Cowboys Roster Projections: Dueling 53's

Hey Jason, Can I get some help here?

Seeing how everybody is currently doing their 53-man roster projections; fellow front pager Tom Ryle and myself decided to get a piece of the action. Last week, I penned a projection for SBN Dallas. Tom decided that he would offer a counter to my projections by submitting his own roster work-up.

We agree on most of the players; but there are a few areas where we differ in the direction Dallas appears to be going in.

Follow the jump to see who we project where, and then answer the poll as to which roster is more in tune with your current line of thinking.

Position KD's Roster Ryle's Roster Notes
QB (3) Tony Romo, Kyle Orton, Rudy Carpenter (2) Tony Romo, Kyle Orton

KD: I strongly dislike Stephen McGee's game. I barely know Rudy Carpenter, but I just don't see Dallas going with only two quarterbacks. RC by default.

Ryle: For years (well, the three years I have been aware of BTB), I have maintained that the Cowboys would keep three QBs. But that was before Kyle Orton. I think the team will find someone to put on the PS as an emergency backup when the final cuts come, and go with being the only NFL team to have two legitimate starting QBs.

RB (3) DeMarco Murray, Felix Jones, Phillip Tanner (3) DeMarco Murray, Felix Jones, Phillip Tanner

KD: No surprise here, Lance Dunbar to the Practice Squad where he'll probably be poached by the Patriots or Redksins.

Ryle: Can’t argue. Although I could see a plan B where the team goes with 9 OL and uses the extra spot for Dunbar. The problem with that is the team would need to sneak someone onto the PS that could promote if one of the linemen goes down, and the team has not had a good history with that. (See KD’s comment above on Pats and ‘skins.)

FB 1) Lawrence Vickers 1) Lawrence Vickers

Ryle: I am loving this guy.

WR (6) Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Kevin Ogletree, Andre Holmes, Danny Coale, Cole Beasley (6) Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Danny Coale, Andre Holmes, Dwayne Harris, Cole Beasley

KD: As a fan, I pray there is a veteran addition to knock Ogletree off the roster. Either that or a body snatching event that happened over the offseason. Dallas is not going into the season with only unproven youngsters behind 19 and 88. Can't risk Beasley going to PS.

Ryle: I don’t think the team needs a veteran to push the Tree over. I think Coale and Harris fight for the third spot, and the others earn their way on with ST play.

TE (3) Jason Witten, John Phillips, James Hanna (3) Jason Witten, John Phillips, James Hanna

KD: Hanna drops passes when wide open, but his physical skills means he'll get the chance with the big club.

Ryle: If there is one place that I would expect the team to be looking for a veteran just before the season starts, it is here. Hanna needs to greatly improve his receiving skills, I think, or he may be dropped for someone with some track record.

OL (9) Tyron Smith, Nate Livings, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Ron Leary, Doug Free, Jermey Parnell, Bill Nagy, Kevin Kowalski, Phil Costa (10) Tyron Smith, Nate Livings, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Ron Leary, Doug Free, Jermey Parnell, Bill Nagy, Kevin Kowalski, Phil Costa, Pat McQuistan

KD: I think this number grows to 10 when the Cowboys sign a veteran backup tackle not named Pat McQuistan.

Ryle: I think Pat will stick as a backup. And I agree that David Arkin is likely to be the odd man out, but it could easily be Nagy, Kowalski, or Costa instead, based on camp performance.

DL (6) Jay Ratliff, Sean Lissemore, Jason Hatcher, Marcus Spears, Tyrone Crawford, Josh Brent (6) Jay Ratliff, Sean Lissemore, Jason Hatcher, Tyrone Crawford, Josh Brent, Clifton Geathers

KD: Tough to let Geathers go, but I think Dallas put themselves in a bit of a bind with Spears extension last year. Strange considering how they strung him along for a couple years.

Ryle: The youth movement continues here (excluding JRat, of course). Also, Robert Callaway may be in the mix here, especially if the team decides to go deep here and carry seven.

ILB (4) Sean lee, Bruce Carter, Dan Connor, Alex Albright (4) Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Dan Connor, Caleb McSurdy

Ryle: McSurdy makes the team as a special teams ace and he becomes the backup fullback for Vickers as well, plus provides the depth at ILB. Orie Lemon pays the price.

KD: Going out on a shaky limb and saying the seventh rounder doesn't make it. Albright played inside and outside and I'd rather have that versatility than a LB that plays FB

OLB (5) DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Victor Butler, Kyle Wilber, Adrian Hamilton, (Alex Albright) (5) DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Victor Butler, Kyle Wilber, Adrian Hamilton

KD: Sneaking suspicion that Hamilton makes an impact quicker than Wilber; worried a little that Wilber isn't quick enough.

Ryle: Albright is a great story, but can’t hold off Wilber and Hamilton.

CB (6) Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick, Mario Butler, Justin Taplin-Ross (6) Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Orlando Scandrick, Mario Butler, Isaac Madison, Lionel Smith

KD: Mike Jenkins stays on the roster for this projection, although I would say it's 60-40 he get's traded before the season kicks off. Actually very excited about the youth we have here and wouldn't be surprised to see Madison protected from the PS.

Ryle: I think Jenkins goes. He and his agent seemed determined to keep at it until they completely torque the team off, and I think they succeed. Butler has familiarity with the system, and I think the favorable impressions everyone had of Madison and Smith were legit. I think cornerback is one position you can get a decent read on players in shirts and shorts.

S (4) Gerald Sensabaugh, Barry Church, Matt Johnson, Danny McCray (4) Gerald Sensabaugh, Barry Church, Matt Johnson, Danny McCray

KD: I have a strange feeling Church and Johnson will make Brodney Pool expendable.

Ryle: I have a strange feeling KD is absolutely right. And I think McCray has one more season just on ST skills.

ST (3) Dan Bailey, Mat McBriar, LP Ladoucer (3) Dan Bailey, Mat McBriar, LP Ladoucer.

KD: McBriar's coming back, book it!

Ryle: I believe KD is right about Mat, too. I think he may need a little more time, but if he is not on the 53 on 9/5/12, he will be as soon as he is 95 to 100%.

Closing Statements

KD Drummond: As I stated in the piece, I think Dallas still has a couple moves to make for players not currently on the roster. I don't think that the youth movement will mean inexperience in important positions and they will adjust accordingly once other teams start to trim their fat.

Tom Ryle: To sum it up, I am heavy into the youth movement. If I am overly optimistic about anything, it is how many draftees I see making the team. I do figure there is going to be at least one name out of left field that emerges in camp, a player no one expected who will make the roster, but that is the fun of things.

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