Dallas Cowboys: David Arkin

Cowboys need more Bradie James picks

May, 7, 2014
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IRVING, Texas -- In talking about Bradie James on Tuesday, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones could not help but think of the draft.

It wasn’t just that the draft is coming up Thursday. It was something James signified in turning into a starter from 2005-11 with the Cowboys, a captain and the leading tackler for a six-year run.

“When I think about the fourth-round value of what Bradie brought us, that’s where you’re trying to go,” Jones said.

James was the 103rd pick of the 2003 draft. When the Cowboys moved to the 3-4 scheme in 2005, he became a better fit for the defense. He was a sure tackler, dependable player and good leader. He was solid in a lot of ways.

Since James, the Cowboys have not been so fortunate with their fourth-round selections.

In 2005 they drafted Marion Barber (109 overall) and Chris Canty (132 overall). In 2007 they drafted Doug Free (122 overall). Barber earned a Pro Bowl spot and was a tough runner. Canty was a solid player for four years before leaving in free agency. Free is the Cowboys' starting right tackle.

Since selecting Free in the fourth round, however, the Cowboys have not found an every-day starter. Running back Tashard Choice (122 overall, 2008) started four games in parts of four seasons. Quarterback Stephen McGee (101 overall, 2009) and Victor Butler (110 overall, 2009) combined to start three games. Brandon Williams (120 overall, 2009) never made an impact in part because of a knee injury.

The Cowboys never figured out of Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (126 overall, 2010) was a cornerback, safety or wide receiver in his two seasons with the team. David Arkin (110 overall, 2011) never started a game.

In 2012, the Cowboys picked Kyle Wilber (113 overall) and Matt Johnson in the fourth round. Wilber became a starter out of necessity last year but at outside linebacker after playing defensive end in the 4-3. Johnson has yet to play in a game because of an injury.

Last year the Cowboys took cornerback B.W. Webb (114 overall) and he did little to inspire the stopping of what has become a trend.

Successful drafts are determined by the quality of depth a team forms in the later rounds. In 2003, the Cowboys found James and he went on to become the franchise’s sixth all-time leading tackler. Free has been a starter since 2009.

The Cowboys need more of those guys this week in order to have a successful draft in 2014 and less of the Arkins, Butlers and McGees.

Five Wonders: Never land at No. 16

May, 6, 2014
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IRVING, Texas -- With the draft finally within site, unless there is some sort of rain delay, it’s time for Five Wonders to return.

We’ll keep them focused on the draft.

** I wonder if the Cowboys are in never-never land with the 16th pick when it comes to first-round defensive linemen. That’s what an 8-8 finish will do for you. You’re stuck right in the middle and have to do too much to move up significantly and won’t get enough (some of the time) to move down big either. After Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack, there is a drop-off on right defensive ends. Anthony Barr is a project and somebody I believe the Cowboys would pick at No. 16. Will he be there at No. 16? The rest of the options available, like a Kony Ealy, Scott Crichton, Kareem Martin or Demarcus Lawrence look more like second-round picks. That’s why I think if the Cowboys move up it’s only a couple of spots for a specific player. The more likely option is to move back where they’d have better choices at the right value. Now if only some team would be willing to move up.

** I wonder what the reaction of people who live in the best-player-available world would be if the Cowboys took North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron in the first round. If Ebron is there at No. 16 and is the best player, then the Cowboys must take him, right? If you live in the best-player-available world in which there is no gray area, then Ebron is your guy. Hooray. But after taking Gavin Escobar in the second round last year and seeing Jason Witten make another Pro Bowl in 2013, do the Cowboys need a first-round tight end? You might hate the word “need” but I don’t. Need has become the four-letter word in draft circles. If they take Ebron, they are saying the Escobar pick was a mistake and Witten is on his final legs. Ebron is a terrific talent, but the Cowboys can’t pick him. I do think, however, the Cowboys would take a tight end (more of a blocker than receiver) later on in the draft.

