Tag Archives: Dallas Cowboy roster

PERSONNEL TEMPLATE: Dallas Cowboys find that being picky pays dividends

IRVING — The Dallas Cowboys are being stricter about who they consider drafting.

In turn, they’re being stricter about who they consider signing after the draft.

The result of the approach, born under former coach Bill Parcells, appears to mean a higher quality of undrafted free agent is going to training camp with the team lately, and so more are making the squad.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Bill Parcells - The Boys Are Back blog

Former SMU receiver Cole Beasley made the Cowboys’ 53-man roster this week as an undrafted rookie, joining four such players who made it in 2011 and four in 2010. In the three years before that, Kevin Ogletree was the only undrafted rookie to make the team.

"We used to put 250 players on the board, however many get drafted. Now we put about 100, 120 players on our board, and they’re just the players we want," pro personnel director Stephen Jones said in training camp at Oxnard, Calif., last month.

"We don’t think about, ‘That guy is going to get drafted,’ so we put him on our board. If he doesn’t fit what we want, even though he may get drafted in the first or second round, we don’t put him up there. It keeps us focused not only all the way through the draft, but also through college free agency."

Last year, the leading scorer on the team came out of the leftover draft pool. Kicker Dan Bailey had the second-highest field goal percentage by a rookie in team history, making 32 of 37 kicks, and set an NFL record for consecutive kicks made by a rookie (26).

Guard Kevin Kowalski played in 11 games, linebacker Alex Albright played in all 16 and running back Phillip Tanner played in eight and scored a touchdown.

The undrafted class of 2010 has yielded a starting safety, Barry Church, and the starting center, Phil Costa.

"I just think if you have an attitude that it doesn’t matter where players come from, it matters what they do once they come here, I think you’re more susceptible, or more able, to find some of those guys, and that’s been our approach," coach Jason Garrett said.

Jones said the approach is a holdover from Parcells’ days as head coach (2003 to 2006). He drafted to a template and paid no mind to players who didn’t fit it.

"He may not fit from a scheme standpoint or from a cultural standpoint or a character standpoint, and those guys, we don’t want them on our football team," Jones said. "So let’s focus on guys that we do like. I think that’s the biggest change is the philosophy there — let’s go after Dallas Cowboys."

The Cowboys’ biggest hits with undrafted players came while Parcells was head coach.

Under his watch, the team found Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo and Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin. Nine other undrafted players made the initial 53 in Parcells’ four seasons.

"We’ve evolved from a personnel department, I think, when you look back at the way we used to do it versus the way we do it now," Jones said. "We’ve got better scouts, better people. We’ve got better philosophies.

"And pretty much every time we sign those 15 to 20 guys, we sign them from our draft board. I think that’s why we’ve had some really good success with players who weren’t drafted."

INTERIOR DEPTH INSURANCE: Why the Dallas Cowboys traded for Miami offensive lineman Ryan Cook

Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Ryan Cook - The Boys Are Back blog

On the day of final cuts in the NFL, the Cowboys continued to address a problem area from last season by bolstering the interior of their offensive line.

The Cowboys acquired veteran offensive lineman Ryan Cook from the Miami Dolphins for a 2013 seventh-round draft pick. Cook (6-6, 325) will be a backup center and guard for the Cowboys.

Cook, 29, has started 40 of the 77 games. A second-round pick out of New Mexico in 2006, has started games at center, right guard and right tackle.

The Cowboys were able to get an up-close look at Cook on Wednesday at Cowboys Stadium when he started at center against Dallas in the preseason finale.

“We knew that there was a possibility here, so we really evaluated him in the ballgame,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Friday on “The Fan” KRLD-FM (105.3). “This really was done for our depth, plus he’s very capable because he’s started several games in the NFL. He’s very capable of getting out there and competing. Hopefully you’ll see a lot of him this year.”

The Cowboys still plan to start Phil Costa at center. Costa started Wednesday and was in for 12 offensive plays. He had been out since Aug. 10 with a back injury but is expected to play in the season opener Wednesday at the Giants.

The Cowboys signed free-agent guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau this off-season with the expectation that they would start. Both battled injuries but are healthy now.

Ankle injuries to reserve interior offensive linemen Bill Nagy and Kevin Kowalski hurt the Cowboys’ depth. Nagy was waived in mid-August, and Kowalski has been placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, keeping him out of the team’s first six games.

The Cowboys started working guard David Arkin at center in training camp, but he struggled with his shotgun snaps throughout the preseason. Arkin, a fourth-round draft pick in 2011 out of Missouri State, didn’t appear in any games last season.

“We all know that we’ve been struggling to some degree with Kowalski out the entire spring as well as during training camp,” Jones said. “We have counted on him for depth and don’t want to totally dismiss him, but he’s down the road with where we are and what we’ve seen.”

Brandon George | DMN

NFL ROSTER TRACKER: Watch all 32 teams cut down to 53 players

Updated: September 1, 2012 at 12:33 a.m

Teams had until 9 p.m. ET Friday to reduce their rosters to 53 players. Below are the player cuts:

Arizona Cardinals

CB Crezdon Butler, LB Anthony Coleman, DB Blake Gideon, LB Clark Haggans, OL Russ Hochstein, DT Ricky Lumpkin, LB Colin Parker, CB Larry Parker, WR DeMarco Sampson, TE Steve Skelton, RB Alphonso Smith, LB Quan Sturdivant, DE Ronald Talley, DE Everrette Thompson, TE Martell Webb, OL Scott Wedige, LB Brandon Williams, WR Isaiah Williams, WR Stephen Williams, OT D.J. Young.

Atlanta Falcons

LB Spencer Adkins, TE LaMark Brown, LB Rico Council, FB Mike Cox, WR Drew Davis, CB Dominique Franks, OL Andrew Jackson, OL Bryce Harris, LB Jerrell Harris, OL Tyler Horn, WR Marcus Jackson, CB Marty Markett, WR Kerry Meier, RB Dimitri Nance, DT Conrad Obi, DT Micanor Regis, WR James Rodgers, LB Pat Schiller, CB Peyton Thompson, DB Suaesi Tuimaunei, LS Joe Zelenka.

Baltimore Ravens

RB Anthony Allen, DB Omar Brown, LB Josh Bynes, LB Nigel Carr, OL Jack Cornell, WR Dorian Graham, OL Cord Howard, NT Nicolas Jean-Baptise, NT Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, OL Antoine McClain, DT Terrence Moore, QB Curtis Painter, WR Logan Payne, DB Cyhl Quarles, LB Chavis Williams, OL Tony Wragge.

Buffalo Bills

WR Kamar Aiken, OL Mark Asper, TE Kevin Brock, RB Zach Brown, LB Tank Carder, OL James Carmon, WR Marcus Easley, DE Robert Eddins, DT Dwan Edwards, DT Jarron Gilbert, DB Isaiah Green, WR Derek Hagan, DT Kellen Heard, WR Ruvell Martin, LB Scott McKillop, P Shawn Powell, WR Naaman Roosevelt, LB Nick Saenz, OL David Snow, RB Johnny White, OL Keith Williams.

Carolina Panthers

WR Seyi Ajirotutu, G Bryant Browning, WR Lamont Bryant, CB Darius Butler, DT Nate Chandler, TE Joe Jon Finley, WR Jared Green, S Jonathan Nelson, LB David Nixon, DT Ogemdi Nwagbuo, RB Tauren Poole, S Jordan Pugh, OL Matt Reynolds, TE Nelson Rosario, RB Armond Smith, S Reggie Smith, CB R.J. Stanford, DE Ryan Van Bergen, G Justin Wells, LB Jason Williams, G Zack Williams, LB Kion Wilson.

