Tag Archives: 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster

TEXAS 2 SCOUTING REPORT: A closer look at your newest Dallas Cowboy–DE Jarius Wynn

A few thoughts from film study of defensive end Jarius Wynn, who the Dallas Cowboys added to their roster. Wynn played five games for San Diego this season before making his way to Dallas.

TEXAS 2 SCOUTING REPORT - A closer look at your newest Dallas Cowboy–DE Jarius Wynn

Jarius Wynn  DT / DE  6-3  285  Georgia  5th Season

Games studied: San Diego vs. Dallas, Oakland, Philadelphia, Tennessee

  • Wynn played both tackle and end in the Chargers’ 3-4 scheme, and he will see action at both spots for the Dallas Cowboys.
  • He has a long, rangy build and plays with more strength than quickness,  and he can hold the point of attack.
  • Gets some push from the inside, had a nice sack by using power against Todd Herremans of the Eagles, who could not handle his movement down inside. He was able to finish the play on Michael Vick.
  • Can work down the line and hold up blockers, but he needs to do a better job getting rid of those blockers quicker. Tends to get stuck.
  • There were times where he tried to use counter moves as a pass rusher, and he had some success. But it needs to work more often.
  • Wynn has used a quick swim move to free himself against Raiders and later against the Titans, along with a swat move as well that helped him in his rush.
  • When he does free himself, he has a burst to chase the ball. His effort is good when trying to finish the play. Not a lazy player.
  • Plays with power but, but I don’t like when he rushes down the middle. Brian Waters stoned him a couple of times on his rush in the San Diego game, and he was very unproductive.
  • He will work to extend his arms to attempt to control his blocker, but he needs to use his hands quicker to get rid of that man.
  • I was surprised he was able to hang in there taking on blocks, because he plays with a narrow base.
  • I thought he was better when he was able to rush off the edge and try to get to the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle. He played with more quickness on the edge, whereas inside, it was more about power.
  • Did not see much quick redirection in his game, but his effort is really good when it comes to chasing the ball.

The bottom line is that Wynn will give the defense some flexibility at two spots, but I would like to see if Rod Marinelli can get him to play with more quickness off the ball. The Cowboys’ 4-3 scheme could allow him to be better in that regard.  

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Veteran defensive end Jarius Wynn and RB Davin Meggett join team

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER - Veteran defensive end Jarius Wynn and RB Davin Meggett join Dallas Cowboys roster

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys were busy making some roster moves, many of which are domino-effects of the injury situation to both DeMarcus Ware and DeMarco Murray.

The Cowboys officially waived defensive end David Carter and cornerback Chris Greenwood. They signed veteran defensive end Jarius Wynn, who worked out for the team on Monday and has five years of experience, including a Super Bowl ring with the Packers in 2010. Wynn has a career total of 36 tackles and eight sacks. He was a sixth round pick out of Georgia in 2009.

Dallas Cowboys have signed running back Davin Meggett to the practice squad - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster

They also signed running back Davin Meggett. A former standout at Maryland, Meggett is the son of former Super Bowl champion and two-time Pro Bowler RB Dave Meggett.

Davin was an undrafted free agent running back out of Maryland in 2012. He’s spent his first two seasons in the league on the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts practice squads. Meggett is described as more of a smash-mouth/down-hill runner, as opposed to his father who was a burner/returner for many years as a member of the New York Giants. The younger Meggett has yet to see any regular season action.

The Cowboys had an open practice squad spot after signing Cameron Lawrence to the active roster last Friday.

But when the dust settled, the Cowboys have one spot open on the roster. And with Jay Ratliff now gone, there is an open roster spot.

With DeMarcus Ware likely out this week, the Cowboys will need help up front. Wynn should be able to provide some depth behind George Selvie and Kyle Wilber. The club is hoping Edgar Jones (groin) can make it back, plus they have backup Caesar Rayford. The Cowboys can also use the open spot for practice squad defensive end Jason Vega.

At running back, Meggett will help in practice and the scout team. With Murray (sprained knee) expected to miss 2-3 weeks, and Lance Dunbar (hamstring) still out, the Cowboys are down to just Joseph Randle and Phillip Tanner on the active roster.

EX-COWBOY MOVING ON: Jay Ratliff issues statement regarding release from Dallas

EX-COWBOY MOVING ON - Jay Ratliff issues statement regarding release from Dallas - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster

IRVING, Texas – Mark Slough, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff’s agent, issued a statement from the four-time Pro Bowler regarding Ratliff’s release by the Dallas Cowboys this afternoon.

Prior to a question-and-answer session regarding Ratliff’s 2012 injuries and subsequent rehab, Slough issued a short statement from Ratliff:

The statement read: “First, let me say thank you to the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones for taking a chance on me in 2005. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Cowboys, and it was always my desire to begin and end my career here in Dallas. But I understand this business, and now it’s time to move on, turn the page and begin again.

To all my teammates, I want to wish them nothing but the best. Stay strong, keep fighting and always believe. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there for you, but I will always support you and value our time together.

And lastly, to all the Cowboy fans, I want to say it was an honor to play for you. Cowboy fans are the best fans in the NFL, and I thank each and every one of you for the support and love you have shown to me these past nine years. I will miss you.”

Ratliff played nine seasons with the Cowboys after being drafted No. 224 overall in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played in 104 career games for Dallas, tallying 228 total tackles and 27 sacks.

CARR ON COURSE: Dallas Cowboys corner continuing to evolve in Texas-2 defense

CARR ON COURSE - Dallas Cowboys corner continuing to evolve in Texas-2 defense - Brandon Carr vs STL

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr playing without putting pressure on himself, unlike last year.

Brandon Carr, coming off perhaps his most impactful game with the Dallas Cowboys since signing his $50.1 million free agent contract.

