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Cowboys @ Bills (16-6): Six Dallas Players Who Helped Or Hurt Their 2016 Chances

A look at six Cowboys players as they audition for different roles in 2016.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys played the Buffalo Bills in a regulation game on Sunday, and lost  ugly, 16-6. Another futile performance from an offense that is allergic to the endzone, and another quality defensive effort wasted in defeat. It's always been the other way around for the Cowboys, an offensive powerhouse held back by a suspect defense. What really mattered, though, were the auditions of players on both sides of the ball for next year.

When your mind drifts forward to Dallas in 2016, you know that Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, the core offensive line and a group of guys on defense like Sean Lee, DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford, among others, will be with the team in 2016. Others we're not too sure about. Some are auditioning for starting roles next year, or regular minutes in the rotation. Some are looking to get new contracts in 2016. Some just hope they can get a chance to hang around when the Cowboys begin preparing for next year.

Who helped themselves and who didn't? Glad you asked:

Looking Good

Darren McFadden - It's not last year's ground game, but it's still pretty good. Especially since McFadden took over the lead dog spot. The Cowboys should like what they see in McFadden and consider him part of a backfield rotation in 2016. But could they upgrade, and would McFadden's health hold up two seasons in a row? How hard does Dallas shop/draft for a new running back?

Brice Butler - When he's healthy he looks like he might be a player, he certainly looks better than Devin Street. He could be a viable option for regular minutes next year if he can keep himself on the field.

Still Looking

Kellen Moore - The end result of points-on-the-board is not there yet, but he looked calm in the pocket, goes through his reads and makes smart decisions. He'll never have the biggest arm but if he was a little more accurate, you might have a decent backup. Let's see him in his second start, see if he progresses from this game.

Young Cornerbacks - Last week Terrance Mitchell had an interception. Today Deji Olatoye got one. The sample size is too small to know anything, but at least they did what the Cowboys defense avoided all year - grab turnovers. With the status of  Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne going forward unclear, these guys are looking for a chance to get invited back next year.

Looks Cloudy

Rolando McClain - He can look so good, but then make terrible plays. Is he the answer in the middle for the Cowboys, or should they go shopping? When he's right, not suspended, not injured and playing with technique and fundamentals, he can be a monster. Other times he overruns tackles, takes bad angles and can cost you a big gain.

Greg Hardy - He's supposed to be a difference-maker, but has looked very average since a quick start following his suspension. Do the Cowboys want the headache? Will some other team offer a lot of money driving up the cost? How much is he worth to the team, and is Randy Gregory ready to take the next step? DeMarcus Lawrence looks good on one side, but what does Dallas do about the other side?

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