Chicago Bears

LB Xavier Adibi, RB Armando Allen, WR Joe Anderson, OT Cory Brandon, CB Cornelius Brown, OL James Brown, WR Terriun Crump, DE Chauncey Davis, WR Rashied Davis, CB Isaiah Frey, OT A.J. Greene, WR Brittan Golden, OL Ricky Henry, DB Mark LeGree, QB Josh McCown, CB Greg McCoy, DT Jordan Miller, TE Brandon Venson, DE Aston Whiteside, LB Jabara Williams, DB Jonathan Wilhite.

Cincinnati Bengals

FB Jourdan Brooks, TE Colin Cochart, LS Bryce Davis, FB James Develin, DE DeQuin Evans, WR Vidal Hazelton, DT Nick Hayden, CB T.J. Heath, RB Daniel Herron, OL Otis Hudson, LB Grant Hunter, DE Micah Johnson, LB Emmanuel Lamur, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, DT Vaughn Meatoga, LB Roddrick Muckelroy, OL Matthew O’Donnell, QB Zac Robinson, OL Reggie Stephens.

Cleveland Browns

OL Dominic Alford, DT Ronnie Cameron, WR Josh Cooper, OL Stanley Daniels, CB James Dockery, OL Garth Gerhart, DE William Green, TE Dan Gronkowski, LB Benjamin Jacobs, TE Evan Moore, DL Ernest Owusu, DL Brian Schaefering, OL Jarrod Shaw, OL Jeff Shugarts, FB Brad Smelley, LB Quinton Spears, RB Adonis Thomas, DL Kiante Tripp, QB Seneca Wallace, WR Rod Windsor.

Dallas Cowboys

OL Jeff Adams, LB Baraka Atkins, DE Ben Bass, WR Tim Benford, DT Robert Callaway, QB Rudy Carpenter, FB Shaun Chapas, WR Danny Coale, RB Lance Dunbar, DE Clifton Geathers, OL Harold Gunn, WR Saalim Hakim, LB Adrian Hamilton, OL Ronald Leary, LB Orie Lemon, RB Jamize Olawale, OL Daniel Loper, OT Pat McQuistan, DB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB Lionel Smith, TE Andrew Szczerba, DB Eddie Whitley, CB Teddy Williams.

Denver Broncos

DE James Blatnick, DB Rafael Bush, CB Drayton Florence, LB Jerry Franklin, DT Ben Garland, OL Adam Grant, OL Ryan Harris, WR Jason Hill, OL Tony Hills, DB Duke Ihenacho, TE Cornelius Ingram, RB Jeremiah Johnson, LB Mike Mohamed, WR Greg Orton, WR Gerell Robinson, OL Sealver Siliga, CB Syd’Quan Thompson, OL Wayne Tribeu, QB Adam Weber.

Detroit Lions

OL Rodney Austin, OL Pat Boyle, DE Everette Brown, DE Ugo Chinasa, P Ryan Donahue, WR Patrick Edwards, DT Andre Fluellen, OL Dan Gerberry, TE David Gottlieb, WR Nate Hughes, DB Reshard Langford, WR Lance Long, DE Edmon McClam, LB Carmen Messina, WR Wallace Miles, CB Justin Miller, DT Tracy Robertson, CB Alphonso Smith, WR Maurice Stovall, CB Ross Weaver, TE Austin Wells.

Green Bay Packers

OL Shea Allard, WR Diondre Borel, TE Brandon Bostick, QB B.J. Coleman, FB Nic Cooper, OL Andrew Datko, OL Tommie Draheim, WR Tori Gurley, OL Sampsun Genus, WR Curenski Gilleylen, DE Lawrence Guy, DB Anthony Levine, CB Otis Merrill, WR Dale Moss, DT Daniel Muir, RB Marc Tyler, OL Greg Van Roten.

Houston Texans

TE Logan Brock, LB Keith Browner, LB D.J. Bryant, DT Hebron Fangupo, RB Jonathan Grimes, NT David Hunter, WR Juaquin Iglesias, WR Jerrell Jackson, LB Delano Johnson, QB Case Keenum, DT Mitch King, LB Shawn Loiseau, WR Jeff Maehl, OT Nathan Menkin, DB Troy Nolan, LB Rennie Moore, FB Moran Norris, DB Eddie Pleasant, TE Philip Supernaw, OL Cody Wallace, OT Cody White.

Indianapolis Colts

DE James Aiono, DT Chigbo Anunoby OL Steven Baker, LB Jerry Brown, RB Darren Evans, OL George Foster, LB Tim Fugger, OL Hayworth Hicks, RB Deji Karim, CB Brandon King, LB Greg Lloyd, TE Kyle Miller, WR Kashif Moore, DB Mike Newton, WR Jeremy Ross, DT Jason Shirley, TE Andre Smith, LS Justin Snow, OL Zane Taylor, DB Latarrius Thomas, OL Mike Tepper.

Jacksonville Jaguars

OT Daniel Baldridge, OL Lee Barbiasz, TE Colin Cloherty, S Courtney Greene, DT Corvey Irvin, CB Rod Issac, CB Trumaine McBride, RB Richard Murphy, QB Jordan Palmer, DE Odrick Ray, OL William Robinson, LB J.K. Schaffer, RB Will Ta’ufo’ou, CB Leigh Torrence, WR Demetrius Williams.

Kansas City Chiefs

DL Brandon Bair, DB Mikail Baker, WR Josh Bellamy, OL Patrick Bruggeman, FB Patrick DiMarco, DB Chandler Fenner, DL Amon Gordon, OL Darryl Harris, WR Junior Hemingway, DL Jerome Long, LB Gabe Miller, OL David Mims, WR Jamar Newsome, DB Terrance Parks, OL Lucas Patterson, OL Rich Ranglin, DB Neiko Thorpe, DB Donald Washington, LB Leon Williams.

Miami Dolphins

NT Isakko Aaitui, CB Vince Agnew, LB Ryan Baker, OT Will Barker, OL Chandler Burden, LB Cameron Collins, WR B.J. Cunningham, OL Ray Feinga, WR Jeff Fuller, WR Clyde Gates, LB Gary Guyton, WR Chris Hogan, CB Quinten Lawrence, LB Shelley Lyons, OT Andrew McDonald, OT Lydon Murtha, DE Jarrell Root, DB Anderson Russell, CB Kevyn Scott, WR Roberto Wallace, DE Jamaal Westerman.

Minnesota Vikings

WR Emmanuel Arceneaux, DT Chase Baker, CB Chris Carr, DE Jeff Charleston, OL Chris DeGeare, FB Ryan D’Imperio, CB Bobby Felder, DB Eric Frampton, DT Trevor Guyton, RB Lex Hilliard, OL Tyler Holmes, CB Reggie Jones, OL Kevin Murphy, LB Corey Paredes, OL Austin Pasztor, DE Nick Reed, QB Sage Rosenfels, OL Quentin Saulsberry, TE Mickey Shuler, RB Jordan Todman.

New England Patriots

WR Deion Branch, DB Sergio Brown, OL Derek Dennis, WR Jeremy Ebert, DL Marcus Harrison, WR Jesse Holley, QB Brian Hoyer, DB James Ihedigbo, FB Eric Kettani, OL Matt Kopa, OL Dan Koppen, LB Niko Koutouvides, DE Aaron Lavarias, DB Derrick Martin, TE Alex Silvestro, LB Jeff Tarpinian, WR Kerry Taylor, TE Tyler Urban, OL Dustin Waldron, OL Jeremiah Warren, OL Darrion Weems, DB Malcolm Williams.