“I don’t feel pressure any more,” the veteran cornerback said Monday at Valley Ranch. “I put it on myself last year. It’s a new year. I’m still working, still trying to get better. I’m going to continue to evolve as a player. I’m not going to put pressure on myself. I’m going to continue to have fun and show the passion I have for this game and make plays.”

Carr had six tackles, a tackle for loss, and three pass breakups against the Redskins on Sunday. Instead of playing just one side of the field, he stayed with the Redskins’ No. 1 target, Pierre Garcon, and limited him to six catches for 69 yards on 15 targets.

“You can call it what you want to call it,” Carr said. “I’m going to go out there and do my job wherever they match me up, or on the side I play. I’m going to try to shut it down. It’s a compliment to me and a great challenge for me. I have been working to get to this level for six years now.”

Carr said he still sees himself developing.

“I’m still a work in progress, but I’m down for any task or challenge they present to me,” Carr said. “Any receiver they tell me to go out and cover or give them my best shot, that is what I’m going to do every Sunday.”

ROSTER WHEELS ARE TURNING: Dallas Cowboys expected to address defensive line injuries

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones stated the obvious on his radio show this morning. He said the defensive line is the Dallas Cowboys biggest concern six weeks into the season.

The loss of defensive end DeMarcus Ware for at least a week or two is the latest setback up for a unit that is already without ends Tyrone Crawford and Anthony Spencer for the season and has seemingly given up hope of getting back defensive tackle Jay Ratliff at any point this season.

The Cowboys are scouring the waiver wire and the streets for help up front but Jones said the team will not trade a future high draft pick to get a defensive lineman.

“It’s pretty well known, I imagine, around the league, some of the issues we got with our defensive front,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM], “so if some other GMs or personnel people are sitting there saying, ‘I bet Dallas might be interested in this lineman,’ then their wheels are turning, too. That could still happen, but we’re not going to be in a position, and don’t want to give up a high draft pick to get a defensive lineman right now.”

The Cowboys are expected to sign veteran defensive end Jarius Wynn, who has five years of experience with the Packers and Chargers. 

PUP AND CIRCUMSTANCE: NBC’s sideline reporter predicts Jay Ratliff’s fate

PUP AND CIRCUMSTANCE - NBC’s sideline reporter predicts Jay Ratliff's fate - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster

ARLINGTON, Texas – It looked for all the world that there had finally been a break in the curious case of Jay Ratliff.

NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya spoke with Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones about the Pro Bowl defensive tackle on Sunday ahead of the Cowboys’ primetime game against Washington. Based on talking to Jones, Tafoya was not confident that Ratliff would be returning to the team’s roster this week after his six-week stay on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List.

NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL -- Pictured: Michele Tafoya, Sideline Reporter, Sunday Night Football, NBC Sports Group -- Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Said Tafoya: “My interpretation, based on Jerry Jones’ body language and his tone, is that Jay Ratliff will not be playing for the Cowboys anymore.”

In the scrum of the Cowboys’ post-win locker room, though, Jones said he wasn’t ready to agree with Tafoya’s assessment.

“I’m not familiar with that report. I didn’t hear it. Our plans are to visit, not only with him but medical and see what we’re going to do with our timing on any PUP or IR considerations,” Jones said. “But we’ve still got a lot of work and decisions to make. But I didn’t hear that report.”

It’s just the latest twist in a long and winding road for Ratliff in the past year. The eight-year veteran missed 10 games in 2012 with a litany of injuries, and injury issues have followed him into 2013. Ratliff missed all of the Cowboys’ summer training camp with a hamstring injury, reportedly suffered during his pre-camp conditioning test. When the team’s preseason ended, Ratliff was placed on the PUP, making him ineligible through the first six games.

The Cowboys’ 31-16 win against Washington on Sunday night got them through the first six weeks with a 3-3 mark, but Ratliff’s future doesn’t seem any clearer. Jones said those conversations will start happening this week as Dallas prepares for a road game against Philadelphia.

“Let’s just see how the week goes and see where we are,” he said. “We’re looking at what the prospects are of him being active, and we just have to see how that goes. I think I’ll have a better, more accurate reading on that for you as the week goes on.”

That seems hard to believe based on recent history, however. The Cowboys haven’t been able to clearly update Ratliff’s injury status since training camp, and the veteran hasn’t been much of a presence around the team’s Valley Ranch training facility. Despite that, Jones said the Cowboys have been in contact with Ratliff on a consistent basis, and he added that Ratliff will be present at the facility in the coming week.

“We’re communicating. He’s in and out – we have communication,” Jones said. “But it’s not that type of issue with him – in any way not being what we want him to be. We want him to be healthy, and he wants to be healthy. But we’ve got to take a look at his progress.”

Jones said it’s not that uncommon for veteran players to rehab from injuries away from the day-to-day activities of the team – provided they’re communicating with the coaching staff. Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders and Pro Bowl tight end Jay Novacek are two “name players” Jones listed as doing such.

“Deion did that some. Deion did that when he was here – had combinations of trainers and workouts,” Jones said. “But he recognized the order of things and recognized the need to do it on a team basis. But we’ve had several name players that would show that they respected what the coaches want and respected what we want, but they would also go at their own pace with strength and conditioning. Novacek was one of them.”

However murky the situation has been this season, Jones said the Cowboys have some decisions to make this week – decisions that may bring some clarity to the issue, with Ratliff or without him.

“We’re going to kind of look at a lot of things here this week, and probably have something to give everybody a better direction on,” he said. “You have a right to know, don’t get me wrong, but we’ve just got to decide what we’re going to do in the short and the long term.”

GARRETTS’ GAMEDAY ROSTER: Five wide receivers activated for Cowboys Redskins showdown in Dallas

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IRVING, Texas — For only the second time this season the Dallas Cowboys will activate five wide receivers with Miles Austin’s return from a two-game absence due to a hamstring strain.