** I wonder how much scheme versatility will factor into the Cowboys’ decision making Thursday-Saturday. The elephant in the room is that Jason Garrett must win now. He is in the final year of his contract. If he doesn’t win, then Jerry Jones doesn’t have to fire him. He just needs to pick a new coach. But let’s say Jerry falls in love with a coach who has a 3-4 background or an offensive coach who wants to bring in a 3-4 coordinator. Can the Cowboys make the switch again? They felt they had the tools to move from a 3-4 to a 4-3 somewhat seamlessly and we saw how that worked in 2013. If the Cowboys picked Aaron Donald in the first round, then would he fit in a 3-4 scheme next year? He doesn’t look like a 3-4 player. It is a fatalistic view to have going into a draft, but the Cowboys could find some defensive prospects that offer versatility in a 3-4 or 4-3, like Barr, Ealy, Lawrence and possibly Ryan Shazier.

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Which position should the Cowboys address first in the draft?

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    27%
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    4%
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    24%
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    3%

Discuss (Total votes: 11,844)

**I wonder if third round is the area in which the Cowboys target an offensive lineman. Of the linemen not named Zack Martin who visited Valley Ranch before the draft, almost all of them are in that Rounds 3-4 neighborhood like Gabe Jackson, Trai Turner, Jack Mewhort and Billy Turner. To be clear, in just about every mock I’ve been asked to participate in, I have the Cowboys taking Martin at No. 16. If they go offense there, I think they need (there’s that word again) to go defense with the second- and third-round picks, provided the grades match up. I’m breaking all ties in the defense’s favor. I’ll add this note: The last middle-round (Rounds 3-5) offensive lineman to pan out for the Cowboys was Doug Free (fourth round) back in 2007. And it took him well into his third season to get on the field. Since then the Cowboys have missed on Robert Brewster (third, 2009) and David Arkin (fourth, 2011). I’ll give them partial credit for Sam Young (sixth, 2010) since he’s still in the league. Their best middle-round offensive lineman in the last 10 years has been Stephen Peterman (third, 2004) and his playing time came with the Detroit Lions after he was cut.

**I wonder if the extra time in the draft has led teams to overanalyze things. The New Orleans Saints attempted to bust up the boredom by spending some time in Las Vegas. Some other teams took a week’s break earlier in the process. The Cowboys altered their schedule some but not that much. Too often we hear teams talk about the importance of watching the players play and not putting as much stock into the combine or pro days. And every year there are guys that come out of nowhere, like Pitt quarterback Tom Savage, and small-school gems, like Pierre Desir. Maybe they will be great finds. Who knows really? The extra time served up plenty of interest, which the NFL craves, and allowed for more mock drafts than ever before, but did it really serve the teams well? We’ll find out in a couple of years.

Chat leftovers: Better to have more picks

April, 21, 2014
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IRVING, Texas -- With last week’s chat pushed back a day, the chat-leftover post was also pushed back to today.

Quick leftover question: pulled pork or ribs? For lunch today, I’m going with a leftover pulled pork sandwich.

Now on to the chat leftovers in which we discuss the thought that the Cowboys might have too many picks, a receiver possible in the first round, Davin Joseph and Jackson Jeffcoat playing for his dad’s team.

If you want to read the chat, click here. We’ll be chatting again on Wednesday at Noon ET.

Away we go:

Miles, Columbia, Mo.: I keep reading Dallas has too many draft picks(11), and not all of them can make the team; so we should trade them to move up. This is flawed logic. The more picks, the better chance you have of finding quality pieces. Would you agree?

Todd Archer: Totally flawed logic. Cowboys fans should remember Jimmy Johnson did his best work with more picks, not less. He could miss on third-rounders almost yearly because they would find some hits later in the draft thanks to more picks. The Cowboys can’t trade three of their picks because the seventh-round compensatory selections are not allowed to be dealt. But the reason I’d want more picks is because this team lacks depth. They are top heavy against the cap because they have had to sign free agents to fill in for draft picks that did not work out. Think Mackenzy Bernadeau for David Arkin, and Bernadeau is reasonably priced but still has a bigger stake in the cap. If the Cowboys aren’t enthralled with what’s left at No. 16, I’d trade down if they have a team willing to give them more picks. This roster isn't so stacked with talent that the Cowboys can be so cavalier with their selections. They can use help just about everywhere.