New Orleans Saints

DE Braylon Broughton, LB Kadarron Anderson, LB Ezra Butler, WR Greg Camarillo, QB Sean Canfield, DE Alex Daniels, TE Michael Higgins, CB Nick Hixson, K John Kasay, DB Jerico Nelson, OL DeOn’tae Pannell, TE Derek Schouman, OL Alderious Simmons, WR Andy Tanner, OL Matt Tennant, LB Lawrence Wilson.

New York Giants

DE Matt Broha, OL Selvish Capers, WR Dan DePalma, TE Larry Donnell, WR David Douglas, OL Stephin Goodin, DT Dwayne Hendricks, CB Dante Hughes, CB Bruce Johnson, LB Greg Jones, DE Craig Marshall, OT Matt McCants, LB Jake Muasau, QB Ryan Perrilloux, DB Laron Scott, WR Isaiah Stanback, DT Marcus Thomas, RB D.J. Ware, OL Chris White.

New York Jets

WR Joseph Collins, OL Paul Cornick, LB Marcus Dowtin, CB Donnie Fletcher, RB Terrance Ganaway, OT Robert Griffin, OL Fred Koloto, P Spencer Lanning, DB LeQuan Lewis, TE Tarren Lloyd, DB D’Anton Lynn, C Matt Kroul, WR Royce Pollard, DB Julian Posey, DE Jay Richardson, WR Eron Riley, LB Brett Roy, LB Ricky Sapp, TE Hayden Smith, QB Matt Simms, NT Martin Tevaseu, WR Jordan White.

Oakland Raiders

LB Kaelin Burnett, K Eddy Carmona, WR Derek Carrier, WR Brandon Carswell, DE Hall Davis, TE Kyle Efaw, DL Dominique Hamilton, OL Kevin Haslam, OL Nick Howell, LB Chad Kilgore, OL Dan Knapp, WR Eddie McGee, C Colin Miller, RB Lonyae Miller, WR Roscoe Parrish, WR Travionte Session, LB Nathan Stupar, S Curtis Taylor.

Philadelphia Eagles

DB Oshiomogho Atogwe, TE Brett Brackett, LB Keenan Clayton, DT Landon Cohen, DT Antonio Dixon, TE Chase Ford, WR Mardy Gilyward, WR Chad Hall, CB Joselio Hanson, FB Emil Igwenagu, OL D.J. Jones, QB Mike Kafka, P Mat McBriar, WR Marvin McNutt, LB Adrian Moten, DT Ollie Ogbu, LB Ryan Rau, DE Monte Taylor, DB Philip Thomas, DT Frank Trotter, OL Steve Vallos, OL Julian Vandervelde, OL Brandon Washington.

Pittsburgh Steelers

WR Tyler Beiler, DL Corbin Bryant, WR Toney Clemons, DB Damon Cromartie-Smith, OL Trai Essex, DB Terrence Frederick, WR David Gilreath, RB DuJuan Harris, LB Brandon Hicks,  DL Igbinosun Ikponmwosa, QB Jerrod Johnson, P Jeremy Kapinos, OL Ryan Lee, OL John Malecki, WR Marquis Maze, LB Marshall McFadden, OL Chris Scott, DL Jake Stoller, DB Josh Victorian, WR Derrick Williams.

San Diego Chargers

RB Edwin Baker, OL Colin Baxter, LB Bront Bird, OL Charlie Bryant, DE Jacques Cesaire, OL Anthony Davis, LB Ricky Elmore, LB Daryl Gamble, CB Greg Gatson, DE Logan Harrell, OL Mario Henderson, FB Jacob Hester, CB Arthur Hobbs, QB Jarrett Lee, P Robert Malone, K Nick Novak, CB DeAndre Presley, DE Damik Scafe, OL Stephen Schilling, TE Kory Sperry, WR Mike Willie.

San Francisco 49ers

LB Ikaika Alama-Francis, LB Eric Bakhtiari, FB Rock Cartwright, OL Derek Hall, LB Joe Holland, DT Tony Jerod-Edie, LB Cam Johnson, QB Josh Johnson, DT Matthew Masifilo, CB Anthony Mosley, TE Kyle Nelson, OL Al Netter, WR Chris Owusu, WR Nathan Palmer, OL Mike Person, TE Konrad Reuland, WR Brett Swain, DB Michael Thomas.

Seattle Seahawks

DB Philip Adams, DE Pierre Allen, LB Allen Bradford, WR Deon Butler, WR Kris Durham, OL Paul Fanaika, TE Cooper Helfet, OL Rishaw Johnson, WR Jermaine Kearse, LB Kyle Knox, DE Cordarro Law, WR Ricardo Lockett, TE Sean McGrath, OL Kris O’Dowd, QB Josh Portis, DB DeShawn Shead, LB Korey Toomer, RB Vai Taua, WR Lavasier Tuinei.

St. Louis Rams

DT Cornell Banks, OL Tim Barnes, QB Tom Brandstater, DE Mason Brodine, LB Sammy Brown, CB Kendric Burney, QB Kellen Clemens, DE Vernon Gholston, FB Ben Guidugli, TE Cory Harkey, OL T-Bob Hebert, DE Jamaar Jarrett, WR Nick Johnson, OL Joe Long, OL Bryan Mattison, FB Ovie Mughelli, TE Deangelo Peterson, RB Chase Reynolds, DE Scott Smith, OL Jose Valdez.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

S Larry Asante, S Sean Baker, WR Landon Cox, LB Rennie Curran, LB Jacob Cutrera, TE Drake Dunsmore, K Kai Forbath, OL Jamarcus Hardrick, FB Robert Hughes, FB Cody Johnson, RB Mossis Madu, DT Jordan Nix, DT Frank Okam, DT Amobi Okoye, OL Moe Petrus, TE Zack Pianalto, QB Brett Ratliff, CB James Rogers, WR Jordan Shipley, WR Tiquan Underwood, DT Teryl White, DE E.J. Wilson, G Desmond Wynn.

Tennessee Titans

WR Devin Aguilar, TE Brandon Barden, DT Zach Clayton, OL Kyle DeVan, NT Lamar Divens, DB Aaron Francisco, TE Cameron Graham, CB Chris Hawkins, OL Michael Jasper, WR James Kirkendoll, FB Collin Mooney, OL Chris Morris, WR Michael Preston, DT Malcolm Sheppard, DB Tracy Wilson, WR D.J. Woods.

Washington Redskins

WR Anthony Armstrong, WR Terrance Austin, CB Travon Bellamy, FB Dorson Boyce, OT Tom Compton, OL Eric Cook, QB Jonathan Crompton, RB Tristan Davis, DT Marlon Favorite, OL Grant Garner, LB Donnell Holt, DT Delvin Johnson, LB Bryan Kehl, CB David Jones, RB Tim Hightower, LB Brian McNally, TE Richard Quinn, DL Darrion Scott, OT Willie Smith, CB Brandyn Thompson, LB Markus White, DE Doug Worthington.

Courtesy: National Football League


TRENCH TRIPLE-PLAY: If trade for Cook turns out like Holland deal, job well done | UPDATED with scouting report

Dallas Cowboys OL Ryan Cook - The Boys Are Back blog

Ryaaan Cooook … he keeps on blockin’ …. He keeps on blockin’ … shake it Ryan. Shake, shake it Ryan.

Well, that remains to be seen, actually, but if the newly acquired swing lineman Ryan Cook can be as steady a role player as Montrae Holland was for the Cowboys, then Friday’s trade will have to be considered a win, just like the 2008 deal that sent Holland over from Denver must now be seen, in full retrospect.

Cook won’t be asked to start, at least for the time being, but once he learns the offense, will hold a valuable role as the backup for three positions, the two guard spots and center. A beefy veteran with six years in the league and 40 starts under his belt at only 29 years old, Cook gives the Cowboys more strength, athleticism and experience than a David Arkin. The Pro Bowl probably isn’t in his future, but valuable contributions to the Cowboys’ line should be.