The decision was made somewhat easier by the hamstring injury that will keep running back Lance Dunbar out of tonight’s game against the Washington Redskins, but with the evolution of the offense the Cowboys could figure to go in this direction even if all of the backs are healthy.

As we Ponder the 46 for the Redskins game, the decisions come down to health and reliability. The defensive line needs help if not numbers, but with Justin Durant questionable and Edgar Jones out, Cameron Lawrence, newly added from the practice squad, will be active.

Would the Cowboys rather carry nine defensive linemen (David Carter or Caesar Rayford) or eight offensive linemen (Phil Costa)? They got little from either of the defensive linemen against the Denver Broncos, but with Jason Hatcher battling a stinger and Jones out it might make more sense to keep a defender up over Costa.

So the inactives should be: Jones, Dunbar, Andre Smith, David Arkin, Costa, Darrion Weems and Chris Greenwood.

DALLAS PUP RECOVERING: Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff rehab continues to linger

Dallas Cowboys NT Jay Ratliff arrrested - The Boys Are Back blog

The Dallas Cowboys are holding out hope Jay Ratliff will be on the field at some point this year, but there’s still no set date for the defensive tackle’s return.   

Ratliff may not be ready to play when he’s eligible to come off the Physically Unable to Perform list next week. He’s also not rehabbing with the Dallas Cowboys, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones.

Dallas Cowboys NT Jay Ratliff ready for the new 4-3 defense - The Boys Are Back blog - Tim Heitman - USA TODAY Sports

Jones told 105.3 FM “The Fan” that Ratliff has “had his frustrations in terms of his medical situation,” and the Cowboys gave him the opportunity to explore different avenues in his rehab, though the team didn’t prefer it.

“This is rare, but we felt like if it mentally helped him and gave him a better chance to get back to where he thinks he needs to be, we were up for him doing that,” Jones said. “As far as knowing where he is, we get reports daily and understand how he’s progressing, so we’re aware of what’s going on.”

Ratliff only played in six games last season before getting sports hernia surgery at the end of the year. He injured his hamstring during the conditioning test at the beginning of training camp this year and hasn’t played since.  

“Any time you reward a player, you hope he plays at a high level,” Jones said. “Any time it doesn’t work out, it’s frustrating, obviously. But that’s a part of the business we’re in.

“I’m sure Jay wishes it were different. I know we wish it was different. We could use him, but that’s not the way it is.”

Cowboys Camp Football

Editors comment: Monte Kiffin’s Texas-2 Defense was predicated on having both Anthony Spencer and Jay Ratliff in the rotation. As you know, Spencer is out for the rest of the season and Ratliff has had lingering issues for months. Dallas Cowboys DL coach Rod Marinelli has managed to make the best of a bad situation. Let’s hope we see Ratliff in the rotation at some point in the 2013-2014 season. The standout still needs to get into ‘football shape” before Jason Garrett can put him on the field. Doesn’t look like Dallas will have this dog in the fight anytime soon.

COWBOYS CHIP CHALLENGE: Bruce Carter responds to Dallas’ linebacker rotation

COWBOYS CHIP CHALLENGE - Bruce Carter responds to Dallas’ linebacker rotation - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster

IRVING, Texas – If the coaches’ decision to bench Bruce Carter for part of last week’s game was to motivate the linebacker, then consider the job accomplished. 

Carter said he’s not sure if that was the coaches’ intentions one week after a poor performance against the Chargers, but the temporary benching makes him more excited to get back on the field and prove his worth.

“It definitely puts a chip on your shoulder,” Carter said. “You’ve just got to go out there and prove to everybody that you can play at a high level and you’re capable of what you’re able to do. You can’t take anything for granted.”

Carter was one of the standouts on defense last season and even early this year, as he accumulated 24 total tackles and three sacks through the first three weeks of the season. But a rough performance against the Chargers in Week 3 led to the coaches going more with Ernie Sims last week in the nickel package against the Broncos.

Never before in his life had Carter been in a situation like that.

“I’ve never been benched or a backup or none of that,” Carter said. “It’s a learning lesson. I definitely will say that. I can’t take my position for granted or playing for the Cowboys, period.”

Carter said he’s not positive what will happen with the rotation in the nickel this week, although it’s likely he gets more snaps going forward. He had trouble in coverage against the Chargers, as Danny Woodhead got behind him for two scores.

All the linebackers seem to be struggling more in coverage this year in their first season in Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 defense. He said at times the linebackers might be thinking too much instead of playing quickly. At times, stopping to diagnose plays can appear like a lack of effort.

“It’s a lot of stuff you have to cover, and it might not even be right in your face, it might be on the other side of the field,” Carter said. “That’s where, for me, things get complicated, just getting back in your drops, having to look across the field. That’s something we’ve just been working at all week and I think we’re getting better at.” 

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas practice squad linebacker Cameron Lawrence promoted today

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER - Dallas practice squad linebacker Cameron Lawrence promoted today - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have filled the empty roster spot with rookie linebacker Cameron Lawrence, who was signed off the practice squad today (Friday).

Lawrence, an undrafted rookie from Mississippi State, nearly made the active roster coming out of training camp and the preseason. The Cowboys decided to sign veterans Edgar Jones and Kyle Bosworth for special teams purposes. But Lawrence has remained on the practice squad and will likely play Sunday in his NFL debut.

“Hard work has paid off,” a smiling Lawrence said today, just minutes after he called his agent to inform him the news. “I was glad to be on practice squad but this is just a whole another level.”

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER - Dallas practice squad linebacker Cameron Lawrence promoted today - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster - Oakland Raiders

After the Cowboys waived veteran safety Will Allen, Lawrence said the practice squad players were told one of them would likely be added to the roster this week. Early speculation centered on Jakar Hamilton, a safety would seemingly would take Allen’s spot. And last week the Cowboys nearly signed defensive end Jason Vega from the squad.

