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Friday, October 12, 2012
Pondering the 46-man roster: Is Marcus Spears active?

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas – The return of Jay Ratliff from injury will be a good thing for the Cowboys, but it could create some interesting decisions as the Cowboys ponder their 46-man roster for Sunday’s game at Baltimore.

The decision comes down to Marcus Spears vs. Tyrone Crawford, and the rookie would appear to get the edge because of his pass-rush ability. Spears is battling a knee injury but has been able to take part in full practices this week.

Spears has not missed a game in his career when healthy enough to play.

Anthony Spencer’s health will play a role, too. He took part in one limited practice this week because of a pectoral strain. He could miss his second straight game.

The Cowboys will have all five running backs active in DeMarco Murray, Felix Jones, Phillip Tanner, Lawrence Vickers and Lance Dunbar, but that should affect how many wide receivers will be active. For the season opener the Cowboys went with four wide receivers, but there is a possibility Dwayne Harris could be switched out in favor of Andre Holmes this week if they choose to go with four.

Do the Cowboys go back to seven active offensive linemen? Phil Costa will be back, but the Cowboys aren’t sure if Ryan Cook (hamstring) will be able to play. They have dressed eight guys in Costa’s absence. If Cook can play, then they wouldn’t need David Arkin to play, but do they keep Derrick Dockery active if Mackenzy Bernadeau struggles again?

The final defensive spot could come down to Matt Johnson vs. Kyle Wilber. Johnson only returned to practice this week after missing the first four games with a hamstring injury. Wilber is more familiar with the special teams’ units.