53-man roster projection after Chargers game

Here's my current view on how the roster might/should shake out.

Offense -- 24

QB (2) -- Romo, Orton. (It would be dumb to keep McGee at this point.)

RB (3) -- Murray, Jones, (Tanner or Olawale). If Tanner doesn't get healthy enough to play in one of these next two games, I'm not sure I would keep him. Durability is needed in the 3rd back, and Tanner hasn't proven he has it, this year or last. Olawale is listed as a FB. This is also a good waiver-wire spot.

FB (1) -- Vickers.

TE (3) -- Witten, Phillips, Hanna. If Witten can't go against the Giants, we may keep a 4th TE until he can go, but this would create a roster squeeze.

WR (6) -- Bryant, Austin, Ogletree, Beasley. Those are my 4 definite picks after last night, when Ogletree and Beasley cemented spots in my mind. I expect us to keep 2 among Holmes, Harris, and Coale, with Coale the most likely to go at the moment. He's another guy who needs to start practicing and playing. Harris can play special teams, which gives him the edge. I think Holmes may be a bust, but given his height and speed, I expect he'll stick.

OL (9) -- Smith, Livings, Costa, Bernadeau, Free. Parnell, Arkin, Leary, and McQuistan. I think we'll keep 9 for the first game, and hope we sign Holland as the 10th after that, though this will also create a roster squeeze. Arkin would be the backup center, along with Bernadeau. Kowalski is in the mix, but has to get healthy. If he's not better than a developing Arkin at center, I can't see him sticking. Dockery should get cut so we don't have to pay him for the season. Holland is a much better backup choice. McQuistan is also on the bubble and could be replaced if a better backup tackle emerges, or to make way for Holland.

Bubble guys? Coale, Kowalski, Szczerba, McQuistan.

Defense -- 26

DL (7) -- Toughest part of the roster. Starting 3 - Lissemore, Ratliff, Hatcher. Definites -- Crawford, Brent. That leaves four guys for two slots -- Geathers, Bass, Spears, and Coleman. If you cut Geathers or Bass, don't expect them to make the practice squad. (Not sure Geathers is even eligible.) So my question is whether Geathers can anchor against the run right now like Coleman and Spears. If he can, then keep him, keep Bass for upside, and let go of the two vets -- Spears and Coleman. Trade Spears if you can.

LB (9) -- Another tough decision, made easier by keeping 9. Starting 4 -- Ware, Spencer, Lee, Carter. Backups -- Butler, Connor, Albright, Wilbur. Potential -- Hamilton. Left out -- Lemon. I keep 9 b/c Spencer and Butler might be gone next year. Need to keep Wilbur and Hamilton to groom as replacements. Albright wins the versatility award, which is why I keep him over Lemon.

CB (5) -- Very clear. Carr, Claiborne, Jenkins, Scandrick, Butler.

S (5) -- Sensabaugh, Church, Johnson, McCray, Silva. Also pretty clear.

Bubble guys? Spears, Coleman, Geathers, Bass, Lemon, Silva.

Special players - 3

P - Jones -- not great, but servicable.

K - Bailey. Solid on FGs.

LS - Ladouceur. Not time to replace him yet.

Where are the tightest squeezes?

TE (depends on Witten's health), DL (already have to cut veterans or up-and-comers who won't make it to practice squad), LB (need more depth to groom for next year), OL (can we afford 10?), S (may face a squeeze given other needs).

My personal choice would be to keep 7 DL and 9 LBs, squeeze the OL, and hope Witten can go so we don't think about a 4th TE when Szczerba could easily make the practice squad.

I want to add Montrae Holland to be the active backup guard, and I'd probably be willing to cut McQuistan to make room, leaving Parnell as the swing tackle. Arkin's tentative emergence at center has squeezed Kowalski. Leary is the least ready, but his contract assures him a spot.

I bolded the guys I think are certain to make it. Not bolded possibles: RBs - Tanner, Olawale, TE - Szczerba, WRs - Harris, Holmes, Coale, OL - Kowalski, (maybe McQuistan), DLs - Coleman, Spears, Geathers, Bass, LB - Lemon.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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