A utility offensive lineman may not seem like an important role, but it is, because players get hurt in the trenches. The playing time Holland received over his Cowboys tenure, and Cory Procter before him, is evidence of that. So a seventh-round pick is not a high price to pay, at all, if the Cowboys believe they can trust Cook, just like a fifth-rounder wasn’t too much to give for Holland, especially considering how dreadful the Cowboys have been in the fifth lately.

There was definitely a comfort zone with Holland, acquired just before the ’08 season. He didn’t immediately pick up the offense and replace Procter (the injury fill-in for Kyle Kosier), making the deal initially look like a bad one, but his consistency changed opinions over time.

Four seasons, 31 appearances and 14 solid starts later, Holland should be seen as a good backup for these recent Cowboys teams. After falling out of shape when he was hurt last summer, Holland worked his wide butt off to cut weight, and when the Cowboys needed him by Week 7, he was ready to help DeMarco Murray break the team rushing record, and went on to play well down the stretch. He’s kept himself in great shape this offseason, and the Cowboys had interest in bringing him back, but he held out for more money and incentives.

Like Cook, Holland was 29 when acquired by the Cowboys, with a lot of starts under his belt, though Cook has the extra dimension of center experience, while Holland was a guard only. Holland had two years left on his contract, while Cook has only one. But, if the Cowboys like what he brings this year, they’ll certainly have first dibs to re-sign him in March, just like they re-upped Holland in 2010.

Should they decide to do so, and Cook at least holds his own when his number is called, then Friday’s trade will eventually be considered a slam dunk.

RELATED: Scouting Report on OL Ryan Cook

Here is my scouting report on Ryan Cook, who was acquired via trade from the Dolphins late Thursday night.

  • Was drafted in the league as a tackle by the Vikings, has since moved inside to see time at both center and guard. Observed him as a center in the Dallas, Tampa Bay and Carolina games. Played right guard against the Falcons.
  • Made the line calls as a center, aware of responsibilities when uncovered. Showed the ability to help across the pocket. Plays with some upper body strength, can hold his man along the line in pass protection.
  • Little overextended and wide base at times but you didn’t see him get jerked out of his stance. Was able to get outside on the screen packages.
  • Decent initial quickness out of his stance as a guard. Can make the reach or cut off block when asked. Several times where he did a nice job of getting his head across his man staying on his feet and working for a finish.
  • Was impressed with his effort to finish blocks. Didn’t see him flopping around on the ground when doing his job. Played in position and showed some balance for the most part, only got a little out of whack on an inside twist stunt against Dallas but was fine on the same move against Tampa.
  • Veteran player that gives you some position flexibility at three spots. Plays with a little power inside.

Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst-Scout

UNNAMED SOURCES: Twenty-One notified, 1 trade, 2 to-go as Dallas trims down to 53

Miami Dolphins traded backup center Ryan Cook to Dallas Cowboys - The Boys Are Back blog

The Cowboys will make their final cuts today to reach the 53-man limit, but they have already notified 21 players that they have not made the cut.

According to sources, the Cowboys have informed Shaun Chapas, Adrian Hamilton, Danny Coale, Eddie Whitley, Orie Lemon, Ronald Leary, Pat McQuistan, Jeff Adams, Teddy Williams, Harland Gunn, Daniel Loper, Clifton Geathers, Rudy Carpenter, Lionel Smith, Baraka Atkins, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Andrew Szczerba, Ben Bass, Saalim Hakim, Tim Benford and Robert Callaway of their release.

They have two more roster moves to make by 7 p.m. after the trade for offensive lineman Ryan Cook from Miami.

The Cowboys would like to bring some — like Hamilton, Coale and Leary — back on the practice squad if they clear waivers.

Leary was the apple of Jerry Jones’ eye as an undrafted free agent and early in training camp, but he will not be on the 53-man roster.

The Cowboys considered drafting Leary despite a knee condition, but ended up guaranteeing him $214,000 in base salary and signing bonus to sign as an undrafted free agent. When the interior line was hit by injuries early in camp Leary took some first-team snaps but he hit a wall midway through camp.

Todd Archer | ESPN Dallas

Editors Note: This is NOT the official release that will be filed by the Dallas Cowboys. That deadline is at 7:00 pm. Check back here for the ‘official’ release, once it’s submitted to the NFL.

RELATED: Dolphins trade Ryan Cook to Dallas for seventh-round pick

The Miami Dolphins traded backup center Ryan Cook to the Dallas Cowboys late Thursday night, acquiring a 2013 seventh-round pick for a player who wasn’t going to make Miami’s 53-man roster.

The Dolphins acquired Cook, who was the Vikings’ 2006 second-round pick, off the waiver wire last year and he played center and guard for the team in 2011. But Cook was beaten out by rookie Josh Samuda, an undrafted prospect from UMass, for the backup center spot.

Samuda, a Hollywood Hills product, was one of camp’s most pleasant surprises, and is expected to make Miami’s 53-man roster today.

Cook, who has started 40 NFL games, spent most of camp as the third-team center and never manned the guard spot, which happens to be Miami’s weakest area. But he did surprisingly start Wednesday night’s 30-13 loss to Dallas, which was clearly an audition.

Cook was slated to earn $1 million this season, but moving him clears all but $100,000 from Miami’s books.

The Cowboys have been struggling with their depth this camp because of numerous injuries to key reserves, which include center Phil Costa, who has been limited by a back injury.

The Cook trade now means the Dolphins could have multiple picks in the second, third, seven and possibly the sixth-round (it is conditional) of the 2013 NFL draft because of trades involving Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis.

Courtesy: Omar Kelly | South Florida Sun-Sentinel

COWBOYS GOLDEN FOOT: Versatile Dan Bailey ready for full kickoff duty, too

Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo and Jason Witten congratulate kicker Dan Bailey - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas — Remember last year’s final cuts and how the Cowboys were picking among five kickers? Yep, five.

Shayne Graham, Dave Rayner, David Buehler, Dan Bailey and Kai Forbath were on hand, though Forbath was on the physically unable to perform list at the time. Graham got hurt. Rayner missed a kick. Buehler was too inconsistent.

Bailey won the job almost by default, then went on to have one of the best seasons in team history.

No such decision to be made this year. Bailey made all eight field goal attempts in the preseason and had three touchbacks on kickoffs. Eleven of his 17 kickoffs reached the end zone.

“It’s still an area I’m trying to improve upon,” Bailey said. “We’ve worked hard in the offseason to try to improve that. Hopefully this week I’ll get a little rest and be ready for the Giants.”

Bailey had 24 touchbacks on 67 kickoffs last year and the team eventually put Buehler, a kickoff specialist, on injured reserve with a hip injury.

“I worked hard this year to try to improve leg strength and explosiveness, stuff like that,” Bailey said. “It’s a little bit of (technique and power), but really more just strength and getting a good approach down.”

RELATED: Dan Bailey has no worries this year

This time a year ago, Dan Bailey was on the bubble. The Cowboys had to go through four other kickers before deciding to keep Bailey, and perhaps if Dave Rayner hadn’t gone 0-for-2 against the Dolphins in the preseason finale, the job would have been his.

What a difference a season makes.

Bailey has a secure spot on the Cowboys, having gone 32-for-37 with four game-winners in his first season for the Cowboys. He followed up this preseason by going 8-for-8 after making kicks of 25, 30 and 26 yards Wednesday night.

"It is different, but at the same time, it’s really the same," Bailey said. "My focus now is the same as it was last year. You just make every kick. I go out and give it my best shot. Yeah, there’s not as many people here, but mentally, as far as my approach to the game, it’s the same this year as it was last year."

