Commentary

Dallas Cowboys: Take 'Em or Trash 'Em?

Updated: January 5, 2012, 1:58 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- The Dallas Cowboys finished the year 8-8, losing the regular-season finale against the New York Giants in a game they needed to win in order to reach the postseason.

The Cowboys overcame injuries to key starters and put themselves in position to make the playoffs. In the end, Jason Garrett admitted that the team's youth movement brought growing pains for an organization with just two playoff wins since its last Super Bowl title.

The Cowboys' roster will need more purging of veterans. With that, we play take 'em or trash 'em:

Offense

Tony Romo

Position: QB
Watkins: Strong season but time is running out. Take.

Jon Kitna

Position: QB
Watkins: Solid backup who'll retire after long career. Trash.

Stephen McGee

Position: QB
Watkins: It is time to move on and find a legit No. 2. Trash.

DeMarco Murray

Position: RB
Watkins: Emerged as 20-carry back the team needs. Take.

Felix Jones

Position: RB
Watkins: True third-down back. Has health concerns. Take.

Sammy Morris

Position: RB
Watkins: Did his thing but you want to go younger. Trash.

Chauncey Washington

Position: RB
Watkins: Only here due to injuries. Trash.

Phillip Tanner

Position: RB
Watkins: Talented player will get his chance next season. Take.

Tony Fiammetta

Position: FB
Watkins: If health is fine, needs to be kept around. Take.

Shaun Chapas

Position: FB
Watkins: A young player, can make it on special teams. Take.

Jason Witten

Position: TE
Watkins: Missed the Pro Bowl, but still a solid, reliable player. Take.

Martellus Bennett

Position: TE
Watkins: He was counting down the days until the end. Trash.

John Phillips

Position: TE
Watkins: Needs to work on improving his blocking technique. Take.

Dez Bryant

Position: WR
Watkins: Made tremendous strides toward end of the season. Future looks good. Take.

Kevin Ogletree

Position: WR
Watkins: Did not grow as a receiver and it's time to send him home. Trash.

Dwayne Harris

Position: WR
Watkins: Needs more time to develop as a receiver and returner. Take.

Andre Holmes

Position: WR
Watkins: Team liked his potential, gave defense good look on scout team. Take.

Miles Austin

Position: WR
Watkins: Hamstring cost him six games, still a force in the passing game. Take.

Laurent Robinson

Position: WR
Watkins: Led the team with 11 TDs and is a FA. Needs to return. Take.

Jesse Holley

Position: WR
Watkins: Couldn't get on the field enough. Time to end the reality show. Trash.

Doug Free

Position: LT
Watkins: Should have played better, and move to right tackle might help. Take.

Jermey Parnell

Position: LT
Watkins: Has some potential to be the swing tackle in 2012. Take.

Montrae Holland

Position: LG
Watkins: Needs to keep his weight down. Might be time to go. Trash.

Derrick Dockery

Position: LG
Watkins: Veteran came in and did some nice things in a spot role. Take.

Bill Nagy

Position: LG
Watkins: Has potential to be good but will need to compete. Take.

David Arkin

Position: LG
Watkins: Need to see more of him in 2012. Should compete for starting spot. Take.

Phil Costa

Position: C
Watkins: Was inconsistent but is young and can improve. Take.

Kevin Kowalski

Position: C
Watkins: Will compete with Costa for starting job in 2012. Take.

Kyle Kosier

Position: RG
Watkins: Undervalued but age and health are a concern. Trash.

Daniel Loper

Position: RG
Watkins: Will have a chance to battle for starting spot next season. Take.

Tyron Smith

Position: RT
Watkins: Should move to LT next year. Athletic, powerful and smart. Take.

Defense

Kenyon Coleman

Position: DE
Watkins: Vanished at times and younger version is needed. Trash.

Sean Lissemore

Position: DE
Watkins: Can play DT and DE. High motor and good strength. Take.

Jason Hatcher

Position: DE
Watkins: Solid season and undervalued. Only getting better. Take.

Marcus Spears

Position: DE
Watkins: Played well in Rob Ryan's scheme and is valued asset. Take.

Clifton Geathers

Position: DE
Watkins: Team kept him around for limited snaps. Needs to play more in '12. Take.

Jay Ratliff

Position: NT
Watkins: A move to DE should be in his future. Played well overall. Take.

Josh Brent

Position: NT
Watkins: Knee injury slowed his growth; still has a future. Take.

Anthony Spencer

Position: OLB
Watkins: Will test FA market, but needed to make more plays. Trash.

DeMarcus Ware

Position: OLB
Watkins: Heart and soul of the defense. Had another strong season. Take.

Victor Butler

Position: OLB
Watkins: A solid third-down pass-rusher. Good special-teamer. Take.

Alex Albright

Position: OLB
Watkins: Can improve, but impressed the coaches enough to return. Take.

Bradie James

Position: ILB
Watkins: Time to say goodbye. Was professional despite reduced snaps. Trash.

Keith Brooking

Position: ILB
Watkins: Proud vet went out swinging but it's time to move on. Trash.

Sean Lee

Position: ILB
Watkins: The future is now and he's solid. Tough, smart and physical. Take.

Bruce Carter

Position: ILB
Watkins: Athletic, fast and smart. Can rush off the edge, too. Starter in 2012. Take.

Mike Jenkins

Position: CB
Watkins: Injuries slowed him down, was best corner in 2011 but want more INTs. Take.

Orlando Scandrick

Position: CB
Watkins: Stepped back in 2011. Needs to improve next year. Take.

Terence Newman

Position: CB
Watkins: Played well at the start, but fizzled toward the end. Trash.

Alan Ball

Position: CB
Watkins: Has the size and skill, but wasn't consistent enough. Trash.

Frank Walker

Position: CB
Watkins: Tailed off at the end of the year. Find a younger corner. Trash.

Gerald Sensabaugh

Position: FS
Watkins: Nice job at times, but foot injury limited playmaking. Take.

Abram Elam

Position: SS
Watkins: He was communications guy. The team struggled at it. Trash.

Danny McCray

Position: FS
Watkins: Good special-teams player who improved on defense. Take.

Barry Church

Position: SS
Watkins: Can play some LB and that makes Rob Ryan happy. Take.

Mana Silva

Position: SS
Watkins: Special-teams player who will compete next year. Take.

Special Teams

Dan Bailey

Position: K
Watkins: A wonderful year from the rookie. Take.

Mat McBriar

Position: P
Watkins: Foot injury, free agency leaves questions. Trash.

David Buehler

Position: K
Watkins: He's not what the team wants. Time to go. Trash.

L.P. Ladouceur

Position: LS
Watkins: Good season, give him a new deal. Take.

Management/Coaches

Jerry Jones

Position: Owner/GM
Watkins: Should have waited on new deals for Kosier, Sensabaugh and Scandrick. Take.

Jason Garrett

Position: Head coach
Watkins: Team played better under him, but in-game issues remain. Take.

Rob Ryan

Position: D-coordinator
Watkins: Defense was better than last year, but still had problems. Take.

Joe DeCamillis

Position: Special teams
Watkins: Couldn't find a good returner and the unit was average overall. Take.


Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.