Commentary

Dallas Cowboys' future in your hands

We're taking power from Jerry Jones and letting you decide who stays/who goes

Updated: January 2, 2013, 1:30 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- The Dallas Cowboys finished the year 8-8, losing the regular-season finale against the Washington Redskins in a game they needed to win to take the NFC East title and reach the postseason.

After a season in which the front office had to make multiple extreme makeovers, the Cowboys' roster will definitely need another. With that, we play Take 'Em or Trash 'Em:

Offense

Tony Romo

Position: QB
Watkins: A solid season, but we need some deep playoff wins to justify a long-term contract extension. Take.

Take or trash Tony Romo?

  •  
    66%
  •  
    34%

(Total votes: 18,842)

Kyle Orton

Position: QB
Watkins: If something happened to Tony Romo, Orton is more than capable of handling the position. Take.

Take or trash Kyle Orton?

  •  
    76%
  •  
    24%

(Total votes: 17,988)

DeMarco Murray

Position: RB
Watkins: Cowboys missed him badly when he was hurt, and his production when he played made a noticeable difference. Take.

Take or trash DeMarco Murray?

  •  
    96%
  •  
    4%

(Total votes: 18,116)

Felix Jones

Position: RB
Watkins: First-round bust didn't make enough impact plays. Time to let him find another team. Trash.

Take or trash Felix Jones?

  •  
    12%
  •  
    88%

(Total votes: 17,463)

Phillip Tanner

Position: RB
Watkins: Couldn't surpass Jones on the depth chart. It might be time to look elsewhere. Trash.

Take or trash Phillip Tanner?

  •  
    23%
  •  
    77%

(Total votes: 16,639)

Lance Dunbar

Position: RB
Watkins: He's got speed but needs another year of seasoning. Take.

Take or trash Lance Dunbar?

  •  
    73%
  •  
    27%

(Total votes: 16,486)

Lawrence Vickers

Position: FB
Watkins: Had decent season. Provided leadership after death of Jerry Brown. Take.

Take or trash Lawrence Vickers?

  •  
    83%
  •  
    17%

(Total votes: 15,822)

Jason Witten

Position: TE
Watkins: An elite player who doesn't get enough praise. Take.

Take or trash Jason Witten?

  •  
    97%
  •  
    3%

(Total votes: 16,969)

John Phillips

Position: TE
Watkins: It's hard to play behind Jason Witten, but Phillips was average the entire season. Trash.

Take or trash John Phillips?

  •  
    52%
  •  
    48%

(Total votes: 15,828)

James Hanna

Position: TE
Watkins: He improved his blocking as the season progressed and has a bright future. Moves to No. 2 next season. Take.

Take or trash James Hanna?

  •  
    86%
  •  
    14%

(Total votes: 15,415)

Miles Austin

Position: WR
Watkins: Hamstring and hip problems popped up, and he finished with 943 yards. We expected more from a $54 million WR. Take.

Take or trash Miles Austin?

  •  
    53%
  •  
    47%

(Total votes: 16,852)

Dez Bryant

Position: WR
Watkins: Has been fantastic in 2012 on and off the field, and his chemistry with Tony Romo was excellent. Take.

Take or trash Dez Bryant?

  •  
    95%
  •  
    5%

(Total votes: 16,944)

Kevin Ogletree

Position: WR
Watkins: After a sterling performance in Week 1, he tailed off the rest of the way. Trash.

Take or trash Kevin Ogletree?

  •  
    18%
  •  
    82%

(Total votes: 15,857)

Dwayne Harris

Position: WR
Watkins: Solved the return problems and improved as a wide receiver. Take.

Take or trash Dwayne Harris?

  •  
    94%
  •  
    6%

(Total votes: 15,706)

Cole Beasley

Position: WR
Watkins: Got more playing time as the season progressed and should be in the mix for No. 3 spot in 2013. Take.

Take or trash Cole Beasley?

  •  
    82%
  •  
    18%

(Total votes: 15,336)

Danny Coale

Position: WR
Watkins: Worth another look after rookie got hurt prior to season. Take.