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER - Dallas practice squad linebacker Cameron Lawrence promoted today - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster - NFL

But Lawrence said hearing of that possibility got his attention.

“Automatically my eyes lit up,” Lawrence said. “I had a good week of practice. I guess they liked what they saw. I fit the need that they needed. They told me today after practice.”

With Justin Durant (groin) questionable for Sunday’s game, adding Lawrence is a natural fit. But he also said he expects to be a full participant on special teams. In college, Lawrence contributed on defense for four years at Mississippi State, where he was a two-time All-SEC standout.

In the preseason games with the Cowboys, Lawrence finished second on the team with 16 tackles with one quarterback pressure and one pass deflection.

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas releases veteran safety Will Allen

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys released safety Will Allen this afternoon.

Allen, a 10-year veteran, signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys during free agency this past spring after a three-year stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He started for the team at safety through training camp and the first two games of the regular season, but he was eventually replaced by rookie J.J. Wilcox ahead of the Cowboys’ Week 3 game against St. Louis on Sept. 22.

The roster currently sits at 52, as the Cowboys didn’t make any immediate moves to fill Allen’s spot. The team might elevate a player from the practice squad later in the week depending on injury concerns.

The Cowboys’ practice squad currently features two safeties in Jakar Hamilton and Micah Pellerin, should they decide to bolster the depth in their defensive backfield.

Looking forward, the Cowboys also are still hopeful for the potential return of defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, who is eligible to return from the Physically Unable to Perform list next week. If Ratliff is able to return, the team would need to free up a roster spot for him.

During his time with the Dallas Cowboys, Allen notched nine total tackles in five games with three passes defensed and an interception. His coverage came under fire in the season opening win against the New York Giants, which saw the Cowboys surrender 450 passing yards, though Allen did grab one of three interceptions of Eli Manning in that game.

He was also called for holding during a fourth quarter kick return in Sunday’s 51-48 loss to Denver.

Since he was on the Cowboys’ Week 1 roster, all of the money on Allen’s $905,000 contract is guaranteed.

Allen spent the first six seasons of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who selected him 111th overall out of Ohio State in the 2004 NFL Draft. He spent five of his six seasons in Tampa with current Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, who was the Buccaneers’ defensive coordinator from 1996-2008.

RAGS TO ROSTER RICHES: Dallas Cowboys linebacker Ernie Sims becoming a student of the game

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IRVING, Texas – Ernie Sims’ study habits may lead to him earning a starting job at linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys.

Sims made an impression while competing for the starting strong side linebacker job in training camp before a groin injury derailed that opportunity. After Bruce Carter’s struggles last week and Justin Durant also suffering a groin injury, it’s likely Sims starts at linebacker this week at one of the outside linebacker spots.

“One thing I do know is that I’m going to be prepared like I don’t know what,” Sims said. “Through all my years of playing back in Detroit and my early years in the NFL, I didn’t prepare. I just relied on my God given ability, but now I’m putting two and two together and it’s really starting to show up.”

Sims was a first-round pick of Rod Marinelli’s in Detroit in 2006. It never panned out the way he would have liked through the first few years of his NFL career. Maybe that’s because he didn’t prepare himself the way he has recently.

The former top-10 pick was somewhat of an afterthought entering training camp, but he put together one of the better defensive performances throughout his time in Oxnard, Calif., earning a spot on the 53-man roster. He may have even earned a starting spot if not for the groin injury, which recurred again at the start of the regular season.

Now healthy, Sims said he’s ready to play. He’s taking the majority of reps at linebacker in the nickel package, and the way Sims sees it, he’s a starter. Sims said right now they have him starting at weak side linebacker, but it’s possible he could take the strong side spot if Durant can’t go.

“I’m staying in for base and for nickel,” Sims said. “On the board, they’ve got me starting, so like I said, you never know what happens, but I know one thing – I’m preparing as if I’m starting and playing the whole game. When my number is called, I’m prepared and ready to go and make plays.”

Sims and Carter have rotated some this week in the nickel package, and it appeared Sims was taking all the reps at nickel early in Friday’s practice. But head coach Jason Garrett didn’t suggest Carter will be completely off the field this week.

“We haven’t really talked about the exact situation with how those guys are going to play, because of the availability of all the guys,” Garrett said. “We’ve been practicing a certain way. Bruce is going to play a lot in the ballgame. Ernie’s going to play a lot in the ballgame. They’re both important parts of our defense.”

Regardless of where he starts, Sims is slotted to play a lot more than the 27 defensive reps he got last week against the Chargers, compiling six tackles in limited time. It’s an opportunity he relishes, considering he was at home driving his tractor to begin the 2012 season.

But he doesn’t feel like he’s made up for lost time yet after sitting out with his groin injury.

“Not one inch,” Sims said. “I’ve still got a lot to prove. I’m just eager to compete. Peyton Manning is great player. I was there in Indianapolis with him for one year. I didn’t get a chance to play with him, but he was on the team or whatnot, and I just got to see small fraction of what type of guy he is and what type of player he is. I’m just excited. It’s a big challenge for me and for this team and as a competitor this type of game you live for.”

He’s fired up about this chance, because he knows the alternative if it doesn’t work out. He’s experienced what it’s like not to have a job or a team to play for when an NFL season begins.

“You dang right, that’s in the back of my mind,” Sims said. “I’ve got a lot to prove, and when I was younger I did it for different reasons. Now it’s all about my family, my wife and my son. That’s all I think about, proving myself and providing for my family. That’s all I think about when I’m on the field.”

MICROMANAGING ENDS: Options without Anthony Spencer for duration of Dallas Cowboys 2013-2014 season

MICROMANAGING ENDS - Options without Anthony Spencer for duration of Dallas Cowboys 2013-2014 season

IRVING, Texas – With the news coming from Jerry Jones today, of the likely knee surgery for Anthony Spencer ending his season, lets take a look at the options for the Cowboys and how they will manage this situation.

