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Random Musings On The Cowboys Initial 53-Man Roster

As the Cowboys are busy putting together their practice squad and potentially looking at some more late additions to the team, here's one final look at some of the odds and ends of the 53-man roster.

After the break, we ponder the ultimate cost of the Roy Williams trade, wonder whether the Cowboys scout well or simply don't have a lot of depth, look at how the roster compares to previous years and much more. We even throw in a few comparisons with the other NFC East teams.

Here's how the 53-man breakdown compares to previous years.

Position 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Quarterback 3 3 3 2 2 2
Running Back 4 3 3 3 3 3
Wide Receiver 6 5 5 5 6 6
Tight End 4 2 3 3 3 3
Fullback - - 2 1 1 2 1
Offensive Line 9 10 10 11 10 9

Defensive Line 7 7 6 6 6 7
Linebackers 7 9 9 8 8 9
Defensive Backs 9 9 9 11 10 9
of which: CB 5 3 4 7 5 5
of which: S 4 6 5 4 5 4
Specialists 4 3 4 3 3 4

There is really only one number here that really stands out, the linebackers, specifically, the three inside linebackers the Cowboys are going with. With Carter bound to come back sometime after week six, that number could go up by one, but I also wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the Cowboys go shopping at this position.

Here are some other random musings:

  • Last year, teams had to declare eight players as game day inactives for each game. The Cowboys traditionally have three offensive linemen inactive on game day. Over 16 games, that resulted in 48 inactive players for the Cowboys last year. Here's how the other positions broke down: LB: 21, DL: 18, QB: 15, WR: 11, S: 7, RB: 4, FB: 3, K: 1
  • Four undrafted free agents made the team (again) this year, and if Raymond Radway hadn't ended up on IR, it could well have been five. That is easily the most in the NFC East. The Giants have three (LBs Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger (Oregon), FB Henry Hynoski), the Eagles two (P Chas Henry, DT Cedric Thornton) and the Redskins have one (OG Willie Smith). Whether this means the Cowboys have a good scouting department or just don't have a lot of depth on the roster remains to be seen.
  • CB Josh Thomas was one of only five fifth-round picks to be cut yesterday. A hamstring injury hurt his chances of making the roster. Shaun Chapas was the other draft pick cut. In the NFC East, only the Giants did not cut a single one of their draft picks. The Redskins cut three (6th rounders WR Aldrick Robinson and RB Evan Royster as well as seventh rounder OL Maurice Hurt), the Eagles cut two seventh rounders (FB Stanley Havili, LB Greg Lloyd). Thomas has been signed by Carolina, Chapas is on the Cowboys practice squad.
  • The 53-man roster is a "Williams Free Zone". After having five on the 53-man roster at some point last year (Brandon, Jason, Leon, Roy, Teddy), only Teddy remains on the practice squad.
  • Last year, the Cowboys signed 13 additional players to the 53-man roster during the course of the season. Five of these players made it to the roster this year (Clifton Geathers, Jesse Holley, Bryan McCann, Martin Rucker, Jermey Parnell), eight did not (Scott Chandler , Jeremy Clark, Kenwin Cummings, Manuel Johnson, Jimmy Saddler-McQueen, Lonyae Miller, Andrew Sendejo, Teddy William).
  • Seven starters from last year are now not with the team anymore. Igor Olshansky and fullback Chris Gronkowski followed Leonard Davis, Roy Williams, Marion Barber, Marc Colombo and Andre Gurode out of Dallas. Six players on the offense, only one on the defense.
  • Only four players are left from the original 12 players chosen in the "Roy Williams draft" (Stephen McGee, Victor Butler, David Buehler, end John Phillips). Counting Patrick Crayton as another RW casualty drives up the cost of that trade even higher.
  • Every year, the Cowboys conduct “Dallas Days” for draft eligible prospects from colleges and high schools within the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Prospects from SMU and TCU would fall under the ‘local’ category, as would graduates of local high schools like DeSoto, Southlake Caroll, Plano West, Kimball, Irving, Rowlett, Coppell and others. From this year's invitees, RB Phillip Tanner made the team, Raymond Radway almost made it, CB Josh Thomas, QB Zack Eskridge and FS Collin Zych didn't, but at least participated in training camp.

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