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Monday, August 23, 2010
Cowboys bubble list is growing

By Calvin Watkins

You've seen the 53-man roster from Timmy. Now, let's look at players we think are on the bubble for certain spots on the roster.

QUARTERBACK
Bubble:
Stephen McGee

What's the deal? Dallas is keeping Tony Romo and Jon Kitna. In fact, Jerry Jones said Saturday night he can sleep at night knowing he doesn't have to worry about his quarterback position. But he should worry about the future. Stephen McGee hasn't been impressive in camp or in the games. The next two games are important for McGee to show the coaches he can play in this league.

LINEBACKER
Bubble:
Leon Williams and Steve Octavien

What's the deal?
We think the Cowboys will keep at least eight linebackers, but that number could increase if some players put forth a better effort. Leon Williams struggled on Saturday night at San Diego and is behind Sean Lee and Jason Williams at inside linebacker. Steve Octavien played well at times, but Victor Butler has produced more plays at outside linebacker. Butler's strip sack forced a safety Saturday night.

NOSE TACKLE
Bubble:
Junior Siavii and Josh Brent

What's the deal? We don't believe the Cowboys will keep both. You only need one backup to Jay Ratliff. Siavii is a consistent performer in training camp and games. Brent is up and down. The coaches like Brent's ability, and from a financial standpoint he's cheaper than Siavii, but he needs to make more plays.

DEFENSIVE END
Bubble:
Marcus Dixon and Jimmy Saddler-McQueen

What's the deal? Jason Hatcher has played well in placeof an injured Marcus Spears. Until Spears returns, the Cowboys are a man short, and this gives Dixon and Saddler-McQueen more snaps. Dixon spent two years on the practice squad, and the team would like to see him make the active roster in 2010. His impact is minimum in games. Saddler-McQueen dove on a loose ball in the end zone for a safety on Saturday night. More plays like that help his cause.

SAFETY
Bubble:
Pat Watkins and Danny McCray

What's the deal? Watkins' sore knee allowed guys like McCray and Barry Church to move past him. The good thing about Watkins is that the coaches know what he's doing. But there might be more upside with Church, who filled in nicely for an injured Gerald Sensabaugh on Saturday night. McCray was all over the place on special teams yet struggled on defense. Mike Hamlin should return this week from a concussion and it's at the right time. The Cowboys might keep six safeties, and Watkins and McCray are battling for the last spot.

WIDE RECEIVER
Bubble:
Sam Hurd and Jesse Holley

What's the deal? Both players have done well on special teams. Hurd makes more money than Holley, and some believe that will be the deciding factor. Hurd is a more accomplished receiver than Holley, but he's not that much better than Kevin Ogletree. Holley came back from a hamstring injury Saturday night because he said he needed to get on the field. The Cowboys like both players but will only keep six receivers.

OFFENSIVE LINE
Bubble:
Travis Bright, Pat McQuistan, Mike Tepper, Sam Young

What's the deal? Bright was the backup center until Phil Costa surpassed him on the depth chart. Young has impressed offensive line coach Hudson Houck, but his two fourth-quarter penalties Saturday night raised concerns. McQuistan can't play tackle so he was moved to guard, and he's not much better there. The Cowboys could keep 10 offensive linemen with Young getting the last spot.