IRVING, Texas -- Examining the Dallas Cowboys' roster:
Dustin Vaughan's performance against the San Diego Chargers has earned him some discussions about the practice squad. He has not done enough for the 53-man roster yet, but the Cowboys might have something worth developing.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
Randle took a step forward with how he played against the Chargers and not just his work as a runner. He did a decent job in pass protection and on special teams. Williams was OK, but he allowed a sack. I'm still not sold on a fullback. Clutts is the only real choice but injuries at other spots could lead to his demise.
WIDE RECEIVERS (5)
These five have remained the same all camp but the Cowboys have seven receivers who can play in the league if not with the Cowboys. Injuries will play a part in if they can keep a sixth (LaRon Byrd, Chris Boyd or Jamar Newsome) but that's a luxury for a team that will have to go heavy on defense.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
This group remains unchanged as well. Maybe they look outside for some help on the waiver wire to possibly add a fourth tight end, but that's almost a luxury too.
OFFENSIVE LINE (9)
If we're just going by what we see, then Wetzel deserves the third tackle spot over Darrion Weems, who has missed time with a dislocated shoulder. Wetzel isn't always pretty but he is tough, will fight and knows how to keep himself in good spots. I'm starting to wonder if I just go with eight offensive linemen, which seems light given injuries. Parnell needs to play better as well but so far his job is not in jeopardy.
DEFENSIVE LINE (10)
Spencer makes his first appearance on the 53-man roster, but that doesn't mean he will be ready for Week 1. He could be ready by Week 3, however, so stashing him on PUP for the first six weeks might not be worth it. His rehab has come along well. He takes Ben Gardner's spot. If Spencer isn't read a name to watch is Kenneth Boatright. He might not be this year's Selvie, but he has some ability that could help if Spencer is not ready early in the year.
I'm going back to seven linebackers and Lawrence makes his first showing in the projections. He has improved quite a bit as a linebacker and is a trustworthy special teamer. His ceiling might be lower than a Will Smith, but this defense needs help right away. Lawrence could get them through a game whereas Smith's missed time due to injury hurts his cause. I wouldn't put McClain down as a lock yet. He needs to show up in the preseason games.
I dropped Tyler Patmon from the list and part of that has to do with the safety position. I think Patmon is a guy who can get to the practice squad. B.W. Webb still has work to do. Mitchell's competitiveness is a good thing but he has to play better with his feet. He grabs too much. Having Carr back at camp is a good thing for a group that has not been 100 percent whole yet.
Last week I said Dixon has to make an impression in the preseason games, and he did vs. San Diego with 12 tackles. He has a lot ot learn but he plays fast and hard. They can overlook some of his mistakes just because of his effort. Hamilton was off to a good start before he was sidetracked by a concussion. His spot is far from safe but he is an improved player.
No change here. Not sure there will be a change all camp.