Pre-camp 53-man roster projection


IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys will fly to California on Friday for the beginning of training camp, so here is the final offseason projection of the 53-man roster.

Without knowing the injuries that could happen, there looks to be roughly seven roster spots up for grabs.

When we get to Oxnard, Calif., Tim MacMahon will take over the projections.

Quarterbacks (2)

Tony Romo

Kyle Orton

The Cowboys have sniffed around better No. 3 quarterbacks in the offseason, which could mean they will look to keep one on the 53-man roster. It just won’t be Nick Stephens or Dalton Williams.

Running backs (4)

DeMarco Murray

Joseph Randle

Lance Dunbar

Phillip Tanner

Tanner had a good offseason and enters with the final job, but Kendial Lawrence could push him with a strong camp. The past two camps have seen undrafted runners make it, with Tanner and Dunbar as surprises. Could Lawrence be the third in a row?

Tight ends (4)

Jason Witten

James Hanna

Gavin Escobar

Dante Rosario

No change here from the projection after the minicamp, but Colin Cochart could play himself into contention.

Wide receivers (5)

Dez Bryant

Miles Austin

Terrance Williams

Dwayne Harris

Cole Beasley

No change from the minicamp projection.

Offensive line (10)

Tyron Smith

Nate Livings

Travis Frederick

Mackenzy Bernadeau

Doug Free

Jermey Parnell

Phil Costa

Ronald Leary

Darrion Weems

Kevin Kowalski

After the minicamp, I dropped Kowalski from the list with hesitation. With some time to think about it, I put him back on the roster. He can play all three interior line spots.

Defensive line (9)

DeMarcus Ware

Jay Ratliff

Jason Hatcher

Anthony Spencer

Tyrone Crawford

Sean Lissemore

Kyle Wilber

Ben Bass

Nick Hayden

Nick Hayden gets the final spot for now. I wonder if the Cowboys could find a trade partner late in camp if they really like their depth.

Linebackers (6)

Bruce Carter

Sean Lee

Justin Durant

Alex Albright

DeVonte Holloman

Brandon Magee

No change from the minicamp projection, but I wonder if carrying six linebackers is smart, especially as ones as inexperienced as the backups are.

Cornerbacks (5)

Brandon Carr

Morris Claiborne

Orlando Scandrick

B.W. Webb

Sterling Moore

No change from the minicamp projection, but I think the Cowboys will be looking at that final cornerback spot in camp.

Safeties (5)

Barry Church

Will Allen

Matt Johnson

J.J. Wilcox

Danny McCray

I have McCray on the bubble because of his price tag, but he is a terrific special teamer and new coach Rich Bisaccia would want to keep a guy like that. If Jakar Hamilton shows some skills, then he could fight his way into the picture.

Specialists (3)

Dan Bailey

Chris Jones

L.P. Ladouceur

No change from the minicamp projection.