Vol. II: 53-man roster projection

July, 29, 2013
7/29/13
8:45
AM ET
OXNARD, Calif. -- Here's the second in our weekly 53-man roster projections, which will continue throughout training camp and the preseason.

Players who weren't on last week's projection are marked with an asterisk.

PODCAST
Dez Bryant has been the star of Cowboys training camp and Michael Irvin weighed in on the new No. 88 with Tim MacMahon.

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QUARTERBACKS (2)
Tony Romo
Kyle Orton
Alex Tanney, a strong-armed, 6-foot-4, 25-year-old signed just before camp started, is worth watching during the preseason.

RUNNING BACKS (4)
DeMarco Murray
Lance Dunbar
Phillip Tanner
Joseph Randle
It was widely assumed that Randle would be Murray’s backup when the Cowboys picked him in the fifth round, but he’s having a tough time climbing the depth chart after missing all of the offseason workouts while recovering from thumb surgery. Dunbar adds an explosive element as a change-of-pace back. Tanner looks a lot quicker and runs with more confidence after slimming down 10 pounds since last season.

TIGHT ENDS (4)
Jason Witten
Gavin Escobar
James Hanna
Dante Rosario
Escobar, the rookie second-round pick, hasn’t looked out of place working as the second tight end with the starters. It could be hard for Hanna to win back that role once he recovers from a strained hamstring suffered in the opening days of camp.

RECEIVERS (5)
Dez Bryant
Miles Austin
Terrance Williams
Dwayne Harris
Cole Beasley
Can Anthony Armstrong make a case for the Cowboys to keep six receivers? He shined with the starters when Dez Bryant cramped up during Friday’s practice. Undrafted rookie Eric Rogers is probably practice-squad material.

OFFENSIVE LINE (10)
Tyron Smith
Nate Livings
Travis Frederick
Mackenzy Bernadeau
Doug Free
Jermey Parnell
Phil Costa
Ronald Leary
*David Arkin
*Darrion Weems
The Cowboys hoped Demetress Bell could be their fourth tackle, but he’s in horrendous shape and doesn’t appear close to being able to pass the conditioning test necessary to be cleared to practice. With Parnell missing almost all of camp due to a strained hamstring, it’d make sense for the Cowboys to keep a close eye on the waiver wire for backup tackle upgrades. Arkin actually hasn’t been bad filling in as the starter at right guard while Bernadeau (hamstring) and Leary (calf) recover from injuries.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)
DeMarcus Ware
Jay Ratliff
Jason Hatcher
Anthony Spencer
Sean Lissemore
Kyle Wilber
Ben Bass
Nick Hayden
*Cameron Sheffield
A veteran addition is a strong possibility here, but the Cowboys want to give the young players on the roster every chance to prove themselves. Sheffield (6-foot-2, 268) is working as the starting strongside defensive end with Spencer recovering from knee surgery, Tyrone Crawford out for the season and Bass nursing a sprained ankle.

LINEBACKERS (6)
Bruce Carter
Sean Lee
Justin Durant
Alex Albright
DeVonte Holloman
Brandon Magee
Maybe they go with seven guys here and keep Ernie Sims, a versatile veteran. It’s hard to see them cutting Holloman or Magee, two rookies with intriguing potential who should be able to help right away on special teams.

CORNERBACKS (5)
Brandon Carr
Morris Claiborne
Orlando Scandrick
B.W. Webb
Sterling Moore
Moore has actually had a better camp so far than Webb, the fourth-round pick. The SMU product isn’t being pushed by any of the other young corners in camp.

SAFETIES (5)
Barry Church
Will Allen
Matt Johnson
J.J. Wilcox
Danny McCray
We’re still waiting for Jakar Hamilton to make his presence felt. The Cowboys had a fifth-round grade on the undrafted free agent, but he’s probably practice-squad bound unless he starts making plays.

SPECIALISTS (3)
Dan Bailey
Chris Jones
L.P. Ladouceur
Ladouceur (calf) still hasn’t practiced during training camp, but it’s not like a long snapper needs long to work himself into shape.

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