You have to give Jerry and Stephen Jones along with Will McClay and these scouts a great deal of credit for what they have done this off season and throughout training camp adding depth to this roster. There has to be a willingness by the front office and coaches to consistently want to churn the roster. Jason Garrett and this staff should also be commended for their part as well to take on players even when it would be very easy to stand pat with their current 53 man roster. I have always believed that one of Garrett’s great strengths is his understanding of how player personnel works in this league.

Dallas Cowboys Defensive End George Selvie sacks Eli Manning

There are a couple of different ways the Cowboys will be able to manage this. The first one and most obvious, is to continue to start George Selvie in Spencer’s spot. Next to Jason Hatcher, Selvie has been one of the most consistent players this defensive line has had. He has given Rod Marinelli quality snaps, down-after-down and his play has also allowed Monte Kiffin to move DeMarcus Ware around to gain favorable pass rush situations. There has been no let down in Selvie’s game in regards to whether it has been run or pass. He has shown the ability to hold up at the point which was an area that I believed he would struggle with playing on the left side, but that has not been the case at all.

Caesar Rayford joins the Dallas Cowboys Texas 2 defense - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

The next move from the front office and coaches will most likely be to move towering Caesar Rayford from his defensive tackle spot back to his more natural position of defensive end. Rayford has been getting that work inside but his game is better suited to play on the edge, so that should be a nice fit. Edgar Jones has also seen work at end so he will get more work as well.  The club could also choose to bring Jason Vega up off the practice squad to play end. Vega was signed very late in camp and made a push for a 53 man spot with some nice work against the Houston Texans in a preseason game.

Kansas City Chiefs trade linebacker Edgar Jones to Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

McClay and his staff might also choose to try and poach a player off another club’s practice squad. Some options might be Craig Roh with the Panthers, Xavier Proctor with the Lions and John Youboty with the Broncos. If they go this route, those players have to remain on their active roster for at least three weeks. The staff could also look toward a veteran free agent but they have proven that signing younger players and trying to work with them, tends to be a better option. Also don’t discount the possibility of a trade. This club has done a nice job of collecting late round picks that could also be used to move for players.

With this injury to Anthony Spencer lasting the majority of the summer and now into the fall, this front office and coaching staff were prepared to handle it. This could have gone the other way and they could have been dealing with an injury that happened Sunday and from my experience, that is no fun. There are solid options and place and with the way this scouting department has been operating lately, they will have answers in place sooner rather than later which wasn’t always the case.

$10.63 MILLION MICROFRACTURE: Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer could miss remainder of 2013-2014 season

$10.63 MILLION MICROFRACTURE - Cowboys DE Anthony Spencer could miss remainder of 2013-2014 season

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys will be without Anthony Spencer for several more weeks and possibly the rest of the season, according to owner/general manager Jerry Jones, who said the defensive end could need microfracture surgery.

“It’s a real setback,” Jones told 105.3 “The Fan” in Dallas this morning. “It could be out for the season.”

Spencer, who has played only one of three games this year, is expected to have his second surgery on his left knee that has given Spencer problems since the first days of training camp back in mid-July. Spencer underwent what was believed to be a minor arthroscopic procedure and the timetable was to return by the first game of the season against the Giants.

Spencer missed that game but returned the following week in Kansas City. However, he wasn’t able to practice much this week and was held out Sunday against the Rams.

“Here’s a case of a guy you almost have to tie him up to get him off the field,” Jones said of Spencer. “He was so diligent in his rehab. The individual that I have the most empathy for is Spencer because of the type of person he is.

In the offseason, the Cowboys cleared enough cap space to put the $10.63 million franchise tag on Spencer for the second straight year. Spencer made his first trip to the Pro Bowl last year when he had a career-high 11 sacks.

The Cowboys are fortunate to have veteran George Selvie, a late-camp addition who has started the last three games.

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas signs defensive tackle Drake Nevis; Jerome Long waived

Dallas Cowboys signed former Colts defensive tackle Drake Nevis - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys added some depth to the defensive line by churning that bottom of the roster once again.

The club signed former Colts defensive tackle Drake Nevis (6-1, 297) on Tuesday and waived Jerome Long.

Nevis, who worked out with the Cowboys last week, was a third-round pick of Indianapolis in 2011. He played in 14 games for the Colts the last two years, even started three games in 2012. The former LSU standout finished both of his first two seasons in the league on IR, with hand and back injuries the last two years.

Dallas Cowboys signed former Colts defensive tackle Drake Nevis - The Boys Are Back blog 2013 - Nevis vs. Cleveland Browns

Nevis was released at the end of this past training camp. He was claimed off waivers by the Chargers but released shortly after.

At LSU, Nevis started 18 games and was a first-team All-American in 2010. Nevis joins a Cowboys locker room that has former LSU teammates Morris Claiborne and Danny McCray. Nevis was also a teammate of Caesar Rayford, who came over from Indianapolis.

Long, who spent training camp with the Cowboys in Oxnard, was cut at the end of the preseason but then re-signed just before the first game against the Giants. Long has played the last three games for the Cowboys but has been more of a rotational player.

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Veteran guard Brian Waters officially signs; injured Eric Frampton waived by Dallas

Nov 27, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New England Patriots guard Brian Waters (54) looks to block Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Derek Landri (94) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. The Patriots defeated the Eagles 38-20. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

IRVING, Texas – More than 14 years after he signed with his hometown as an undrafted rookie fullback, Brian Waters as returned home … again.

Waters has officially signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys, the team he grew up idolizing as a native of nearby Waxahachie and later a standout at North Texas in Denton.

To make room for Waters, the Cowboys will put safety Eric Frampton on the waived/injured list and likely give the veteran an injury settlement for his calf injury. The Cowboys initially kept Frampton as one of six safeties but he wasn’t expected to play this week against the Giants.