The Cowboys cut kicker Kris Brown before training camp last year. They cut Shayne Graham and Dave Rayner after training camp. Kai Forbath and David Buehler, both of whom ended up on injured reserve last season, were released this off-season. There no longer is doubt who the Cowboys’ kicker is.

RELATED: LP Ladouceur will be the team’s long snapper another season

Every year, the Cowboys bring in competition for LP Ladouceur. Every year, he keeps his job.

Ladouceur, an unsung and valuable asset, is the team’s long snapper for an eighth season. That was assured when the Cowboys released Charley Hughlett. Hughlett, a rookie from Central Florida, was signed with great expectations. But he was the last of the team’s cuts last Monday.

BONUS VIDEO: Jason Garrett Press Conference

VIDEO Pop Out - Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett Press Conference - The Boys Are Back blog

Jason Garrett Press Conference 8/30 (Click on picture above to play video)

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett spoke to the media as the Dallas Cowboys prepare to face the Giants on Wednesday. Duration: 16:10 Enjoy!

VIDEO Pop Out - Talkin Cowboys with Mickey Spagnola - Dallas Cowboys Radio Network - The Boys Are Back blog

Talkin’ Cowboys: Preseason Wrap-Up (Click on picture above to play video)

Mickey, Bryan, and Rowan are in the studio to break down Wednesday nights game and begin looking ahead to the New York Giants this coming Wednesday.

HAPPY TRAILS COWBOY: Jason Garrett describes difficulties of player cuts

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett describes difficulties of player cuts - The Boys Are Back blog

Months of practices and four preseason games all culminate in one final cut day, which 22 Cowboys players won’t survive.

That time is 8:00 p.m. Aug. 31, and it’s a day that head coach Jason Garrett called one of the worst for a player or a coach in the NFL.

“I think what makes it difficult is the work that they put in,” Garrett said. “Most of our coaches and administrators are former players. They understand the commitment these guys have made. Anybody who’s been around our football team for the last month or so has seen the commitment these guys have made.”

Garrett, the offensive or defensive coordinator and a position coach all talk to the released player and try to explain why the decision was made, provide them constructive coaching and thank them for their effort. Afterward, their time as a Cowboy is finished.

Dallas has been plagued with injuries throughout the preseason, which could force them to go deep at some positions and light at others. Garrett said it’s not always the 53 best players, but the 53 players who give the Cowboys the best chance to win. No official announcement on the final roster will be made until Friday.

Garrett said the draft picks will get every opportunity possible to show the reason they were selected, but there are other players worthy of a chance. The Cowboys have a history of turning undrafted free agents into top talents, including Eastern Illinois’ Tony Romo and Monmouth’s Miles Austin.

“If you have an attitude that it doesn’t matter where players come from, it matters what they do when they get here, I think you’re more able to find some of those guys,” Garrett said. “That’s been our approach. We preached that to our players from Day 1.”

Garrett said it warms his heart to think about the commitment the Cowboys players made in the offseason to fulfill their dreams.

“We have a lot of discussions about who we should keep, what we should do with different players, what role he might have and might not have, so those are difficult discussions,” Garrett said. “What makes it hard is, in a lot of ways, many of these guys’ dreams have come to an end or have changed.”

COMMENTARY: Roster spots are too valuable to keep backups Stephen McGee or Rudy Carpenter

ARLINGTON, Texas — In three seasons, Stephen McGee has shown little indication he will ever become a starting NFL quarterback.

Tim Heitman/US Presswire - Dallas Cowboys QB Stephen McGee completes for backup roster spot - The Boys Are Back blog

So it’s time for the Dallas Cowboys to move on. The same goes for Rudy Carpenter.

(Those two) roster spots are just too valuable to invest in a third quarterback, who has no shot to ever unseat Tony Romo or backup Kyle Orton.

When the Cowboys signed Orton to a three-year contract with a $5 million signing bonus in the offseason, it was an indictment of McGee, a fourth-round pick in 2009.

The day the Cowboys acquired Orton, McGee’s days were numbered.

Besides, McGee will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The odds he’d be on the roster next season are less than zero.

McGee entered Wednesday night’s preseason game against the Miami Dolphins needing a strong performance to persuade the Cowboys not to release him.

He started and played the first half. The results, as you would expect, were mixed.

McGee completed nine of 18 passes for 124 yards playing with backups. Center Phil Costa was the only offensive starter who played.

McGee’s best moments occurred in the second quarter, when he made a terrific throw from the near hash mark and completed a 32-yard pass to Andre Holmes, who was covered tightly along the sideline.

It was the kind of throw that will excite Garrett and the coaching staff when they see it on video. Then they’ll wonder why they don’t see throws like that more often.

Garrett doesn’t like players who flash. He wants consistent playmakers.

Late in the second quarter, McGee showed his athleticism, scrambling and eluding several defenders before launching a 36-yard pass to Tim Benford as he stepped out of bounds.

The completion set up Phillip Tanner’s 1-yard touchdown run.

"I thought he played a pretty solid half," said Garrett, who complimented McGee’s ability to make plays out of the pocket.

McGee has every physical tool you want in an NFL quarterback, which is why the Cowboys used a fourth-round pick on a guy from a simplistic, run-oriented offense at Texas A&M.

They knew it would take time for him to develop and take advantage of his 6-3, 225-pound frame and 4.61 speed in the 40-yard dash.

The problem: McGee gets paralysis by analysis.

Whether he has difficulties reading defenses, making his progressions or is simply afraid of throwing interceptions, McGee throws way too many check-down passes.

In the three games McGee has had substantial playing time, he’s thrown three touchdown passes and no interceptions, which is fine. But he has averaged just 5.12 yards per attempt, which is awful.

He’s cautious to a fault.

Understand, Tony Romo has a career average of 8.0 per pass and the best quarterbacks average at least 8.5 per attempt.

Now, it’s time for Garrett to make a decision.

Garrett values the quarterback position, but he has to decide whether McGee or Carpenter, who was 4-of-10 for 48 yards, are worthy of a roster spot.

Then he must determine whether it’s better to keep an extra receiver such as Andre Holmes.

Or whether running back Lance Dunbar, who gained 105 yards on 15 carries, or linebacker Orie Lemon, who returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown, deserve to be on the roster.

It’s unlikely McGee or Carpenter will help the Cowboys win a game this season.

The Cowboys would be better served signing a quarterback to their practice squad after final cuts are announced Friday or drafting one next year and trying to develop him into a starter.

They had the right idea using a fourth-round pick on McGee. It just didn’t work out.

Jean-Jacques Taylor | ESPN Dallas

LAST DAY IN THE LIMELIGHT: Twenty-Two Dallas Cowboys playbooks will be turned in tomorrow

A large Dallas Cowboys star is moved off the field - Symbolic of the 22 players that will be cut Friday - The Boys Are Back blog

Every year is the same it seems. We go into this final preseason game with a handful of players right there on the verge of making the team.

It’s always around the same number of players, with only the names changing, this year’s group including the likes of Hamilton, Coale, Lemon, Bass, Dunbar and Olawale. Oh, there were a few more, but those were the main guys.

But this year, the differences include more than just a few name changes.

Because as soon as the final seconds ticked off the clock in Wednesday’s 30-13 win over the Dolphins, the regular season was upon us. Just like that, it’s on.

No longer do the Cowboys have about 10 days to get ready. With the Wednesday night game on Sept. 5, the team only has a full seven days before they face the defending champs.