Will Kershner, Rochester, N.Y.: Is there any chance the boys take Mike Evans in the first round if he falls to us at 16?

Todd Archer: Absolutely. I think a receiver could be the pick in the first round, be it Evans or Odell Beckham or Marqise Lee. I need to pick more brains over at Valley Ranch on the receivers, but if a guy slipped and they don’t like the defensive players available but I see receiver as a possibility. Dez Bryant has a back issue that hasn’t resolved in two years. Terrance Williams has the look of a player but is hardly a given. The backups are solid but limited.

Shaun, Texas: I would love if the cowboys could get Davin Joseph, he would bring depth and experience. And now the Cowboys are not locked to a guard in the draft. What’s the likelihood he signs?

Todd Archer: I would put it at less than 50 percent chance he signs before the draft. It will come down to price and the health of his knee. He did not play well in Tampa Bay last year, which led to his release. That and the $6 million price. If he is willing to take a lot less – a lot – then the Cowboys would be open to him. They don’t have much veteran depth on board right now and Joseph could push Bernadeau or Ronald Leary. He could serve as the swing guy on game day if he doesn’t win a job. But I don’t think the expectations should be too high if he comes on board.

Brent, Sherman: Obviously pass rushers are a big need, and many of the questions have been about Barr, Ealy, etc., but would a player like Jackson Jeffcoat be a good be worth a look in the second round to add even more depth?

Todd Archer: People who know more about this stuff than me say the second round would be a little rich for Jeffcoat. Maybe the third would be a good spot. But I’d take a bet on his genes. His dad played forever and is one of the more underrated Cowboys. Jeffcoat had some health problems at Texas (torn pectoral) but showed up well at the combine and had a good senior year. He is active. He can get to the passer. He’s something of a tweener, but he could be a situational pass-rusher if the Cowboys don’t get a guy in the first two rounds.

Reviewing the Cowboys’ drafts: 2011

April, 16, 2014
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IRVING, Texas -- Day 3 of reviewing the Dallas Cowboys’ past five drafts continues today with the Class of 2011.

If you want our thoughts on the 2009 and 2010 drafts, click here and here.

First-round pick: Tyron Smith (No. 9 overall)

Number of picks: 8

[+] EnlargeTyron Smith
Howard Smith/USA TODAY SportsOffensive tackle Tyron Smith, who has Hall of Fame aspirations, is off to a great start and is just 23.
How they did: In Jason Garrett’s first full season as head coach they did something Jerry Jones never did before: selected an offensive lineman in the first round. In Tyron Smith, they have one of the best left tackles in football. The third-round pick, DeMarco Murray (No. 71 overall) had his first 1,000-yard season in 2013 and was added to the Pro Bowl.

Landing wide receiver Dwayne Harris (No. 176 overall) in the sixth round is also something of a coup. He needed time to develop, but he is a valuable return man, special teamer and is a quality receiver with some big-play ability. Bill Nagy (No. 252 overall) started as a rookie at guard, but that might have said more about the state of the line in 2010 than his ability.

Pivotal pick: Like Sean Lee in 2010, the Cowboys took an injured linebacker in Bruce Carter (No. 40 overall) with the idea of being patient for a payoff in 2012 and beyond. Carter started the year on PUP and played mostly on special teams as a rookie, but appeared to blossom in 11 games in 2012 before an elbow injury ended his season. He has the athletic ability to be one of the better weakside linebackers in a 4-3, but he had a poor showing in 2013. If he can find the form the Cowboys thought he had, then this draft goes from good to great.

Best pick: The Cowboys passed on a chance to pick up first- and second-round picks from the Jacksonville Jaguars to select Smith. He played right tackle as a rookie and moved to left tackle in 2012. It took some time, but the payoff came in 2013. When Smith arrived he said his goal was to make the Hall of Fame. That is a lofty standard, but if he can string together more seasons like last year, then he could end up in Canton, Ohio, one day. The best part is that Smith does not turn 24 until December.