Waters, who hasn’t played a snap since 2011 with the Patriots, officially signed his contract late tonight at Valley Ranch. The deal is worth 1.5 million in base salary. However, Waters can earn up to $3 million total based on play-time incentives.

Wearing a T-shirt and gym shorts, Waters arrived to the Cowboys’ complex to sign the deal, then immediately went to the coaching offices, where he met with assistants Bill Callahan and Frank Pollard for what was expected to be a long night of film session.

However, Waters is not expected to play Sunday night against the Giants, and that appears to be the Cowboys’ call. However, he’s no stranger to quick turnarounds. When he signed in New England, Waters joined the team on Sept. 3 and played in 85 percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps in a win over Miami.

A six-time Pro Bowler who spent the first 10 years of his career in Kansas City, Waters is still expected to practice with the Cowboys on Wednesday.  While he likely won’t play Sunday, count on Waters being ready for the Sept. 14 game with the Chiefs, a team he spent a full decade with.

So what does this mean for the Cowboys’ offensive line this season, or even this week against the Giants?

It seems like that could be two different answers.

The Cowboys will likely prepare to get both Ron Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau ready to start. Leary hasn’t practiced since early August when he underwent a minor knee scope that kept him out of the final three preseason games.

Leary is expected to practice Wednesday at left guard.

Assuming Waters won’t be ready, Bernadeau will likely start. But after that is up in the air. Leary has never started an NFL game so it’s not a given he would keep his role. The Cowboys would obviously prefer for Leary to win the job, but it will have to be earned.

This move also allows the Cowboys to keep veteran Doug Free at right tackle. The club experimented with Free at guard the last few weeks when they were unsure about the status of Leary.

SCOUTING REPORT: A closer look at your newest Dallas Cowboy–DE Caesar Rayford

SCOUTING REPORT - A closer look at your newest Dallas Cowboy–DE Caesar Rayford

IRVING, Texas – Ex-Cowboys Scout takes a look at newly-acquired defensive end Caesar Rayford from the Indianapolis Colts:

Caesar Rayford   DE    (6-7, 265)   Rookie   Washington

Games Viewed: Preseason 2013: Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns

Played as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the Colts scheme. Has a different build physically in that he is so long. On tape he looks like he has a short upper body and all legs. Extreme arm length at 36” and you see him use them to his advantage. Majority of his work was seen with his hand on the ground. Has a nice initial take off. Showed some quickness for an inside move against the Bills for a tackle for loss.

When he gets his hands inside, he can buy himself some separation. Was able to keep Justin Pugh of the Giants off his body and beat him around the corner. On the play he brought down David Carr with one hand. In the same game, he was able to get push up the field with one arm extended in the chest of guard James Brewer who is still is on the Giants active roster. Like his quickness for a player so tall. When he wants to get a jump off the line, he can do it. Was able to break down Joe Thomas of the Browns twice, which surprised me. Was able to physically hold up at the point of attack but needs to get rid of the blocker quicker as well. When he stays down, is when he does his best work. When upright, he is no good to anyone. 

Will attempt to use pass rush moves as he goes. There were not too many times where he didn’t use moves. Swim and rip were his two best ones. Where he does get in trouble is if he rushes down the middle. I have seen him get push this way but the majority of the rushes that were like this, had nothing to them and he ended up stuck along the line of scrimmage. Had a sack against the Bills where he was able to counter back inside after going up the field. Able to work back to the quarterback slapping the ball out of his hand which allowed his teammate to recover for a touchdown. If he gets near the quarterback in the pocket, you see him reaching for the ball. Has beaten tackles for sacks and pressure but has also had production against tight ends and “H” backs that have tried to block him.

His effort and motor are outstanding but when he got tired, his technique really suffered. He played a ton of snaps in these games so it happened to him often. He didn’t look like the same player when he was tired. Because of his height, he doesn’t appear like he is moving well or is that fluid but there were a couple of plays where he was in space chasing the ball and he was moving well. Can see why the Colts kept him in the first place because of his production but really not a great fit in their 3-4 scheme at outside linebacker. Has a chance here as a rotational defensive end and kick blocker on special teams with his height. Can work with guys like this because of their physical traits and effort. Low risk, high reward type of player that was productive against everyone he played.

HOLD YOUR HORSES: Veteran guard Brian Waters remains in the mix after reported workout with Dallas Cowboys

HOLD YOUR HORSES - Veteran guard Brian Waters remains in the mix after reported workout with Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

IRVING, Texas – Veteran guard Brian Waters is apparently still in the picture for the Dallas Cowboys this year.

According to multiple reports, the club worked out Brian Waters on Tuesday and are in the process of working out a deal for the veteran guard. In fact, some reports are suggesting the deal is done.

As of Tuesday evening, the Cowboys have not confirmed Waters worked out, much less agreed to a deal.

The 36-year-old veteran, who last played in 2011 with the Patriots, likely would not be ready to play this Sunday against the Giants. However, it’s more realistic he would get himself ready to play in Week 2 against in Kansas City, where he spent the first 10 years of his career.

Waters is a six-time Pro Bowler, making five with the Chiefs and one with New England.

The Cowboys remain confident Ron Leary will be ready to start Sunday’s game with the Giants at left guard. Mackenzy Bernadeau is expected to start at right guard.

If signed, Waters would likely replace Bernadeau, who would then move to a versatile backup role at both guard and center.

And that scenario would also suggest Doug Free would get to move back to right tackle and Jermey Parnell would be the game-day swing tackle.

YOUR 2013-2014 DALLAS COWBOYS: A detailed look at this years roster

Excellent graphic courtesy of Lindsay Meares (Dallas Cowboys) …

YOUR 2013-2014 DALLAS COWBOYS - A detailed look at this years roster - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Stay up-to-date with the 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster and 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys schedule RIGHT HERE on The Boys Are Back blog!

