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Friday, September 2, 2011
Vol. 1 Calvin Watkins roster projections

By Calvin Watkins

While Todd Archer (Version 4.0) and Tim MacMahon (Version 5.0) have projected the roster throughout training camp, I've waited until the preseason was over.

Here you go:

Quarterbacks (3)
Tony Romo
Jon Kitna
Stephen McGee

No issues here, but McGee played better this year and I'm fine with him backing up Romo in 2012.

Running backs (4)
Felix Jones
Tashard Choice
DeMarco Murray
Phillip Tanner

Murray looked great in the Thursday night finale at Miami and will battle Choice for playing time. Tanner was the underdog that made the roster and deserved his spot. Lonyae Miller had a fast start to camp, but fizzled when the games started.

Fullback (1)
Jason Pociask

It's pretty sad the Cowboys had two traditional fullbacks on the roster and they didn't make the cut. Pociask can play the role here with about five-to-six offensive snaps a game.

Tight end (3)
Jason Witten
Martellus Bennett
John Phillips

At times, Martin Rucker seemed like a lock to make the team, but Pociask is a better blocker so that's where he misses out. Bennett played better than Phillips, but his ankle injury slows his progress.

Wide receiver (4)
Miles Austin
Dez Bryant
Kevin Ogletree
Jesse Holley

The young kids, Dwayne Harris (inconsistency and injury) and Raymond Radway (injury) didn't do enough to make the roster. Radway will get his chance next year, Harris should get placed on the practice squad and if he does well, will get called up.

Offensive line (9)
Doug Free
Bill Nagy
Phil Costa
Kyle Kosier
Tyron Smith
David Arkin
Jermey Parnell
Montrae Holland
Kevin Kowalski

Parnell beats out Sam Young by a nose to become the swing tackle. Anything is better than Alex Barron was last year, right? Holland is a solid backup at both guard spots.

Defensive line (6)
Marcus Spears
Jay Ratliff
Kenyon Coleman
Jason Hatcher
Josh Brent
Sean Lissemore

A veteran group that could use Clifton Geathers. But the team might try to sneak him through waivers and place him on the practice squad. Brent was so-so in camp, but did more than Jimmy Sadler-McQueen to make the roster.

Inside linebackers (5)
Bradie James
Keith Brooking
Sean Lee
Kenwin Cummings
Orie Lemon

Bruce Carter will be NFI until the sixth week so he won't count on the 53. Cummings was consistent enough to make the team and showed some toughness by playing with a cast to protect a bruised thumb.

Outside linebackers (4)
DeMarcus Ware
Anthony Spencer
Victor Butler
Alex Albright

You can never have enough linebackers and Butler had a better summer than Spencer. Albright has played well at times and should contribute on special teams.

Cornerbacks (6)
Terence Newman
Mike Jenkins
Orlando Scandrick
Alan Ball
Bryan McCann
Josh Thomas

The depth at this position is scary if Newman and Jenkins are not ready for the Jets on Sept. 11. Ball had a strong summer and now he must carry that over into the regular season. McCann and Thomas had some growing pains but each edged Mario Butler and Chris Randle for roster spots.

Safeties (4)
Abram Elam
Gerald Sensabaugh
Barry Church
Danny McCray

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah didn't impress on special teams and didn't seem physical enough on defense. McCray gets the nod with no problems.

Specialists (4)
Mat McBriar
David Buehler
Dan Bailey
LP Ladouceur

The two veterans, Shayne Graham and Dave Rayner, were inconsistent, so Buehler wins at least the kickoff job. Bailey is a rookie who could get tested early.