Vol. 2: Premature 53-man roster projection
OXNARD, Calif. -- The second weekly edition of the always-subject-to-change projection of the Cowboys’ 53-man roster for the season opener:
Stephen McGee hasn’t developed enough to merit keeping a third quarterback, especially since Rudy Carpenter is eligible for the practice squad.
RUNNING BACKS (3)
The hope is that Tanner won’t miss much more than a week after breaking his hand. He can be a core special teams player, something undrafted rookies Ed Wesley and Lance Dunbar aren’t physical enough for at this point.
Jason Garrett talks a lot about the importance of being a physical team. The signing of Vickers is proof that it’s more than just talk.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
No position on the roster has more uncertainty. There isn’t a legitimate No. 3 guy on the roster, but a veteran waiver pickup won’t be ready for that role right away. Tim Benford, Raymond Radway and Cole Beasley all have a chance to make the team.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
Hanna, who has great speed for a tight end, is getting a ton of reps with Phillips nursing an ankle injury. Can he block well enough to compete for the second tight end role?
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN (10)
If Costa has any competition, it will be from Bernadeau. But Bernadeau still hasn’t practiced, and the plan was for him to start at guard.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (7)
Lissemore and Crawford make Marcus Spears -- and maybe Coleman -- expendable. Geathers (6-7, 325) looks like a monster and has actually started making some plays.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (5)
Albright is a Joe DeCamillis favorite who has added to his value by working a lot at inside linebacker and even a little at tight end. That makes it worth going heavy here.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (4)
Carter and Connor should be upgrades over past-their-prime Keith Brooking and Bradie James. One team source said he’d be stunned if Lemon, a practice squad player last season, didn’t survive final cuts.
Butler hasn’t looked out of place while playing with the first-team nickel in the few days since Claiborne went down. He’s also added to his value by working some at safety.
Church’s competition with Brodney Pool was a first-round knockout. Mana Silva, who can help on special teams, could make the Cowboys consider going heavy here.
Only question here is whether the Cowboys can count on Jones. If not, they’ll be able to find a veteran after the preseason.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss this week's minicamp and Dez Bryant. Claiborne will join the show to discuss the latest Cowboys news all season.
Play Podcast Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and you won't believe who he says is the Cowboys' best player.
Play Podcast Cowboys wide receivers coach Derek Dooley joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about Dez Bryant's talent and potential.
Play Podcast Glenn "Stretch" Smith and Matt Mosley talk about their time at Day 2 of Cowboys minicamp and discuss Monte Kiffin's defensive principles and his growing relationship with the players.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL insider John Clayton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Cowboys and Tony Romo missing OTAs.
Play Podcast ESPN senior NFL analyst Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss another busy week for the Cowboys at Valley Ranch.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss how Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and others spend lots of time with their receivers and if it matters that Tony Romo is not participating in OTAs.
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he's looking for during the third session of OTAs, a potential Sean Lee contract extension and why people underestimate Miles Austin's value.