And it certainly doesn’t help that the Cowboys are dealing with injuries to key players such as Jason Witten, Jay Ratliff and Miles Austin. Throw in Dez Bryant, Mike Jenkins and Danny McCray, and that puts quite a strain on the Cowboys trying to trim the roster down to 53 by Friday, at the same time they’re getting ready for a real game week.

Because of that, those injuries might have popped a few bubbles in the process.

We’ll see on Friday, but with the Giants game right around the corner, it might be too soon for some of these guys, particularly Witten and Ratliff. The Cowboys certainly won’t rule out either player. In fact, doctors checked out Witten’s lacerated spleen injury on Tuesday and it appears it will be a game-time decision on next Wednesday.

As for Ratliff, who has a high ankle sprain and was still on crutches as of Tuesday, it’ll also likely go up until kickoff before the Cowboys figure out his status.

In the meantime, the team has to prepare for the worst. In doing so, you must go long at those positions.

We could see Josh Brent and Robert Calloway make this team, at least for Week 1.

At tight end, either the Cowboys go and claim a player who gets cut, sign a veteran tight end or maybe keep Andrew Sczcerba around. Perhaps fullback Shaun Chapas makes it, mainly for his special teams ability.

Either way, moves like that knock off luxury keeps. By that, I mean keeping players who aren’t really ready to play just yet, but possess a certain quality. Guys like Ben Bass who plays with a high-motor on the defensive line, or Adrian Hamilton, who hasn’t figured out the 3-4 defense and/or special teams just yet, but he can rush the passer. Those guys are hurt by these injuries.

At running back, a guy like Lance Dunbar might have made the team in the past – solely because of that dazzling 58-yard run. Who knows, maybe he still does. A play like that will get noticed around the league and getting a player like that through waivers will be tough. Still, that’s one of those “luxury keeps” that might not happen because you’ll have a hard time getting him active each week. Personally, after that run, I think I’d make an exception. He’s got some wiggle to him and might be a decent kickoff returner, too.

The Cowboys like Andre Holmes and Danny Coale, who would be the sixth and seventh receivers. They’ll probably like a receiver or two that gets cut over the next few days. But they won’t keep eight and probably not even seven. They’d like to go long at receiver, especially if it means hanging onto Coale, a fifth-round pick who has been injured most of the offseason.

Now if Austin and Bryant were bigger question marks to play, it’d be a different story. However, it seems like both players have been held out of action just to be ready for the Giants. Bryant and Austin will start, and it looks like Harris and Ogletree will be next, with possibly Cole Beasley or maybe Holmes going to the game as a special teamer.

Then you go to the secondary. Mike Jenkins is not going to Florida after all to get an update on his shoulder. He passed his physical on Wednesday and will come off PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) to practice as early as Saturday.

Still, you wonder how quickly he can get back into the mix. Yes, he’s a veteran and yes he knows the Giants and yes he plays a cornerback position that doesn’t always need the strongest continuity with his teammates. But football shape is a different thing. I still have hard time thinking Jenkins can get back to Dallas and start practicing Saturday and Sunday and be ready to play. It’s certainly a possibility, but if you remember last year’s game in New York against the Jets, Jenkins also battled a stinger/shoulder injury all preseason but played in the game. He went in and out about four times, battling all sorts of injuries.

The Cowboys likely have to go long at cornerback, not only on the roster, but the 46-man game-day roster as well. Expect Mario Butler to be active either way.

At safety, Matt Johnson (hamstring) will likely make the team although he’s barely played. McCray will obviously make it because he’s the special teams ace, but he’s battling a shoulder/stinger injury. So Mana Silva probably makes this team to start the season – and who knows, maybe he’ll stick around. He’s played pretty well this preseason. He’s a solid tackler and good on special teams. But still, that’s five safeties to keep.

This probably happens every year – injuries that cloud roster decisions. But it’s different when the guys injured are Pro Bowlers like Witten, Ratliff, Jenkins and Austin, who says he will play, but you probably have to make sure there is plenty of backup because of the nature of the injury and his history with hamstrings.

We’ll find it all out on Friday. But with so many guys playing for roster spots Wednesday night, it’s unfortunate for them that their fate was probably already sealed with a few of these preexisting injuries.

BASS FISHING FOR A SPOT: Dallas Cowboys rookie DE on the radar

Ben Bass at Texas A&M - The Boys Are Back blog

About four months ago, making the team wasn’t even on the radar.

He probably didn’t even know about the practice squad and the details surrounding it either.

All Ben Bass wanted to do was show up on film. For three days, all he had was a jersey number and was sharing a locker with other rookies.

He wasn’t signed or promised to sign. He was among 15 hopefuls on a tryout basis only, mainly here so the Cowboys could conduct a full weekend of practices in the rookie minicamp.

But somehow in the course of three days without pads, the defensive lineman from Texas A&M showed the Cowboys just enough to be intrigued.

When a roster spot opened up, they signed him with the hopes of watching his development this summer.

Fast forward four months and as the Dallas Cowboys prepare for tonight’s preseason finale against the Dolphins, Bass (6-5, 283) finds himself as one of a handful of players right on the bubble to make this team.

Yes, the practice squad is a possibility, but as this point, it’d be a consolation prize for Bass, who seems to realize just how close he is to reaching his goal.

“When I first got here, I would say I had a practice-squad mentality. I was a tryout guy,” Bass said. “But I am where I am now, and I don’t know exactly where that is, but I know I have a shot to make the team.

“I’m just excited. I’m ready to get out there and show what I’ve got. I’m ready to make my family so proud of me and make the name on my back mean something for me.”

It’s safe to say Bass’ family is already extremely proud of his accomplishments. The Plano West and then Texas A&M standout has come a long way in a short time.

Dallas Cowboys DE Ben Bass (79) grabs Oakland Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor - The Boys Are Back blog

Just the simple fact that he is even on the radar is somewhat surprising considering the depth on the defensive line. Veterans such as Marcus Spears and Kenyon Coleman are far from locks to make this team, especially Spears, a former first-round pick. Clifton Geathers and Sean Lissemore had a lot of hype around them this offseason and third-round selection Tyrone Crawford is obviously a player that will be heavily in the mix.

But Bass has quietly put together a nice training camp and preseason, which included his debut in Oakland where he was incredibly active in the second half against the Raiders. He recorded five tackles, including two for loss, with a sack and three quarterback pressures in helping the Cowboys preserve a shutout in a 3-0 win on Monday Night Football.

Bass has also played well in reserve roles the last two games against San Diego and Miami.

But, he says the turning point for him didn’t come in one of the last three games, or even at training camp. In fact, it was about three months ago when he was sitting in the locker room at Valley Ranch after a workout.

“I was sitting here in my locker and Jay Ratliff came by and introduced himself. Of course, we’re like “Yeah, we know who you are,” Bass recalled. “He was asking us questions. I told him I was from A&M and I was a workout guy and he said, ‘You can make this team.’ He hasn’t seen me play or knows anything about me, but he just said if you work your tail off and make plays, you can make the team. It doesn’t matter where you’re from.”

Bass said Ratliff told his own story of being a seventh-round pick in 2005 who has not only overcome being a late-round selection, but has defied the odds of being a relatively smaller nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, making the Pro Bowl four straight years.

“When someone of his level tells you that you can make the team, you start to believe it and start to play like you belong here,” Bass said.

Bass has definitely shown he belongs. He’s hoping it’s just enough to stick around on the 53-man roster. But as long as he sticks around, period, Bass said he’ll be excited.

“Even on the practice squad, all it takes is one guy goes down and you’re activated and then it’s time to play,” Bass said. “Wherever I’m at, I’m obviously shooting for the 53-man roster, but I’m happy to be here. This is the team I grew up wanting to play for and the team I love.”


Aug. 31 — Cutdown to maximum 53 players.

