I've given up on trying to make sense of the Cowboys draft--gotta just trust and follow along obediently at this point. Good thing I'm religious! Anyway, with nothing better to do, I'm going to put the "counting your chickens before they hatch" thing to the test.
So, here's my extremely-early-and-based-entirely-on-presumption attempt to figure out what the Cowboys opening day roster is going to look like. By my count, I have 34 "locks" - guys that look like the sure things to make the roster, barring injury or apocalypse. You know their names, so I don't need to write it out for you. There are 26 other guys with a realistic chance to make the team. That makes for 60 guys jockeying for 53 spots.
That means 7 cuts will be made from the following list of camp "battles" (almost exclusively for backup spots):
O-line (keep 4-5) - C - Cory Procter, G - Montrae Holland, Kyle Kosier, OT - Doug Free, Pat McQuistan, Robert Brewster
TE (keep 1) - Rodney Hannah, John Phillips
WR (keep 2-3) - Isaiah Stanback, Sam Hurd, Travis Wilson, Manuel Johnson
CB (keep 2) - Alan Ball, Mike Mickens
S (keep 1) - Pat Watkins, Courtney Brown, Stephen Hodge
DE (keep 0-1) - Marcus Dixon
DT (keep 1) - Junior Siavii,
LB (keep 4) - Greg Ellis, Bobby Carpenter, Brandon Williams, Jason Williams, Victor Butler
K (keep 2) - Nick Folk, David Buehler
My crystal ball says these are the unlucky 7 (actually 8, giving one of them a shot at sticking around, or for another vet backup signing at DE or CB):
1 LB - Carpenter
1 TE - Hannah
1 DL - Dixon
2 WR - Wilson, Johnson
2 S - Watkins, Brown
1 OL - McQuistan
If the new draftees prove dynamite at LB, Ellis (and maybe even Brooking) are in danger. And the smart money says Kosier wins the LG spot back, but if Holland surprises there might not be a need for Kosier anymore, either. And the way the roster breaks down, there's plenty of space for 2 kickers, but what do you do if Buehler has a perfect camp and a desperate team comes offering a bonanza for Folk?
So here's the final roster:
QB - Tony Romo, Jon Kitna, Stephen McGee
FB - Deon Anderson
RB - Marion Barber, Felix Jones, Tashard Choice,
TE - Jason Witten , Martellus Bennett, John Phillips
WR - Roy Williams, Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton, Isaiah Stanback, Sam Hurd
C - Andre Gurode, Cory Procter
G - Leonard Davis, Montrae Holland, Kyle Kosier
OT - Flozell Adams, Marc Colombo, Doug Free, Robert Brewster
DE - Igor Olshansky, Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher, Stephen Bowen
DT - Jay Ratliff, Junior Siavii
LB - DeMarcus Ware, Bradie James, Anthony Spencer, Keith Brooking, Greg Ellis, Brandon Williams, Jason Williams, Victor Butler
CB - Terence Newman, Orlando Scandrick , Mike Jenkins, Alan Ball, Mike Mickens
S - Ken Hamlin, Gerald Sensabaugh, Michael Hamlin, Stephen Hodge, DeAngelo Smith
K - Nick Folk
KO - David Buehler
LS - L.P. Ladouceur
P - Mat McBriar
So that's 52 spots, leaving space for a surprise somewhere. My bet is that another veteran backup will be added somewhere along the line at CB or DE.
Alright, I've had my fun - Sept can't get here soon enough!