Worst pick: The Cowboys thought they were getting a small-school gem in offensive lineman David Arkin when they took him in the fourth round (No. 119 overall) out of Missouri State. He was a starter on the first day of training camp in part because of the end of the lockout, but he never made a dent before he was cut last season. He was one of the harder workers and was willing to play center as well, but he never showed the strength and power needed to play on the interior.

Cowboys' dead money on salary cap

February, 12, 2014
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IRVING, Texas – A couple of weeks ago, Calvin Watkins gave you the top-10 salary-cap figures on the Dallas Cowboys. Last week, I gave you some salary-cap bargains.

Today we bring you the dead money that will be accounted for on the Cowboys’ 2014 salary cap.

They will have roughly $11.8 million in dead money, led by Jay Ratliff’s $6.928 million.

Two teams will have more dead money than the Cowboys (Carolina Panthers at $17.8 million, Buffalo Bills at $12.07 million). The Arizona Cardinals will have about $10 million in dead money.

The top-five “dead money” players remaining on the books for 2014 after Ratliff are: Nate Livings ($2.1 million), Marcus Spears ($1.4 million), Sean Lissemore ($1.2 million) and David Arkin ($113,400).

By the time the Cowboys have to get under the cap in March, there will be more dead money added after players are released. If the Cowboys cut DeMarcus Ware, they would have $8.5 million in dead money dedicated to Ware, but the move would save them nearly $7.4 million in cap space.

If they designate wide receiver Miles Austin as a June 1 cut, then the Cowboys would carry $2.749 million in dead money and Austin would count $5.1 million against the cap in 2015.

Dolphins add Arkin off practice squad

November, 5, 2013
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IRVING, Texas -- With the Miami Dolphins losing a left tackle and left guard, the team signed guard David Arkin off the Cowboys' practice squad Tuesday.

Arkin, a 2011 fourth-round pick from Missouri State, was cut last week then placed back on the Cowboys' practice squad. The Cowboys valued Arkin's abilities to play both guard positions. As recently as last week, coach Jason Garrett said Arkin was improving.

Arkin never played in a regular-season game for the Cowboys, surpassed by veteran players such as Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau and even second-year guard Ronald Leary.

The Cowboys have just one offensive lineman, guard Ray Dominguez, on the practice squad.

Miami is in need of offensive linemen after Jonathan Martin left the team because of emotional issues and the team then suspended Richie Incognito for his alleged mistreatment of Martin.

The NFL is investigating the troubled relationship between the two offensive linemen.

Cowboys' roster in state of flux

October, 29, 2013
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IRVING, Texas -- At 4-4, the Dallas Cowboys have issues entering the second half of the season.

The first thing they have to do is figure out the roster.

Injuries will force the Cowboys to manipulate several spots and they won’t have a lot of time to get it right.

Brian Waters is likely done for the season because of a triceps injury. He is holding out hope for a possible return, but the Cowboys might not have time to wait. They need to bring in an offensive lineman, likely David Arkin, just to have another guard available on game day. They could go with Phil Costa at center and move Travis Frederick to guard if something happened to Ronald Leary or Mackenzy Bernadeau, but they would like to keep Frederick entrenched at center.

The Cowboys are banged up at safety, as well. J.J. Wilcox’s sprained knee is feeling better, but he does not know if he can practice or play Sunday. Barry Church said he will play despite a hamstring strain suffered Sunday against the Detroit Lions, but the Cowboys have been cautious with hamstring strains this season. Danny McCray has toe, hip and hamstring injuries. Jason Garrett called McCray a “warrior,” but he might be too compromised to help. That leaves undrafted free agents Jeff Heath and Jakar Hamilton as the only healthy safeties, and Heath has a hand/wrist injury he’s dealing with.

Morris Claiborne is looking at a two-game absence because of a hamstring injury, according to a source, and the Cowboys have only three healthy corners on the 53-man roster. It seems they have to make a move at cornerback and at least call up Micah Pellerin from the practice squad.

The Cowboys also have to make a roster move to add defensive end Everette Brown.

Add in the unsure status of DeMarcus Ware (quadriceps), Miles Austin (hamstring) and DeMarco Murray (knee), and the roster is in a state of flux.

Oh, and the trade deadline is today at 3 p.m. Don’t look for any moves, but the Cowboys sure wish they could have more than 53 players on their roster right now.

