<
>

Vol. III: 53-man roster projection

8/14/2012
Play6:00
Expectations For Tony Romo This Season

Marcellus Wiley, Rob Parker and Skip Bayless discuss their expectations for Tony Romo in 2012.

We tried not to knee-jerk too much after a 3-0 preseason win, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

This week's 53-man roster projection, where we went a little lighter at QB and OL and beefed up at DL and S:

QUARTERBACKS (2)

Tony Romo

Kyle Orton

Why keep Stephen McGee? That roster spot can be used for a young player with some potential at another position. Rudy Carpenter or another QB can be signed to the practice squad.

RUNNING BACKS (3)

DeMarco Murray

Felix Jones

Phillip Tanner

There aren’t any running backs who are really taking advantage of Tanner’s absence due to a broken hand. The bigger concern with the backs: Can Felix Jones still be a dynamic threat in a change-of-pace role?

FULLBACKS (1)

Lawrence Vickers

Jason Garrett would love to have 53 guys with Vickers’ toughness and attitude.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

Jason Witten

John Phillips

James Hanna

Hanna’s blocking has been better than anticipated while Phillips nurses a sprained ankle. It’s a stretch to say Hanna is pushing for the No. 2 role, but he can create a niche for himself as a rookie.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6)

Miles Austin

Dez Bryant

Veteran TBD

Andre Holmes

Cole Beasley

Danny Coale

Asked if he was confident the third receiver was already on the roster, receivers coach Jimmy Robinson paused for several seconds and suggested that “hopeful” was a better word. Enough said. Just don’t hold your breath for a big name.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

Tyron Smith

Doug Free

Nate Livings

Mackenzy Bernadeau

Phil Costa

David Arkin

Jermey Parnell

Ronald Leary

Derrick Dockery

It’s safe to assume the Cowboys will scour the waiver wire searching for a center and/or guard. Just don’t expect them to find a starter.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (7)

Jay Ratliff

Jason Hatcher

Sean Lissemore

Marcus Spears

Tyrone Crawford

Josh Brent

Clifton Geathers

Spears and fellow veteran Kenyon Coleman are probably fighting for a roster spot. Spears is well aware of that and played like a motivated man against the Raiders.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS (4)

Sean Lee

Dan Connor

Bruce Carter

Orie Lemon

Lemon opened a lot of eyes during the first two weeks of training camp, but that didn’t carry over to his performance in Oakland.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (5)

DeMarcus Ware

Anthony Spencer

Victor Butler

Kyle Wilber

Alex Albright

Adrian Hamilton could make himself really tough to cut. The Cowboys could opt to go with only three true inside linebackers since Albright is working at that spot to make room for the pass rusher from Prairie View A&M.

CORNERBACKS (5)

Brandon Carr

Morris Claiborne

Mike Jenkins

Orlando Scandrick

Mario Butler

The decision probably comes down to Butler or Teddy Williams, who has elite track speed but lacks cornerback quickness and football instincts.

SAFETIES (5)

Gerald Sensabaugh

Barry Church

Danny McCray

Matt Johnson

Mana Silva

Silva has enough special teams potential to justify keeping five safeties, especially considering that Johnson has practiced a grand total of once during training camp.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Dan Bailey

Chris Jones

Charley Hughlett

The Cowboys let Mat McBriar go because of about $300,000. They’ll save roughly twice as much if Hughlett, who did all the long snapping against the Raiders, replaces veteran L.P. Ladouceur.