Aug 17, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Alex Tanney (7) celebrates after tight end Gavin Escobar (89) scores a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the third quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys 12-7. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Projected 53-man Roster Projection

Jul 23, 2013; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys players stretch during training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Consider this: Of the 90 players currently on the Dallas Cowboy roster only 53 will actually make the team. That means roughly 42% of the players on the team – will not be on the team. That’s a pretty substantial cut-down we will witness over the next few weeks as roster trimming requirements begin.

Who should we expect to make it and who is sure to be cut? Who is falling behind and who is stepping up? Let’s take a look at the roster and project our first 53-man roster for the Dallas Cowboys 2013 season. This morning we will start with offense and this afternoon we add the defense and put it all together.

 

Offense

Position: Quarterback

Roster Spots: 2

Depth: Shallow

 

Tony Romo

Kyle Orton

Nick Stephens isn’t an option and Alex Tanney did little to justify a roster spot. At some point the Cowboys need to dedicate some time to developing young talent behind Romo at the QB position but this is clearly not the year. With so many other roster needs the Cowboys cannot afford to carry 3 QBs even if one of them did justify it.

Nov 22, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar (25) and Phillip Tanner (34) on the field before the game against the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Running Back

Roster Spots: 4

Depth:  Moderately Deep

 

DeMarco Murray

Lance Dunbar

Philip Tanner

Joseph Randle

Because of DeMarco’s durability concerns, Randle’s underwhelming performance, and Lance Dunbar’s recent injury, the Cowboys will need to keep more running backs than they originally intended.  Dunbar provides a great change of pace and after having a really good training camp, has earned his spot. Tanner has been a hard worker and runs with passion (he will need that passion running behind this O-line). Randle has been disappointing but his pass protection and draft status secure his spot. The Cowboys will go deep at RB which means they will have to make sacrifices elsewhere.

Jul 22, 2013; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Anthony Armstrong (13) catches a pass at training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Receiver

Roster Spots: 6

Depth:  Moderately Deep

 

Dez Bryant

Miles Austin

Dwayne Harris

Terrance Williams

Anthony Armstrong

Cole Beasley

Early in the preseason I discussed the depth at receiver for the Cowboys and indicated they will be forced to make some tough roster decisions when they make their final cuts.

Well, the pack has separated and those decisions aren’t as difficult to make as it once looked…

The top 4 are obvious so the only choices to make were for the last 2 spots on the depth chart. The Cowboys were never planning to keep more than 6 so the extra RB will not impact the WR position. Beasley has a great connection with Romo and a knack for getting open and free in space. It makes up for his lack of contribution on Special Teams. Armstrong is great on special teams and could step in at any moment to replace Bryant or Austin on the outside. He is a seasoned veteran with big-time speed. Armstrong is a no-brainer at this point.

The Cowboys should be able to stash Eric Rogers, Danny Coale, and/or Jared Green on the practice squad for added depth

August 13, 2012; Oakland, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive back Brandon Underwood (28) tackle Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna (84) during the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Tight End

Roster Spots: 4

Depth:  Deep

 

Jason Witten

James Hanna

Gavin Escobar

Dante Rosario

With the new focus on 12 and 13 personnel, the Cowboys wanted to keep 5 TEs on the roster for proper depth but are unable to do so with the extra RB on the roster. The top 4 TEs have distanced themselves far enough away from their competition making the personnel decisions at TE fairly obvious.

Position: Offensive Line

Roster Spots: 9

Depth:  Dangerously Shallow

Nov 22, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Bill Callahan (center) with the offensive line during the game against the Washington Redskins during a game on Thanksgiving at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

 

Tyron Smith

Travis Frederick

Doug Free

Ronald Leary

Phil Costa

Mackenzy Bernadeau

Nate Livings

Jermey Parnell

(Player yet to be acquired)

The Cowboys have 8 offensive linemen from camp make the final cut and they will keep a keen eye on other teams as they make their roster cuts. Expect the Cowboys to bring in someone new to add to this dangerously shallow depth.

David Arkin could hold down a roster spot for a couple days but he doesn’t have a future on this team. The Cowboys MUST find help on the Offensive Line and that help is not currently on this roster.

 That’s 25 players on Offense leaving the rest for the defense and special teams. Later this afternoon we will add the rest to complete the roster projection. Stay tuned…

Tags: Anthony Armstrong Cole Beasley Dallas Cowboys Dante Rosario

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