Sept. 1 — Practice squads can be established.

Sept. 5 — Regular-season opener, Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants.

Sept. 9-10 — First full regular-season weekend.

Oct. 16 — Fall league meeting, Chicago.

Oct. 16 — Trade deadline (4 p.m. ET)


Want to see the full Dallas Cowboys 2012-2013 NFL Schedule? Click HERE

SAFETY VALVE: Dallas Cowboys Mana Silva finds himself in position to make team

At the end of the last season, the Dallas Cowboys were looking for anyone to help and provide some depth on defense and special teams.

Mana Silva was able to do that last year, but despite spending the final month of the regular season with the Cowboys, he wasn’t exactly a favorite to claim another roster spot this year.

The Cowboys signed a veteran in Brodney Pool and drafted Matt Johnson in the fourth round. Barry Church was pegged to compete for a spot and Danny McCray’s roster spot seems rather solid as he continues to be the best special teams player on the team.

But as the Cowboys sit just nine days from the season opener, Silva’s chances of making the team seem better than ever.

The safety position shuffled around because of injuries to both Johnson and now McCray. And more importantly, Silva is taking advantage of those opportunities, with three solid performances in the first three preseason games.

But as the Cowboys enter Wednesday’s preseason finale against the Dolphins, Silva knows he will be playing a lot on both defense and special teams. He also knows it’s his final chance of the preseason to shine. But he promises his mindset won’t change.

“I’m just focused on what I’ve done from the first day,” Silva said. “I just go as hard as I can every play. I’ve done that and now I just let the chips fall as they may.”

While Church and Gerald Sensabaugh seem to have the starting spots locked up, Johnson figured to be a solid No. 3 safety with McCray also contributing on defense, along with his special teams “ace” role. But Johnson once again suffered a hamstring injury, an injury that kept him out for most of camp.

And McCray sustained a neck injury that might keep him out of action for a few days.

So once again, it opens the door for Silva, who made a game-clinching interception in the first preseason game against Oakland. The former University of Hawaii standout  has also been praised by his coaches for his all-out effort on defense and special teams.

“Yeah I just try to go as fast as I can on every play and just try to make a play,” said Silva, who admits this year has been more comfortable as he finally has a full offseason. “Last year was tough with the lockout. But I’ve been able to pick up the system more this summer and it’s helped me be more comfortable in what I’m doing. Now I just want to keep playing and try to make this team.”

Nick Eatman

ROSTER CUTDOWN: Dallas Cowboys reduced to 75 players today

Dallas Cowboys Roster Cuts - The Boys Are Back blog

The Dallas Cowboys released long snapper Charley Hughlett, tackle Levy Adcock, punter Delbert Alvarado, tight end Harry Flaherty, receiver David Little, tackle Tyrone Novikoff, receiver Raymond Radway, running back Javarris Williams and cornerback C.J. Wilson. They also waived/injured receiver Donavon Kemp and linebacker Caleb McSurdy.

Kevin Kowalski, a guard/center who hasn’t been able to go at all since the start of training camp, has been placed on the physically unable to perform list.

DALLAS COWBOY ROSTER: Jamize Olawale wins over PA announcer, still trying to sway coaches

Dallas Cowboys running back Jamize Olawale - vs SD - The Boys Are Back blog

Dallas Cowboys running back Jamize Olawale, an undrafted free agent from North Texas, experienced an unexpected surprise during tonight’s Silver & Blue Debut at Cowboys Stadium. The public address announcer nailed the pronunciation of his name (juh-MAZE oh-lah-WALL-ee).

That is more than some of his coaches have been able to muster. Not that Olawale (6-foot-1, 238 pounds), who has been one of the team’s most pleasant surprises of training camp, is complaining.

“Over the PA, they announced my name correctly,” Olawale said. “Some of the coaches, they have trouble pronouncing my name. Some coaches got it right from the outset. Some are still having trouble.”

Who’s having trouble?

“I’m not going to name any names,” Olawale said, smiling.

That could change soon. Olawale, who has led the Cowboys in rushing in both of their pre-season games, is considered a serious contender to land a spot on the team’s 53-man roster because of the versatility he has shown in training camp.

He could wind up competing for the final running back spot against his former college teammate, Lance Dunbar, a Haltom High School grad who played running back at UNT while Olawale worked primarily at receiver.

Although his emergence as a runner has been a pleasant surprise to Cowboys’ coaches, who initially viewed him as a backup fullback, it has not surprised Olawale.

“That’s how I’ve played my whole life. I started off my career playing running back,” said Olawale, who scored the team’s lone rushing touchdown of the pre-season on a 2-yard blast in last week’s 28-20 loss to the San Diego Chargers. “I feel like I can help in (goal-line) situations. Whatever they ask me to do, I feel like I can step up and help.”

His strong performance in camp makes Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Rams a potentially pivotal one for Olawale and others on the bubble of making the Cowboys’ roster. Olawale doesn’t think much about that, either.

“I don’t know. I’m not in the coaches’ meetings,” Olawale said. “That’s not really my concern. My concern is to come out here and play every day and to do my best. I’ll let the coaches sort through all of that.”

Jimmy Burch

ROSTER MOVE: Dallas Cowboys release LB Isaiah Greenhouse

The Cowboys have released LB Isaiah Greenhouse, who was injured in training camp.

His departure leaves the team’s roster at 87 players heading into Saturday’s pre-season game against the St. Louis Rams.

The Cowboys’ roster must be reduced to 75 players by Monday, Aug. 27.

YOU’RE THE GM: Do you keep him or cut him?

Play general manager and decide which Dallas Cowboys stand the best chance of making the final 53-man roster. The first cuts (to 75) come Monday, Aug. 27. (Players are arranged by position, starting with QBs).