Take or trash Danny Coale?

  •  
    62%
  •  
    38%

(Total votes: 13,695)

Tyron Smith

Position: LT
Watkins: He said he wanted to reach the Pro Bowl. We're still waiting. Take.

Take or trash Tyron Smith?

  •  
    91%
  •  
    9%

(Total votes: 14,019)

Nate Livings

Position: LG
Watkins: Of the two free-agent signings at guard, this was the best one. Take.

Take or trash Nate Livings?

  •  
    77%
  •  
    23%

(Total votes: 13,575)

Ryan Cook

Position: C
Watkins: When healthy he was fine, but team needs a better player at this position. Trash.

Take or trash Ryan Cook?

  •  
    36%
  •  
    64%

(Total votes: 13,264)

Mackenzy Bernadeau

Position: RG
Watkins: A switch to center in 2013 could be the best thing for him. Take.

Take or trash Mackenzy Bernadeau?

  •  
    57%
  •  
    43%

(Total votes: 13,140)

Doug Free

Position: RT
Watkins: Was inconsistent and shared RT starting job. Team would save $7M as a post-June 1 cut. Trash.

Take or trash Doug Free?

  •  
    7%
  •  
    93%

(Total votes: 14,141)

Jermey Parnell

Position: OL
Watkins: Forged a rotation at right tackle and picked up more playing time as season moved along. Take.

Take or trash Jermey Parnell?

  •  
    78%
  •  
    22%

(Total votes: 11,853)

Derrick Dockery

Position: OL
Watkins: A veteran player who is a quality backup. Team might want to go younger in 2013. Trash.

Take or trash Derrick Dockery?

  •  
    17%
  •  
    83%

(Total votes: 11,789)

Ronald Leary

Position: G
Watkins: A late-season call-up who might compete for a starting spot in 2013. Take.

Take or trash Ronald Leary?

  •  
    69%
  •  
    31%

(Total votes: 11,547)

Kevin Kowalski

Position: OL
Watkins: Another player who needs playing time. Maybe he battles Ronald Leary for a starting job. Take.

Take or trash Kevin Kowalski?

  •  
    68%
  •  
    32%

(Total votes: 10,934)

David Arkin

Position: OL
Watkins: It's just time for him to find another place to work. Trash.

Take or trash David Arkin?

  •  
    12%
  •  
    88%

(Total votes: 11,011)

Darrion Weems

Position: OL
Watkins: A project who needs a full training camp to show coaches what he can do. Take.

Take or trash Darrion Weems?

  •  
    59%
  •  
    41%

(Total votes: 10,777)

Phil Costa

Position: C
Watkins: Better than advertised, but should take a backup role next year. Take.

Take or trash Phil Costa?

  •  
    63%
  •  
    37%

(Total votes: 11,890)

Defense

Marcus Spears

Position: DT
Watkins: A trusted veteran who can still fill a role. Take.

Take or trash Marcus Spears?

  •  
    77%
  •  
    23%

(Total votes: 12,133)

Jay Ratliff

Position: NT
Watkins: Declining play, health issues and spat with Jerry Jones. He's expendable. Trash.

Take or trash Jay Ratliff?

  •  
    37%
  •  
    63%

(Total votes: 12,686)

Jason Hatcher

Position: DT
Watkins: Played well and developed into one of the locker room leaders. Take.

Take or trash Jason Hatcher?

  •  
    92%
  •  
    8%

(Total votes: 11,862)

Sean Lissemore

Position: DL
Watkins: Team gave him a new contract and he rewarded them with solid play. Take.

Take or trash Sean Lissemore?

  •  
    90%
  •  
    10%

(Total votes: 11,176)

Josh Brent

Position: NT
Watkins: Was productive on the field, but his arrest halts his career. Take.

Take or trash Josh Brent?

  •  
    26%
  •  
    74%

(Total votes: 12,104)

Kenyon Coleman

Position: DL
Watkins: A veteran who could be replaced by younger players. Trash.

Take or trash Kenyon Coleman?