Cowboys turn to Mackenzy Bernadeau

October, 29, 2013
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IRVING, Texas – With Brian Waters’ season looking all but over because of a triceps injury, the Dallas Cowboys will look to Mackenzy Bernadeau once again.

Signed as an unrestricted free agent last season, Bernadeau started every game in 2012 and the first three games this season. Coach Jason Garrett said Bernadeau did a “good job” with the work Sunday against the Detroit Lions following Waters’ departure.

“Hopefully he's been positively influenced by watching Brian play and just learn from that experience as well,” Garrett said Monday before the team learned of the severity of Waters' injury. “He's played a lot of snaps for us and he's been banged up for the last couple of years and he's played a ton of football for us last year and a lot of football early for us. So hopefully he'll be ready to go and did a nice job getting his first snaps back in there.”

If the Cowboys give Waters the chance to get healthy, they might have to add a guard to the 53-man roster. They re-signed David Arkin to the practice squad on Monday after he was released over the weekend. He has not taken an offensive snap in two-plus seasons. They also have Ray Dominguez on the practice squad.

If they don’t make a move, then center Phil Costa would serve as the backup interior lineman on gameday.

Cowboys agree to deal with Everette Brown

October, 28, 2013
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IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' defensive line shuffle continued on Monday when the team agreed to a deal with Everette Brown.

Brown, a former second-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2009, worked out for the Cowboys on Monday, as did defensive end Adrian Tracy.

It is the third straight week the Cowboys have signed a free-agent defensive linemen. Jarius Wynn was signed on Oct. 15 and Marvin Austin was signed on Oct. 21.

Brown has not played in a regular-season game since 2011 when he was with the San Diego Chargers. He spent time with the Detroit Lions (2012) and Philadelphia Eagles (2013). He had six sacks for the Panthers in 2009-10.

Before the deal can become official, the Cowboys have to release a player from the 53-man roster.

The Cowboys re-signed guard David Arkin to the practice squad after he was released over the weekend to make room for safety Jakar Hamilton. Arkin, a fourth-round pick in 2011, did not take an offensive snap in parts of three seasons.

“There's probably nobody on our football team who works harder and is more committed than David Arkin,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s the right kind of guy and he's working at it and he's getting better. I think he has improved over the last couple of years and that's why we're happy to get him back and put him back on the practice roster and continue that development.”

Cowboys call up Jakar Hamilton

October, 26, 2013
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IRVING, Texas -- With rookie safety J.J. Wilcox out of Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions with a knee injury, the Dallas Cowboys called up Jakar Hamilton from the practice squad.

To make room for Hamilton the Cowboys cut guard David Arkin, a fourth-round draft pick in 2011, who did not see an offensive snap in two seasons. If he clears waivers, he could be brought back to the practice squad.

This season, Arkin was inactive for six games and did not play in the only game that he was active for.

The Cowboys do not believe Wilcox, who was hurt in Thursday’s practice, has a long-term injury. The hope is that he could return next week against the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 3. Wilcox has started the past five games but will be replaced by another rookie, Jeff Heath, on Sunday.

Hamilton has spent the year on the Cowboys’ practice squad after he was among their final cuts.

It is the third straight week the Cowboys have dipped into the practice squad to fill a spot. Two weeks ago they added linebacker Cameron Lawrence and last week they added defensive end Jason Vega.

Pondering the 46: Austin a luxury again?

October, 26, 2013
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IRVING, Texas – Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said earlier in the week that he was able to bring receiver Miles Austin to last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles almost as a luxury because of injuries elsewhere on the roster.

The Cowboys might have that option again Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

J.J. Wilcox’s injured knee, however, forced the Cowboys to call up safety Jakar Hamilton from the practice squad, which would be a way to keep Austin on the sideline.

As much as the Cowboys keep hope alive for DeMarcus Ware, I’d look for him to miss his second straight game because of a quadriceps strain. DeVonte Holloman will miss his second straight game because of a neck injury. With David Arkin cut Saturday, the Cowboys only have to de-activate Phil Costa and Darrion Weems. The Cowboys dressed Costa last week but he did not play a snap.

