We are currently focusing lots of attention right now on the tagging, or not, of Spencer, and the upcoming new draft. Yet, the changes each year pale in comparison over time.
Since 2010 we have had two head coaches, with Garrett taking over in mid-season from Wade Phillips. It is natural for a head coach to put a stamp on the team by introducing new players to replace others. Some of the turnover is natural or independent of coaches, such as players retiring or a career ending injury.
Yet, a major reason for a new coach in the first place is to get more out of the team. Indeed, one of the best things about a new coach is that he evaluates players differently. Thus, a new coach will, and should, have a major effect on turnover. This is true even if the offensive and defensive schemes remain the same.
Garrett took over in mid-season which is an unusual time for coaching changes and that minimizes his ability to shape a team immediately. Normally, this is done in the off-season as being on the opening day rosters guarantees the salary for veterans. Still the opening day roster provides a baseline for comparison.
Since 2010, there were only 24 players from that opening day roster that made it to the opening day roster in 2012.
On offense there are 09 players left:
Romo, F Jones, Austin, Bryant*, Ogletree,
Witten, Phillips, Costa*, and Free
On defense there are 14 players left:
Brent*, Hatcher, Lissemore*, Ratliff, Spears,
Lee*, Spencer, Ware, Church*, V Butler
Jenkins, McCray, Scandrick and Sensabaugh
On special teams we still have Ladoucer.
Phillips was on the injured reserve list in 2010 after his rookie year in 2009. V Butler and Ogletree were also rookies in 2009. The 06 names with asterisks were rookies in 2010. So from 2009 there are only 18 players left.
It is not surprising that the offense has fewer members. Garrett was the OC, before he was the HC, and he was most familiar with the skills, cost and productivity of those members. So the offense was his major focus in his first year to shape the team.
Garrett went after the non-productive high cost folks even to the point of eating dead money to do so. The OL was a major focus. Only Costa and Free remain from 2010.
Next year, our RBs might be completely changed since he took over.
Additionally, the first off-season was marked by the lockout. So, while we hired a new DC, in Ryan; he had a limited time to evaluate the defensive players. There was a major change in the defensive roster last year.
These names include several who probably will not be back. At this point it would be a guess, but Jones, Ogletree, Brent, Spears, and Jenkins are not expected to play a role. Free and McCray are also possibilities.
The opening game roster could include as few as 9 members from the 2009 roster.