Good thing the Cowboys don't have any practices scheduled today, as it looks like they finally arrived in Oxnard somewhere around 5:00 am this morning. But that doesn't mean there's nothing going on here today. The Cowboys coaches are almost certainly busy watching film from yesterday and reviewing their practice notes from last week. And one of the things they are likely doing in the process is slotting their players into some kind of a depth chart; a depth chart they already had going into camp and one that is constantly being reconfigured.
So we're going to do a similar exercise today and take a look at what the Cowboys' final 53-man roster could look like, based on what we've seen so far in training camp and in the one preseason game. To do that, we're going to look at three separate projections. One from Tim MacMahon published this morning on ESPNDallas, one from rabblerousr, who attended the first two weeks of camp and submitted his projection to me on Saturday, and one projection that I threw together based in part on my impressions from yesterday's game.
I've combined all three projections in the table below. The table highlights (in yellow) the spots that do not yet appear to be locked down, and where there is still competition for a roster spot. Look closely and you'll see that there aren't many of those spots left, if these three projections are anything to go by.
|MacMahon, ESPN||rabblerousr, BTB||OCC, BTB|
|A. Smith||A. Smith|
As we saw yesterday when we looked at the Top Five Pitfalls Of Early 53-man Roster Projections, these early roster projections may feel like they have a certain degree of certitude and finality, but they don't, not really. It's still early in the process, and players are bound to rise and fall, and there may yet be some surprise cuts and late additions that nobody saw coming. With that in mind, here a few thoughts on some of the positions that may still some movement.
Quarterbacks: The Cowboys may still choose to have a developmental guy on the roster, but right now it looks like that guy will be doing his developing on the practice squad. This may change over the next couple of games, if either Stephens or Tanney show something, but for now, it's just Romo and Orton.
Running backs: Four backs may seem like a luxury, but the Cowboys may go down that route this year even though they've gone with three backs in most of the previous years. The battle here is likely going to be about second, third and fourth spot on the depth chart.
Tight ends: Will the Cowboys really go with five tight ends? The idea is gaining traction.
Offensive line: Right now, it looks like only the two tackles spots and the center spot are set. Everything else could still be up for grabs, which makes this one of the more interesting position battles in this year's camp. And will they carry nine or ten guys?
Defensive Ends: Rabble submitted his projection on Saturday, and already had Selvie penciled in here. I can't speak for MacMahon, but I know that Selvie only made my list after the game yesterday.
Defensive Tackles: Probably only a question of the right order here. Can Jeris Pendleton make a late push?
Linebacker: Along with the O-line, this may be the most hotly contested unit. There is no real clarity at any of the backup spots, and each of the roster projections above has a different idea of who those backups could be.
Secondary: The secondary looks set, and it looks like the battle for the fifth safety spot may come down to better special teams play.
Agree, disagree? Have at it in the comments.