Tight end Andre Smith was active last week for the first time this season but played only two snaps against the Eagles. Just out of numbers, he could be active again.

The guess at the inactives: Ware, Costa, Weems, Wilcox, Holloman, Smith and Austin.

Pondering the 46: Calling all D-linemen

October, 19, 2013
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IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have nine defensive linemen on their 52-man roster now that Jason Vega has been called up from the practice squad and Edgar Jones on short-term injured reserve.

The hunch – and that’s all it is – is that DeMarcus Ware will dress Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, but as we Ponder the 46, I think the Cowboys will protect themselves and have all of their available defensive linemen active.

The Cowboys need only six inactives this week with Jones going on short-term injured reserve on Friday and the team choosing not to fill the final spot.

Officially Ware is doubtful, but I think Ware plays even if he is limited to a third-down role.

I don’t have the same hunch that DeMarco Murray will play with his sprained medial collateral ligament. With Lance Dunbar out, that leaves the Cowboys with only two tailbacks in Joseph Randle and Phillip Tanner.

Linebacker DeVonte Holloman is out with a neck injury, so that’s another inactive to count.

So in predicting the inactives for the game it is the three injured players: Dunbar, and Holloman, who have been ruled out already, Murray, who is doubtful, and two offensive linemen: Darrion Weems and David Arkin.

Cowboys LB Justin Durant active

October, 13, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Dallas Cowboys strongside linebacker Justin Durant is active for Sunday night's game against the Washington Redskins after missing last week’s game with a groin injury.

Durant
Durant did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, and was limited on Friday, which could mean Ernie Sims takes the bulk of the snaps. Bruce Carter will return to his first-team base and nickel defense role after splitting reps in the sub package last week.

The Cowboys have seven linebackers active with Cameron Lawrence getting called up from the practice squad on Friday.

Running back Lance Dunbar, cornerback Chris Greenwood, defensive end Edgar Jones, guard David Arkin, center Phil Costa, tackle Darrion Weems and tight end Andre Smith are inactive.

With Costa out, linebacker Kyle Bosworth will serve as the short-yardage and goal-line fullback if the Cowboys go that route.

Pondering the 46: All 5 WRs active

October, 12, 2013
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IRVING, Texas -- For only the second time this season the Dallas Cowboys will activate five wide receivers with Miles Austin's return from a two-game absence due to a hamstring strain.

The decision was made somewhat easier by the hamstring injury that will keep running back Lance Dunbar out of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins, but with the evolution of the offense the Cowboys could figure to go in this direction even if all of the backs are healthy.

As we Ponder the 46 for the Redskins game, the decisions come down to health and reliability. The defensive line needs help if not numbers, but with Justin Durant questionable and Edgar Jones out, Cameron Lawrence, newly added from the practice squad, will be active.

Would the Cowboys rather carry nine defensive linemen (David Carter or Caesar Rayford) or eight offensive linemen (Phil Costa)? They got little from either of the defensive linemen against the Denver Broncos, but with Jason Hatcher battling a stinger and Jones out it might make more sense to keep a defender up over Costa.

So the inactives should be: Jones, Dunbar, Andre Smith, David Arkin, Costa, Darrion Weems and Chris Greenwood.

Ernie Sims to replace Justin Durant

October, 6, 2013
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Ernie Sims-Bruce Carter debate that went on during the course of the week meant little with strongside linebacker Justin Durant out of Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos because of a groin injury.

Sims will replace Durant and Carter will be the weakside linebacker.

But Sims figures to play more with the Cowboys expected to rely on their nickel defense against the three-wide-receiver-heavy offense of the Broncos. He replaced Carter in the nickel in the second half of last week’s loss to the San Diego Chargers.

Miles Austin is also inactive, missing his second straight game. Terrance Williams will replace Austin.

Defensive end Edgar Jones is inactive with a groin injury and will be replaced by Caesar Rayford. For the second straight game the Cowboys have all four running backs -- DeMarco Murray, Lance Dunbar, Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle -- active.

Center Phil Costa is active after he did not dress last week with the Cowboys choosing to go with an extra offensive lineman over a fifth cornerback in Chris Greenwood.

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