The first cuts for the Dallas Cowboys are coming soon. Before that happens, Joey Ickes and I continue our series of roster projections. Check here and here to see how much (or little) we changed things. And look at the bright side: By this time next week, the real roster will be done.
Starters in bold.
|Tom Ryle||Joey Ickes|
|2 Quarterbacks 2|
|Romo||Alex Tanney is in the lead for the practice squad. Will he break through to the 53?||Romo||Alex Tanney is an interesting guy and he's someone I'd like to see get a few years to develop. But you're truly hoping he never plays a down in a regular season game, so you can't spend a valuable slot on him.|
|4 Running Backs 4|
|Murray||Tanner sealed the deal against the Bengals. Best running back group in years. No stars, but four productive runners.||Murray||Murray came back strong after his poor start on Saturday. We've seen Dunbar be explosive, and Tanner refuses to let you cut him.|
|6 Wide Receivers 5|
|Bryant||Anthony Armstrong looks to be the sixth man. I still am not sure they keep six, but I vote that they should.||Bryant||I don't think you can keep 6 here. Anthony Armstrong makes you consider it, but in the end you need that spot.|
|4 Tight Ends 4
|Witten||Still not looking to go with five. Escobar may be weakest one here.||Witten||
This group has been pretty set since OTA's.
|3 Offensive Tackles 3|
|Smith||Doug Free is now a backup for guard. Amazing how cutting his pay has skyrocketed his value to the team.||Smith||Free played OK at guard, but in truth, he's your RT, and Parnell's got a week to show he's a better option than Bell at the Swing spot.|
|6 Guards/Centers 6|
|Frederick||With Nate Livings still looking very doubtful, I see him as cut outright or on IR. And I am really betting on Ronald Leary being back for the first real game. The last preseason game will be where Kevin Kowalski makes the team or loses his job.||Frederick||I think Livings goes on IR for the year, and we know who the starters are. Frederick has played well at Center, and if Leary gets healthy, the line looks at least servicable in the middle.|
|9 Defensive Linemen 9|
|Ware||You may notice no Jay Ratliff. Based on recent comments from Jerry Jones, I suspect he is going to be PUP, with a look to bring him back after six weeks. Landon Cohen is a placeholder for his position, but could well push Sean Lissemore, who has been disappointing this year.||Ware||DE: The Cowboys are still counting on Spencer to come back for week one. I don't think they are married to Selvie and if someone comes available (think Cincinatti, Seattle, and Detriot cuts) they may pursue that route.
DT: With the uncertainty about Ratliff's availability, they keep 5 guys inside. Bass gives them flex from Tackle to End and Hatcher plays both tackle spots.
|6 Linebackers 7|
|Lee||I still have Caleb McSurdy as my 53rd man, and hanging on to his job with special teams contributions. Heavens know the special teams need something.||Lee||Lots of guys who will run and hit you. Play makers and RKGs fill this room.|
|5 Cornerbacks 5|
|Carr||C.W. Webb solidified his hold with his pick against Cincinnati. Orlando Scandrick is the "starting nickel" and primary backup.||Carr||This spot seems pretty locked down. Micah Pellerin has given it a good shot in the pre-season, but with Claiborne set to practice leading up to the final pre-season game, barring any big setbacks, I think these are your 5.|
|5 Safeties 5|
|Church||I still think Danny McCray loses his job to players that are more capable as backups. Matt Johnson just can't get healthy enough to make the team. Jeff Heath has improved tremendously.||Church||I am not shy to admit that Matt Johnson is a bit of a pet cat for me. I truly hope he can get healthy enough for this last game and make this team. But Jeff Heath has put himself in the converstion.|
|3 Specialists 3|
|Bailey||Don't mess with success, even if special teams are a hot mess otherwise.||Bailey||No questions here... If it ain't broke, don't fix it.|
|8 Practice Squad 8|
|Tanney||Alex Tanney has clearly passed Nick Stephens. The question is whether he will get claimed off waivers. Danny Coale and Matt Johnson get another year to try and prove they can get healthy enough to compete. Benford makes it largely because he is Tanney's favorite target. In reality, I expect a couple of these guys to get poached. I like the depth this year.||Tanney||This is subject to change based on who comes up available off waivers.|
That's our take on things. We hope to get one more done between the cuts, hopefully shortly after the game with the Houston Texans. What do you think?
More from Blogging The Boys:
- Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Prepping For Giants, Austin Primed For Big Year, More
- Cowboys 2013 Roster Cuts: The Alex Tanney Conundrum
- Dallas Cowboys Roster Cuts Looming: Veteran Players At Risk?
- Miles Austin: Cowboys' Not-So-Secret Weapon
- Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Early Reactions To Win Over Bengals