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:
RUNNING BACKS (3)
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?
Jason Garrett would love to have 53 guys with Vickers’ toughness and attitude.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
The decision probably comes down to Butler or Teddy Williams, who has elite track speed but lacks cornerback quickness and football instincts.
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.
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.