  •  
    18%
  •  
    82%

(Total votes: 11,086)

Brian Schaefering

Position: DL
Watkins: One of several late-season pickups brought in because of injuries. Trash.

Take or trash Brian Schaefering?

  •  
    9%
  •  
    91%

(Total votes: 10,095)

Ben Bass

Position: DL
Watkins: The rookie showed some promise and should be given a chance to fight for a job in 2013. Take.

Take or trash Ben Bass?

  •  
    74%
  •  
    26%

(Total votes: 10,075)

Tyrone Crawford

Position: DL
Watkins: Received lots of playing time his rookie season and can only get better. Take.

Take or trash Tyrone Crawford?

  •  
    89%
  •  
    11%

(Total votes: 10,227)

Rob Callaway

Position: DL
Watkins: With more playing time, Callaway has a chance to become a productive player. Take.

Take or trash Rob Callaway?

  •  
    68%
  •  
    32%

(Total votes: 9,803)

Anthony Spencer

Position: OLB
Watkins: Had best season, but should he again be franchised for $9.4 million? Trash.

Take or trash Anthony Spencer?

  •  
    76%
  •  
    24%

(Total votes: 11,891)

Dan Connor

Position: ILB
Watkins: Veteran filled a void created by injuries to the Cowboys. Take.

Take or trash Dan Connor?

  •  
    71%
  •  
    29%

(Total votes: 10,920)

Sean Lee

Position: ILB
Watkins: Was putting together a great season until injury cut it short. Take.

Take or trash Sean Lee?

  •  
    98%
  •  
    2%

(Total votes: 12,294)

DeMarcus Ware

Position: OLB
Watkins: Slowed by injuries, but was still a dangerous man on the field. Take.

Take or trash DeMarcus Ware?

  •  
    95%
  •  
    5%

(Total votes: 12,731)

Victor Butler

Position: OLB
Watkins: Playing time was cut, and he didn't show enough playmaking ability. Trash.

Take or trash Victor Butler?

  •  
    37%
  •  
    63%

(Total votes: 10,980)

Bruce Carter

Position: ILB
Watkins: Emerged as one of the standout defensive players. Has a bright future. Take.

Take or trash Bruce Carter?

  •  
    97%
  •  
    3%

(Total votes: 11,326)

Ernie Sims

Position: ILB
Watkins: A midseason pickup who did some good things, but team wants to get younger. Trash.

Take or trash Ernie Sims?

  •  
    45%
  •  
    55%

(Total votes: 10,753)

Alex Albright

Position: OLB
Watkins: He was too inconsistent, but was able to fill a need at times. Take.

Take or trash Alex Albright?

  •  
    66%
  •  
    34%

(Total votes: 10,452)

Brady Poppinga

Position: ILB
Watkins: Late-season addition to a defense that needed help after injuries. Trash.

Take or trash Brady Poppinga?

  •  
    17%
  •  
    83%

(Total votes: 9,783)

Kyle Wilber

Position: OLB
Watkins: Wanted to see the rookie more, but another training camp will help. Take.

Take or trash Kyle Wilber?

  •  
    75%
  •  
    25%

(Total votes: 9,511)

Orie Lemon

Position: LB
Watkins: Needed more playing time, but injury limited his opportunities. Take.

Take or trash Orie Lemon?

  •  
    61%
  •  
    39%

(Total votes: 9,490)

Caleb McSurdy

Position: LB
Watkins: Should be ready for minicamps after recovery from torn Achilles. Take.

Take or trash Caleb McSurdy?

  •  
    61%
  •  
    39%

(Total votes: 9,369)

Brandon Carr

Position: CB
Watkins: Played through personal tragedy and did a nice job. Take.

Take or trash Brandon Carr?

  •  
    97%
  •  
    3%

(Total votes: 11,457)

Morris Claiborne

Position: CB
Watkins: Played well in his rookie year and will only get better. Take.

Take or trash Morris Claiborne?

  •  
    97%
  •  
    3%

(Total votes: 11,608)

Gerald Sensabaugh

Position: FS
Watkins: One of the Cowboys' tough guys. Had a solid season. Take.

