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Dallas Cowboys' 90-Man Roster: Team Needs and Roster Depth

You can learn a lot of things by looking at a team's 90-man offseason roster. Which positions are overrepresented, which are underrepresented, and where could the teams still be looking for upgrades?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To see if there was anything to be gleaned from the Cowboys' 90-man roster, I compared it to the rosters of the remaining NFC East teams. The table below lists the division's offseason rosters by position, using the rosters found on the official team sites. Here are the numbers:

NFC East Roster Sizes by Position, 2013
DAL 4 6 11 6 15 15 11 17 5 90
NYG 4 6 11 6 16 15 10 18 4 90
PHI 5 6 12 6 17 15 10 15 4 90
WAS 4 9 12 5 15 12 14 15 4 90

The Redskins team site lists 91 players on its roster (they haven't removed FB Dorson Boyce yet, whom they waived last week), but that's not the only thing odd about the Redskins roster; while the rosters of the other three teams looks relatively similar, the Redskins roster is significantly out of whack compared to the other three teams at some positions.

Back to the Cowboys: The first thing that stands out to me about the Cowboys' roster is that like the Giants, the position group with the most players is the secondary. If you assume that the most overstocked position is the position with the greatest need (and this is by no means certain) then the Cowboys feel like the secondary is their greatest area of need. The Cowboys have more defensive backs on their 90-man roster than any other position. This shouldn't come as a surprise given the shaky status of the secondary beyond CBs Carr, Claiborne and Scandrick. The Cowboys traditionally carry nine, occasionally ten, defensive backs, so going by these numbers alone, this could be one of the most hotly contested roster battles in training camp.

The 17 DBs will be going up against 11 wide receivers, of which just half are likely going to make the 53-man roster - the Cowboys have carried either five or six wide receivers on their opening roster since Romo has been QB.

Surprisingly, the Cowboys look to be fairly confident in their options along the O-line, as they appear to be a little short on bodies here, especially relative to the other NFC East teams. There's not much of a difference between the teams though, so the numbers here could easily be misinterpreted. But given the Cowboys' struggles along the O-line, I would have expected more bodies here - just to be on the safe side.

The Cowboys look good at linebacker in terms of numbers, but the Eagles, who just moved to a 3-4, look very thin here. The Cowboys carried between eight and nine linebackers when the ran a 3-4, carrying only 10 guys means there appears to be almost no competition for a roster spot on the Eagles roster at LB. Odd.

The Giants, Eagles and Cowboys all look evenly distributed among the offensive skill positions. The Redskins however have chosen to carry nine running backs where the others carry only six. Very odd.

But the Cowboys are not without their own oddity - they are the only team carrying two long snappers, which is especially odd given that incumbent long snapper L.P. LaDouceur just signed a five-year, $4 million contract.

Obviously, you have to be a little careful with the causalities here, as all of these numbers will change during and after training camp. The first roster cuts (to 75 players) are due on August 27 following preseason week 3, and the final cut to 53 players will happen on August 31.

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