Competition Throughout...Absolutely!

Now that we've progressed past the initial free agency period and the draft we can start to see, personnel wise, what the Cowboys will have to work with heading into all the off-season activities. This year we get to see Garrett operate a full off-season as the HC with a staff of assistant coaches he put in place. Now we really get to see Garrett, Rob Ryan, Jerome Henderson, Bill Callahan, Matt Eberflus and the rest of the staff put these guys to work and implement their techniques. I am really looking forward to seeing this team take shape and prepare for the regular season.

With all this talk on competition and potential camp battles I decided to take a closer look at our current roster. Garrett has often said that he wants competition throughout the roster. So I went through our roster trying to find the proof. Keep in mind I wasn't trying to assemble a depth chart by any means (way too early) I just wanted to see if he actually meant "throughout the roster". What I did was basically start with a blank depth chart (somewhat based off of last years with the addition of TE2, WR3 and Slot CB as starting spots) and plugged in what I felt I was certain to see, barring the unforeseen, once that depth chart was ready for week one. What I found was he meant what he said!

The blue highlighted cells are the ones that I feel are relative certainties. The green cells are available starting spots, yellow are the necessary backups, and orange are additional depth/special teams aces/ whatever you want to call them they are the ones that fill out the bottom of the roster. There are more than 53 slots in the chart, as those bottom of the roster spots can be filled by whatever the team deems necessary and appropriate. To the right of each position group are the candidates we have on the roster as of today that will compete for those open positions in the depth chart.

(Running backs were slotted as 1a (starter) and 1b (backup) to make the table fit better for HTML)

POS Starter Backup Depth Candidates
LWR Dez Bryant 6 ? Harris, Holmes, Radway, Coale, Beasley,
Benford, Hakim, Kemp, Ogletree
RWR Miles Austin 7 ?
WR3 1
LT Tyron Smith Jeremy Parnell ?
Arkin (G), Bernadeau (G), Livings (G), Nagy (G),
Gunn (G), Leary (G), Adams (OT), Adcock (OT),
Dever (OT), Novikoff (OT), Costa ( C ), Kowalski ( C )
LG 2 8 ?
C 3 9 ?
RG 4 10
RT Doug Free Jeremy Parnell
TE Jason Witten 11 ? Phillips, Hanna, Bryan, Szczerba
TE2 5
FB Lawrence Vickers 12 Chapas, Greenhouse, McSurdy
RB 1a DeMarco Murray 13 ? Tanner, Dunbar, Scott
RB 1b Felix Jones
QB Tony Romo Kyle Orton ? McGee, Carpenter
POS Starter Backup Depth Candidates
RE 1 5 ? Lissemore, Spears, Coleman, Geathers,
Crawford, Callaway, Atkins
NT Jay Ratliff Josh Brent ?
LE Hatcher 6
SLB Anthony Spencer 7 Butler, Albright, Wilber, Hamilton, Whiteside
WLB DeMarcus Ware 8 ?
MILB 2 9 Carter, Connor, Lemon, McSurdy
MOLB Sean Lee 10 ?
LCB Brandon Carr 11 ? Claiborne, Jenkins, Butler, Taplin-Ross,
Wilson, Madison, Smith
RCB 3 12 ?
SLOT CB Orlando Scandrick
FS 4 13 ? Pool, Johnson, Silva, Church, McCray,
Owusu-Ansah, Whitley, Taplin-Ross
SS Gerald Sensabaugh 14
Special Teams
POS Starter Candidates
K Dan Bailey
P 1 Jones, Rogers
LS LP Ladouceur

I see 28 spots between starting and backup/rotation positions that are open for the players that rise up to the challenge. Not only that, 10 of them are starting positions available, 5 on offense 4 on defense and 1 on special teams, 18 backup/rotation spots available and I am not even counting those last few spots (3) that fill out the roster. 28 positions on the depth chart that will have players competing to make their own. This should fuel a very intense off-season of competition this year and I am excited to see who earns these spots.

Well BTB this is my first fan post and I almost didn't post it. I wrote it last Thursday, but didn't post until today as I needed help with the table (can't just copy and paste from ones excel sheet). Then over the weekend I just didn't have the time to get to it and this morning I see Tom Ryle's Dallas Cowboys: How Many Roster Positions Will Be Open This Offseason. Needless to say I felt it wasn't necessary anymore, but I just couldn't let OCC's work go to waste and I am a visual person and I'm sure someone out there may appreciate this.

Thanks OCC I greatly appreciate your time and assistance putting this table together.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.