Take or trash Gerald Sensabaugh?

  •  
    75%
  •  
    25%

(Total votes: 11,118)

Danny McCray

Position: SS
Watkins: The special-teams ace filled in on defense and played nicked up the latter half of the season. Take.

Take or trash Danny McCray?

  •  
    67%
  •  
    33%

(Total votes: 10,502)

Mike Jenkins

Position: CB
Watkins: Was average this season but vital because of injuries. He wants to test the market. Trash.

Take or trash Mike Jenkins?

  •  
    30%
  •  
    70%

(Total votes: 11,404)

Orlando Scandrick

Position: CB
Watkins: Suffered a hand injury that ended his season. Take.

Take or trash Orlando Scandrick?

  •  
    61%
  •  
    39%

(Total votes: 10,752)

Barry Church

Position: SS
Watkins: Emerged as strong starter and was missed after his injury. Take.

Take or trash Barry Church?

  •  
    90%
  •  
    10%

(Total votes: 10,393)

Michael Coe

Position: CB
Watkins: Didn't do enough to warrant a look for 2013. Trash.

Take or trash Michael Coe?

  •  
    9%
  •  
    91%

(Total votes: 9,798)

Sterling Moore

Position: CB
Watkins: Wouldn't mind seeing him again once he knows the entire defensive package. Take.

Take or trash Sterling Moore?

  •  
    75%
  •  
    25%

(Total votes: 9,477)

Charlie Peprah

Position: S
Watkins: Brought a physical presence to the field and could help defense. Take.

Take or trash Charlie Peprah?

  •  
    74%
  •  
    26%

(Total votes: 9,621)

Eric Frampton

Position: S
Watkins: Has played well at times and could be a future backup with a full training camp. Take.

Take or trash Eric Frampton?

  •  
    69%
  •  
    31%

(Total votes: 9,494)

Matt Johnson

Position: S
Watkins: The young safety battled injuries all season. Take.

Take or trash Matt Johnson?

  •  
    68%
  •  
    32%

(Total votes: 9,535)

Special Teams

Brian Moorman

Position: P
Watkins: A solid pickup when Chris Jones got hurt, but he'll likely move on. Trash.

Take or trash Brian Moorman?

  •  
    15%
  •  
    85%

(Total votes: 9,743)

Dan Bailey

Position: K
Watkins: Converted 93.3 percent of his FGs in 2012 and quietly has become a solid kicker. Take.

Take or trash Dan Bailey?

  •  
    98%
  •  
    2%

(Total votes: 10,455)

Chris Jones

Position: P
Watkins: Strong start before a knee injury ended his season. Should return to form in 2013. Take.

Take or trash Chris Jones?

  •  
    88%
  •  
    12%

(Total votes: 9,645)

L.P. Ladouceur

Position: LS
Watkins: Dependable soon-to-be free agent didn't have a bad snap all season. Take.

Take or trash L.P. Ladouceur?

  •  
    94%
  •  
    6%

(Total votes: 9,432)

Management/Coaches

Jerry Jones

Position: GM
Watkins: He's not giving up his duties but a majority of his draft picks were hurt and FA signings were inconsistent. Take.

Take or trash Jerry Jones?

  •  
    22%
  •  
    78%

(Total votes: 10,300)

Jason Garrett

Position: Head coach
Watkins: Responsible for Ravens loss, but rallied the team to brink of NFC East title. Take.

Take or trash Jason Garrett?

  •  
    47%
  •  
    53%

(Total votes: 12,619)

Rob Ryan

Position: D-coordinator
Watkins: Lost five starters and two key backups. He simply ran out of bodies. Take.

Take or trash Rob Ryan?

  •  
    65%
  •  
    35%

(Total votes: 12,635)

Joe DeCamillis

Position: Special teams
Watkins: Found punter after Chris Jones' injury; Harris emerged as solid threat on returns. Take.

Take or trash Joe DeCamillis?

  •  
    67%
  •  
    33%

(Total votes: 11,639)


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.

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