on special teams. Rookie Caleb McSurdy will get surpassed by Orie Lemon for one of the final roster spots.

Outside linebacker


Adrian Hamilton is a nice story and a player who will get significant snaps in training camp and the preseason, but there's a reason Clifton Geathers is a defensive end that might take a spot away from Hamilton. He's got the potential to be a good pass rusher of the edge and that could force the Cowboys to go small numbers wise at outside linebacker. Yes, I agree with Archer on this one. The Cowboys' coaches and scouts like Geathers' long arms and his athletic ability. He just needs to play more often. There is nothing wrong with the competition Hamilton went against in getting 22 sacks for Prairie View A&M in the SWAC, you just wonder if he's better than Geathers.

Safety


The Cowboys will go with four safeties, and the odd man out is veteran Brodney Pool. After watching some of the offseason practices, I didn't notice Pool make any plays. Maybe he did and my untrained eye just couldn't find them, but I do like what Barry Church, rookie Matt Johnson and Danny McCray can do. McCray is good on special teams and you can't have enough of these guys on the roster. Johnson made plays in college (yeah it was Eastern Washington), and it's clear he challenges receivers in the passing game. Church is on the upside of his career and he also earns a spot.

If you forgot, here's Tim MacMahon's roster projection.

And here's Todd Archer's roster projection.
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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