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Cowboys First Depth Chart Of 2015: Hard Cuts Ahead To Reach 53-Man Roster Limit

Early clues as to how that position battles in camp are shaping up may come from the first unofficial depth chart of the year the Cowboys released over the weekend.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Courtesy of Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, we got our first look at the Cowboys first unofficial depth chart over the weekend. The league requires all teams to publish a depth chart in preparation for the upcoming exhibition games, so a an official depth chart would have been forthcoming soon anyway. How and whether that will differ from the one we have now is anybody's guess.

Having said that, keep in mind that the chart was probably put together specifically for the Chargers game on Thursday so perhaps we shouldn't over-interpret it. At the same time, it may be indicative of the Cowboys' current thought processes, so it is worth a look.

The initial depth chart doesn't look like it was put together by the coaches - there's a lot of confusion about who plays what along the defensive line, and what exactly constitutes a free and strong safety - and may have just been put together by the PR department to help the over 1,000 people with media credentials identify who's who, on the off chance any of them leave the hospitality tent. Anyway, here's what the full depth chart currently looks like:

POS First Second Third Others
WR Dez Bryant Devin Street Nick Harwell
Antwan Goodley, Deontay Greenberry
TE Gavin Escobar James Hanna
Brandon Barden
LT Tyron Smith R.J. Dill
Laurence Gibson
LG Ronald Leary La'el Collins Ronald Patrick
C Travis Frederick Mackenzy Bernadeau Shane McDermott
RG Zack Martin John Wetzel
RT Doug Free Darrion Weems
John Wetzel
Jason Witten Geoff Swaim
Terrance Williams
Cole Beasley Lucky Whitehead, A.J. Jenkins Reggie Dunn, George Farmer
QB Tony Romo Brandon Weeden Dustin Vaughan Jameill Showers
RB Joseph Randle Lance Dunbar
Gus Johnson Lache Seastrunk
FB Tyler Clutts Ray Agnew
LDE DeMarcus Lawrence
Jeremy Mincey Lavar Edwards Ben Gardner, Efe Obada
1-tech DT
Nick Hayden Jack Crawford Ken Bishop Chris Whaley
3-tech DT Tyrone Crawford Terrell McClain Davon Coleman
RDE Greg Hardy Randy Gregory
Kenneth Boatright
Ryan Russell
SLB Kyle Wilber Andrew Gachkar Keith Smith Donnie Baggs
MLB Anthony Hitchens Jasper Brinkley Ka'Lial Glaud
WLB Sean Lee Damien Wilson Johnathan Brown Will Smith
LCB Brandon Carr Byron Jones Corey White Robert Steeples
RCB Orlando Scandrick Morris Claiborne Tyler Patmon Joel Ross, Jason Wilson
FS J.J. Wilcox Jeff Heath Ray Vinopal
SS Barry Church Danny McCray Tim Scott
Special teams
K Dan Bailey
P Chris Jones Tom Hornsey
H Chris Jones Tony Romo
KR Lucky Whitehead
Reggie Dunn
Antwan Goodley
PR Lucky Whitehead Reggie Dunn Nick Harwell
LS L.P. Ladouceur Casey Kreiter

Other Notes / Observations from the initial depth chart:

  • Players currently on the PUP or NFI lists are not included in the depth chart, which accounts for the absence of Rolando McClain, Darren McFadden, Chaz Green, and Mark Nzeocha.
  • Going off this list, there's a three-man battle for the fifth wide receiver spot between Lucky Whitehead, A.J. Jenkins, and Nick Harwell - and this is assuming that Devin Street has locked up the fourth spot.
  • Interesting that the Cowboys have two lines for their tight ends.Even more interesting that Geoff Swaim is penciled in at the same level as James Hanna, which could further fuel trade speculation.
  • Ronald Leary is listed as the starter at left guard, ahead of La'el Collins. I think this is pretty much settled for now. Collins may have started for almost all other teams, but he'll get a year to get ready in Dallas.
  • Without McFadden in the mix, the running backs are ranked pretty much as you would there room for Gus Johnson on this roster?
  • At DE, note that Jeremy Mincey is now listed on the left side - and behind DeMarcus Lawrence. Fan favorite Ben Gardner still has a way to go before making the team, and rookie Ryan Russell will automatically move up a slot due to Kenneth Boatright's injury.
  • Currently listing four QBs, the pressure to keep other players coupled with Vaughan's lackluster showing so far, will likely mean the Cowboys keep just two QBs on the 53-man roster and keep one on the practice squad.
  • As we head into the Chargers game, watch out for Davon Coleman (60) and Ken Bishop (66) on the defensive line. The preseason is their make-or-break opportunity.
  • No big surprises at linebacker. Rolando McClain will shake things up once he returns, but note how the two recent rookies, Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson, already hold key positions. Note that Will Smith has already been released again.
  • At corner, it's looking increasingly like the Cowboys will enter the season with six guys.
  • There are already 66 players listed on offense and defense in the First, Second and Third column, and that excludes the three special teamers likely to make the roster as well as the four players on PUP/NFI. That probably means that very few - if any - of the players marked "Others" will make the team, and that at least 16 players in the column marked "Third" still need to be cut. There will be some very hard cuts to be made this year.

Share your thoughts on the depth chart in the comments section. You can also use our Interactive Roster Builderr to work on building your own 53-man roster. The tool has been updated with the latest info from the depth chart and the most recent transactions.

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