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CHICAGO TRADE: Dallas Cowboys deal TE Dante Rosario to the Bears

CHICAGO TRADE - Dallas Cowboys deal TE Dante Rosario to the Bears - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

IRVING, Texas –The Dallas Cowboys traded tight end Dante Rosario to Chicago for a 2014 seventh round pick this morning ahead of the first practice of the regular season.

Rosario joined the team in early June and worked through the duration of training camp before being dealt to the Bears.

They now have an open roster spot less than a week before Sunday’s season opener against the Giants.

Tight end was position of strength for the Cowboys as they had kept five tight ends on original 53-man roster on Saturday with Jason Witten, James Hanna, Gavin Escobar and Andre Smith joining Rosario.

The trade with the Bears was the third trade by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in as many days. The Cowboys acquired defensive end Edgar Jones from the Chiefs on Saturday and traded defensive tackle Sean Lissemore to the Chargers on Sunday.

Positions the Cowboys could target for the extra roster spot include cornerback, defensive line and offensive line. 

RELATED: Rosario move more about faith in Andre Smith

IRVING, Texas – When the front office decided to keep five tight ends on the active roster, I had a feeling there was potentially a different plan in place, and this (Monday) morning we learned what that plan was.

Dante Rosario was traded to the Chicago Bears for a conditional seventh round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Rosario was brought in to be a jack-of-all-trades type of a player, a stunt man that did those dirty jobs that no one else wanted to do. He had a special teams history with Rich Bisaccia from the Chargers and that alone made me believe that he had a real shot to stay on this roster, but his play in the preseason was less than spectacular.

This move is more about the type of training camp that Andre Smith was having. Smith was projected more as a blocker that was too slow and clumsy to be any type of a threat in this “12” personnel package, but he proved he was far from that type of tag. He was able to get down the field and become a reliable target.

There were several practices in Oxnard and in the Cincinnati game where we observed soft hands and nimble moves on routes. His ability to sustain and stay square on blocks at the point was noticeable as well. He gives them some power at the point of attack that the other tight ends don’t provide.

After the roster reduction on Saturday, I spoke with several teams that were disappointed that Smith was not on the street to be claimed. The overall belief was he was much better than just some ordinary tight end that you get for camp. He had some qualities of the type of player that you could play down after down and not struggle at the position. I like what they were able to do in moving Rosario, which was something they worked hard on, but to keep Andre Smith was a real bonus in my book.

Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst/Scout

SCOUTING REPORT: A closer look at your newest Cowboys – Edgar Jones and Kyle Bosworth

Let’s go into the film room to take a closer look at Edgar Jones and Kyle Bosworth, the newest members of the Dallas Cowboys.

Kansas City Chiefs trade linebacker Edgar Jones to Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

·       Edgar Jones 6-3, 262   Southeast Missouri State  7th season

Edgar Jones comes to the Dallas Cowboys from the Kansas City Chiefs through a trade. The Cowboys sent their 6th round selection to the Chiefs in 2014, for Jones and their 7th round selection in the same draft. Jones will wear #55 and most likely see action as a Sam linebacker in this scheme for Monte Kiffin even though he has a build like what they use at defensive end.

For the Chiefs, he played as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 but there were times where he did put his hand on the ground similar to what we had seen from Anthony Spencer in the past. The times that I did observe him rush, it was usually from the defensive right side. Not as explosive as what you would see from Ware or Spencer but can be slippery getting up the field. Will match power with some counter pass rush moves.

Tries to attack the edge and work his way around the corner. Doesn’t have a closing burst to finish the play but can get there if the quarterback does hold the ball for a tick longer. Plays with nice desire and effort.

Main contribution to the squad is on special teams. Plays as the R5 or next to the kicker on the kick off team. Runs well for his size, is more than willing to attack blockers, hard for smaller blockers to handle. Will physically run through blockers. Works to the ball, keeps his eyes on the returner. Does a nice job with his hands shedding.

Is a second wedge blocker on the kickoff return. Club had two touchdowns in the preseason on returns to his side. Can get in position, will work his hands inside to control his man. Comes close to holding every return but doesn’t draw a call. He is a big body that is hard to get around.

Is the left guard on the punt team. Will handle his responsibility, get rid of man, then work up the field. Did not see him give up any pressures. Plays as a blocker on the punt return. Like his work on kickoff return, he grabs his man and stays with him up the field. Looks more mobile in space doing this than playing on defense. Did not see any huge problems or mistakes with his assignments. Plays with good awareness.

Jacksonville Jaguars, now Dallas Cowboys linebacker Kyle Bosworth knocks away a pass intended for New England Patriots tight end Lee Smith

·       Kyle Bosworth  6-1, 243  UCLA  3rd season

Kyle Bosworth was claimed off waivers from the New York Giants after spending his two previous seasons in Jacksonville. Plays as a Mike linebacker but also saw some action as a Sam. Bosworth will wear #58 and should provide depth at both spots. Would not call him the best foot athlete but there are things he does on special teams in space that would make you believe he can handle some aspects of the position.

On tape, he plays with a great deal of awareness. He was hard to fool. Has to be this way because I would not call him an explosive player running but I would say that he does play with explosiveness when he gets into position to tackle. Did see him carry the tight end into the flat against Pittsburgh. Is a physical player that can take on blocks, use his hands then shed. Will step up no problem at all. There is some stiffness in his game in the way he runs but I have seen him work down the line, work through the bodies and get to the ball. Wrap up, get the man on the ground type of tackler.

Like Edgar Jones, will be a core player on the special teams, plays on all of them. Plays as the R5 as well on the kickoff team. Great effort to hustle down, take on the blocker, then find the ball. Really like his awareness. Reads well. Had two tackles in the New England game.

Plays on the front line at the guard on the kickoff return. Will drop, turn, then work himself into position to block. Really productive staying with his man. Knows how to use his hands inside to control. His holding is not as noticeable as Jones’ is. Is very aware to let go of his block if he gets into a bad position. Don’t see fouls here. Will hold his position on the block. If he misses his block, will struggle to get back into position. Not a fluid moving athlete.

