With Wade out and either Garrett or a new HC at the end of the year, this team is definitely going to need some help. The question is, where? Obviously, the team has talent seeing as they've won games before. Coaching can help with some of that. However, there are some players who are not living up to their end of the bargain and they shouldn't be allowed to continue with this team after this year. I'm going to go through every position and say who I think should stay and who should go. Feel free to disagree or agree. I just want to throw something out there to see what everyone else thinks.
* - keep, () - let go
QB - Romo*, Kitna, (McGee) - Romo might have been a problem his first couple years, but as soon as he was hurt, all the life went out of the team. He might not be a huge emotional leader, but he can play football and that's what this team need. I debated on keeping Kitna or McGee. I know Kitna is old, but he's more effective than McGee will be and his leadership and passion is needed. McGee hasn't shown anything at all and I think we need someone with more promise to develop.
RB - (Barber), Jones*, Choice* - Barber isn't close to the player he used to be. He has two decent runs in him per game and until he's gone, Felix isn't going to feel like he can own the position. Choice has the ability to make tough runs and his vision is still the best on the team. More touches will give him more confidence.
FB - (Gronkowski) - Other than the occasional good play, he hasn't shown that he can be relied on. He was the one who got Romo hurt because he didn't see the guy blitzing right by him. John Phillips should be able to fill the stop when he recovers anyway.
WR - Austin*, Williams*, Bryant*, Hurd*, (Ogletree), (Holley) - Austin and Bryant are no-brainers. I'll admit that I wanted Williams gone last year in the worst way, but he's proven to care more this year and I think Romo finally trusts him. Hurd is still a good special teams player and can step in for a play or two at reciever. Ogletree and Holley haven't done enough to show they can be trusted as recievers or on special teams. We need to get back to having these slots mostly for key special team players.
TE - Witten*, Bennett*, Chandler* - Witten is still very good even if he isn't an elite receiver anymore. Bennett has so much potential and I'm willing to give him another shot. Chandler plays special teams and I haven't heard anything bad so he can stick around.
OL - Free*, Kosier*, (Gurode), Davis*, Columbo*, (Holland), Costa*, Young*, Barron* - In all honesty, I would love to get rid of everyone except our tackles. However, I can deal with Davis and Kosier for another year. I never thought highly of Gurode and think it's time to bring in someone who is better at making line calls. Costa and Young are rookies and should be given time to develop and Barron should get another chance since they need to break his bad habits and build up new ones.
DL - Bowen*, Hatcher*, Olshansky*, (Spears), Ratliff*, (Lissemore), (Brent) - Ratliff and Olshansky are no-brainers. Ratliff can be devastating with help and Olshansky is a very good run stopper. Plus, he's a fiery player and we need that. Bowen and Hatcher have become more consistent and should get more playing time. Spears is not going to get any better than where he is and should be let go. Lissemore and Brent haven't shown much this year.
LB - Ware*, (Brooking), James*, Spencer*, Butler*, Lee*, (B. Williams), (L. Williams) - Ware, Spencer and Lee have to stay. I was torn between keeping James or Brooking, but I'll go with keeping the younger guy. We need someone who can cover a TE/RB and every time I look up, Brooking is getting beat in coverage. Butler is a good situational rusher who is developing nicely. Just like the backup WRs, the backup LBs need to be studs on special teams and since our special teams have been anything but special, we need to replace these guys.
DB - Newman*, Jenkins*, Sensabaugh*, (Scandrick), (Ball), AOA*, (Church), (McCray), (McCann) - Newman is solid (when healthy) and I believe Jenkins will bounce back with more accountability. Sensabaugh played well when playing next to someone who could make adjustments (Hamlin). the Ball experiment has failed and Church, McCray and McCann haven't done enough to justify keeping them. AOA is still getting used to NFL speed, but he has more potential than the rest.
K/P - Buehler*, McBriar* - McBriar is very good and Buehler has made strides in the kicking game even though his kickoffs have dropped off a bit. Another offseason working on kicking accuracy while keeping his strong leg on kickoffs should solidify him.
By my count, that leaves us needing 7 offensive players (6 if you count John Phillips coming back) and 11 defensive players. A good draft and some quality free agent pickups could put us back in the hunt next season.
Based solely on performance, this is what I would do. However, without knowing what direction the coaching staff and the schemes are taking, this is all guess work.