IRVING, Texas – While the focus on this day is typically the players who are released, here’s a look at the guys who actually made the team – for now.
Quarterback (2): Tony Romo, Kyle Orton – The Cowboys decided once again to keep just one backup for Romo. Alex Tanney had promise and will likely get back to the practice squad if he’s not claimed off waivers. For now, the team had too many needs at other positions to keep a luxury third quarterback.
Running Back (4): DeMarco Murray, Lance Dunbar, Joseph Randle, Phillip Tanner – Four running backs is not uncommon, but it’s usually three tailbacks and a fullback. With no fullback on the roster, the Cowboys will stick with four runners, especially with Lance Dunbar (foot) banged up. Randle and Tanner will provide some depth and special teams ability.
Wide Receiver (5) – Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Dwayne Harris, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley – The Cowboys decided to cut veteran Anthony Armstrong, who had a good camp and preseason and is likely the fastest player on the team. Armstrong could get resigned in Week 2 when his roster would not be guaranteed. Beasley’s ability to work the middle of the field proved to be too valuable.
Tight Ends (5): – Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar, James Hanna, Dante Rosario, Andre Smith -The Cowboys have shown they will use more tight ends this year. Jason Witten will get most of the touches, but there will be plenty of packages that featured both James Hanna and Gavin Escobar. This spot might see some changes before the start of the season. Rosario is really the only fullback-type player on the roster, but Smith did enough things to keep him around.
Offensive Line (10): Tyron Smith, Ron Leary, Travis Frederick, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Nate Livings, Doug Free, Phil Costa, Darrion Weems, David Arkin, Jermey Parnell – This position was tough to cut because of the injury situations to Leary and Livings. Don’t be surprised if there are more moves to make on Sunday.
Defensive Line (9) – DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Jason Hatcher, Nick Hayden, George Selvie, Kyle Wilber, Ben Bass, Landon Cohen, Sean Lissemore – The Cowboys might be in the process of making moves here. Keeping Cohen and Lissemore was somewhat surprising. Cohen is probably the closest thing to a one-technique the Cowboys have as backups. Lissemore’s concussion could play a role in keeping more tackles.
Linebacker (5) – Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Justin Durant, Ernie Sims, DeVonte Holloman: Like the others, expect some changes here. The Cowboys decided not to keep a sixth linebacker, releasing Brandon Magee, Cam Lawrence and Caleb McSurdy. Holloman was so impressive in the preseason, he likely jumped several players on the projected depth chart. Don’t be surprised if Sims works his way into the starting lineup at some point.
Defensive Backs (10): Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Barry Church, Will Allen, Orlando Scandrick, B.W. Webb, J.J. Wilcox, Danny McCray, Eric Frampton, Jeff Heath: Six safeties made the club. It’s somewhat surprising that both McCray and Frampton made the team. McCray had to take a considerable pay cut but the Cowboys will need his special teams experience. Cutting both Sterling Moore and Micah Pellerin was a surprise as well. The Cowboys currently have just four cornerbacks.
Specialists (3) – Dan Bailey, Chris Jones, L.P. Ladouceur – No surprises here. These three were the expected group last January and nothing has changed.