Plays as the left wing on the punt team. I know I question his athletic ability in space but he seems to function well here. Able to get wide, control the rusher, then make his way down the field. Once again, there is a physical side to his game here. Don’t see him get knocked back or off balance.

Saw action on the punt return unit as an inside hold up man. Like on the kickoff return, he does a solid job of adjusting to his man down the field. Really has to fight to keep himself in position but plays like he really knows what he is doing. Size really helps him as a blocker. Dependable.

Like how physical he does play along with his smart. You can see on tape that he takes pride in his work.

DALLAS COWBOYS ROSTER MOVES: Sean Lissemore traded to San Diego; Kyle Bosworth claimed off waivers

dallas cowboys sean lissemore vs detroit lions - the boys are back blog

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys stayed active after the weekend cuts by trading former seventh-round pick Sean Lissemore to the Chargers on Sunday and claiming linebacker Kyle Bosworth off waivers.

Lissemore signed a three-year extension worth $7.17 million in September 2012 when the Cowboys’ defense ran the 3-4 scheme. He was traded for a 2015 seventh-round pick.

All six of Lissemore’s starts since joining the Cowboys in 2010 came last season. He’s admitted the switch to the new 4-3 has been a tough transition.

“I can definitely play in this defense, it’s just taking a little bit to transition,” Lissemore said after training camp. “It’s a little bit different than last year, playing the 3-4 defense, kind of two-gapping it. It’s kind of forgetting everything I’ve learned for the past three years and training myself to do something different.”

Lissemore, who suffered a concussion in the preseason finale, will be going back to the 3-4 scheme in San Diego. He was slated as a backup in Dallas after a strong offseason from Nick Hayden, who’s played on the interior next to Jason Hatcher.

The Cowboys used their open spot on the roster after trading Lissemore to claim Bosworth off waivers from the Giants. Bosworth, a local product who played high school football at Plano West, played 25 games the last two seasons with the Jaguars after going undrafted in 2010 out of UCLA.

The team will rely on Ben Bass, Kyle Wilber, George Selvie, and Landon Cohen for depth behind starters Anthony Spencer, Jason Hatcher, Nick Hayden and DeMarcus Ware, unless they make another move on the waiver wire.

Lissemore’s trade is the second the Cowboys have made since Saturday’s cuts. They placed guard Nate Livings on injured reserve as well, which opened up a spot on the roster for Dallas to trade for Kansas City linebacker Edgar Jones. The Cowboys sent over next year’s sixth-round pick and also got a seventh-round pick in that deal.

RELATED: Veteran guard Nate Livings placed on Injured Reserve

dallas cowboys offensive guard mackenzy bernadeau (73) listens to offensive guard nate livings - the boys are back blog

The Dallas Cowboys have decided to place veteran guard Nate Livings on injured reserve with a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery last month.

Livings’ roster spot was immediately filled by former Chiefs linebacker Edgar Jones, a six-year veteran who should provide depth on special teams.

Jones played just one year in Kansas City after five seasons in Baltimore. He played all 16 games for the Chiefs last year but has just 57 total games played since 2007.

The Cowboys initially kept just five linebackers when they trimmed the roster to 53 late Saturday afternoon. The club decided to waive Caleb McSurdy, Brandon Magee, and Cam Lawrence on the final cuts.

Jones will join a linebacker group consisting of Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Justin Durant, Ernie Sims, and rookie DeVonte Holloman.

Although Livings’ base salary of $2.4 million is guaranteed for this season, the Cowboys were preparing for 2013 without the veteran who joined the Cowboys last year in free agency.

Heading into the Sept. 8 game with the Giants, the Cowboys will likely go with Mackenzy Bernadeau and David Arkin as the starting guard, unless Ron Leary can return from a knee scope in time. Leary did some light running before Thursday’s preseason finale with the Texans.

TWENTY-TWO BUSTED BUBBLES: Cutdown leaves a few players vying for practice squad positions

Jerry Lewis - Labor Day Weekend MDA Telethon host - Comedian Jerry Lewis - The original Nutty Professor

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys are finally back to 53 players on the roster. And that’s the part that likely won’t change.

The actual guys that make up the entire roster – top to bottom – will certainly be shuffled around here over the Labor Day weekend, probably starting as early as Sunday or Monday.

But for now, the Cowboys have turned in their 22 roster moves to get down to 53 players before Saturday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

One of the more notable roster moves includes safety Matt Johnson, who was placed on injured reserve Saturday afternoon and will be lost for the season.

Other notable cuts Saturday include wide receivers Anthony Armstrong and Danny Coale, quarterback Alex Tanney and cornerbacks Sterling Moore and Micah Pellerin.

While Johnson was placed on IR, he’s one of three more 2012 draft picks not on the 53-man roster, along with Coale and Caleb McSurdy, a seventh-round pick who missed all of last year with a torn Achilles.

Here are the official roster moves from Saturday:
 
Placed on IR:
Matt Johnson, S
 
Waived:
Jakar Hamilton, S
Tim Benford, WR
Danny Coale, WR
Anthony Armstrong, WR
Kendial Lawrence, RB
Alex Tanney, QB
Kevin Kowalski, G/C
Edawn Coughman, OT
Jabari Fletcher, DE
Thaddeus Gibson, DE
Taylor Reed, LB
Micah Pellerin, CB
Sterling Moore, CB
Xaiver Brewer, CB
Ray Dominguez, G
Jerome Long, DT
Demetress Bell, OT
Jason Vega, DE
Caleb McSurdy, LB
Cameron Lawrence, LB
Brandon Magee, LB

NFL ROSTER CUTDOWN DAY: Meet your 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys

Your 53 Dallas Cowboys Roster 2013-2014 - The Boys Are Back blog

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.

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