Stephen McGee, QB, 4, Texas A&M
McGee’s shaky performances during the preseason could come back to haunt him. Though he doesn’t have a lot of competition for the No. 3 spot, Cowboys coaches may be losing patience with him.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Tony Romo, QB, 10, Eastern Illinois
One of the league’s elite quarterbacks, he owns many of the Cowboys passing records. And he’s coming off the best season in his career stats wise. He’s developed into a leader, but some fans will keep questioning Romo until he wins big in December and beyond.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Rudy Carpenter, QB, 3, Arizona State
Carpenter was claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay, but he began his career in Dallas. Third-string QB Stephen McGee has struggled so far this preseason, which gives Carpenter an outside chance.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Kyle Orton, QB, 8, Purdue
A very good investment in the offseason, the Cowboys have one of the best backups in the league in Orton. His starting experience and 80 career touchdown passes show he’ll be ready to step in if needed.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Lance Dunbar, RB, R, North Texas
The realistic goal is for him to make the practice squad or show enough to be picked up by another team.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Felix Jones, RB, 5, Arkansas
Jones hasn’t shown the speed and explosiveness that made him a big-play threat in previous seasons. And he continues to be dogged by injuries. Spot duty is when he’s most effective, so we’ll see if he can make a bigger impact backing up DeMarco Murray and as a kick returner.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
DeMarco Murray, RB, 2, Oklahoma
The next big thing after a great start to his rookie season. Sidelined by a season-ending knee injury, Murray is back and healthy this season and will be the featured back. He’s got a good mixture of power and speed, he’s a solid blocker and he has very good hands as a receiver.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Javarris Williams, RB, 1, Tennessee St.
The Cowboys waived TCU standout Ed Wesley recently to make room for Williams, but the role of backup running back may already have been locked up by Phillip Tanner and Jamize Olawale.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Phillip Tanner, RB, 2, Middle Tennessee St.
Tanner stuck with the Cowboys last season, but he still needs to look over his shoulder this year. And a broken hand early in training camp didn’t help his chances.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Shaun Chapas, FB, 1, Georgia
He’s a true fullback who could help on special teams, but he’s been too inconsistent in the preseason.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Lawrence Vickers, FB, 7, Colorado
He’s a proven fullback from the Texans who has cleared the path for a 1,000 yard rusher in four of his six pro seasons.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Jamize Olawale, FB, R, North Texas
The big man is getting a lot of attention in camp and plenty of playing time in the preseason. He’s earned it. And we think he’s earned a roster spot.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
David Little, WR, R, Midwestern State
A local, small-school talent who signed on August 5, Little is a big-play receiver who is trying to get at least a practice squad job.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Saalim Hakim, WR, R, Tarleton State
He needs to get some touches to stay around, but it’s unlikely. He played in the United Football League before joining Cowboys.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Cole Beasley, WR, R, Southern Methodist
The fan favorite is pushing for a receiving spot, and his seven catches for 107 yards at San Diego might have been enough to get it for him. Everyone in the league is looking for the next Wes Welker, and some see Beasley with that kind of potential.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Andre Holmes, WR, 1, Hillsdale
He will probably be the most debated player on cut day. He’s got great size, but his preseason games have been good and bad and a back injury could seal his fate.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Tim Benford, WR, R, Tennessee Tech
He’s a camp body who has not made an impact, but he does bring good college stats to the table (923 yards, five touchdowns receiving). Maybe a practice squad player.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Dwayne Harris, WR, 2, East Carolina
He’s got good potential on special teams and he’s elusive in the open field. With all the WR injuries, he’s getting an extended look.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Miles Austin, WR, 7, Monmouth
After a breakout season and getting a big contract, he’s be mostly known for his nagging hamstring injuries. He’s got great speed and strength, but he needs to find a way to stay healthy and contribute.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Danny Coale, WR, R, Virginia Tech
The Cowboys fifth-round draft pick will get a lot of rope to succeed, but injuries have kept him sidelined for much of the preseason. Injuries to other receivers will give him a chance to impress coaches, but he’d better hurry up.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Kevin Ogletree, WR, 4, Virginia
He’s all but locked up the third receiver job after a strong showing in the first two preseason games. He’s earned praise from Tony Romo, and Jerry Jones about his added toughness, which is something the Cowboys need more of out of the receiver position.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Raymond Radway, WR, 1, Abilene Christian
A very intriguing talent who was on track to make the team last season as a rookie before a season-ending broken leg injury. He’ll command some debate before the final cut, and could make it just because of the fragile nature of Austin and Bryant.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Donavon Kemp, WR, R, UTEP
A recent left knee injury doesn’t bode well for this former 1,000-yard receiver at UTEP.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Dez Bryant, WR, 3, Oklahoma State
Nobody questions his talent, but can Dez stay healthy and stay out of trouble? We’ll see. After wowing coaches and the media early in training camp, he’s sidelined again with tendinitis in his knee. The Cowboys need him to play a full season.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Andrew Szczerba, TE, R, Penn State
The undrafted free agent tight end is getting an extended look with Jason Witten sidelined, but with the Cowboys needs at wide receiver they may not keep four tight ends.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Jason Witten, TE, 10, Tennessee
One of the franchise’s best players, the perennial Pro Bowler is recovering from a lacerated spleen. He doesn’t need surgery, though, and there’s a chance he could return for the season opener against the Giants.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Harry Flaherty, TE, 1, Princeton
He’s just a stopgap for now, but it never hurts to get training camp time in the NFL. And he did go to the coach’s alma mater.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
James Hanna, TE, R, Oklahoma
The sixth-round draft pick is making a strong case to stick around and become a quality backup. With Witten out, he’s getting more reps in the two tight-end sets.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
John Phillips, TE, 4, Virginia
A quality backup who is a very strong blocker from the tight end spot or even fullback if needed. With Witten injured, he’s getting more playing time in the preseason.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Kevin Kowalski, C/G, 2, Toledo
He was expected to compete for the starting center position, but an ankle injury makes it unlikely that he’ll see any playing time.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
David Arkin, G, 1, Missouri State
He got the start at center against Oakland in the preseason, with mixed results. He’s trying his best to find a spot on the line, and injuries to Phil Costa and others could determine his fate.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Harland Gunn, G, R, Miami
He started 30 of 38 games in college. And injuries on the line have given him more time in camp, but as veterans get healthy he will likely be one of the odd men out.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Levy Adcock, T, R, Oklahoma State
The former All-Big 12 performer dominated the line for the OSU Cowboys. But it may be another year or two until he plays for these Cowboys.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Ronald Leary, G, R, Memphis
There’s smoke, but not much fire yet. GM Jones likes Leary so much he guaranteed the undrafted free agent more than $200,000 in 2012. But that’s pocket change for Jerry.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Phil Costa, C, 3, Maryland
He’s been sitting out the preseason with a back injury, so the goal is to keep him healthy in the regular season. But in the meantime, plenty of other guys are getting their chance to impress the coaches.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Doug Free, T, 6, Northern Illinois
Entering the second season of a four-year, $32 million contract, Free needs to return to form, playing a new position: right guard.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Tyrone Novikoff, T, R, Idaho
Made 31 starts in 46 career games at Idaho and was the senior team captain. But his chances of playing on Sundays in Arlington this season are slim.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Jeff Adams, T, R, Columbia
The Ivy League prospect made that league’s postseason team three consecutive years, and coach Jason Garrett likes smart players. But the practice squad may be this undrafted free agent’s best chance of hanging around.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Nate Livings, G, 5, Louisiana StateThe Cowboys picked up Livings during free agency to help bolster the offensive line. He is expected to start at left guard.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Mackenzy Bernadeau, G, 5, Bentley
He signed with the Cowboys during the first few days of free agency and can play both guard positions. He is projected as a starter.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Pat McQuistan, T, 7, Weber State
He’s making his second tour with the Cowboys after brief stops in New Orleans and Miami.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Daniel Loper, G, 7, Texas Tech
The veteran gives the Cowboys another option on the offensive line. But how many can they really keep?
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Derrick Dockery, G, 10, Texas
The longtime veteran started two games with the Cowboys last season, but was slowed by knee injury. With all the injuries on the O-line, he’ll probably hang around for the season.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Tyron Smith, T, 2, Southern California
The former first-round pick in 2011 can play both tackle positions, and he is on track to be one of the best offensive linemen in football.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Jermey Parnell, T, 3, Mississippi
The big man played well in the first preseason game. He should be a solid backup.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Teddy Williams, CB, 1, UTSA
He’s a track man trying to find a spot on an NFL team. Speed still kills in this league, but he can’t really cover and that’s not good when you’re a cornerback.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Mike Jenkins, CB, 5, South Florida
After offseason shoulder surgery, and losing his starting job, the Cowboys will monitor Jenkins effort closely when he gets back on the field.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Morris Claiborne, CB, R, Louisiana State
The Cowboys’ No. 1 draft pick, whom they traded up for, isn’t going anywhere. But he is running behind because of some nagging injuries. He’ll start, but might be vulnerable early.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB, 3, Indiana (PA)
This is his second tour of duty with the Cowboys. He has good hands on special teams, but needs to be more of a difference maker.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
C.J. Wilson, CB, 4, Baylor
Was added to the practice squad late in the 2011 season, and he’s trying to find a role in a crowded secondary this year. It’s gonna be tough.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Mario Butler, CB, 1, Georgia Tech
He was on the Cowboys practice squad last season and he needs to make a move soon or he might not return.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Orlando Scandrick, CB, 5, Boise State
He got the big contract last season and has been a valuable contributor in the secondary and on special teams.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Mana Silva, S, 1, Hawaii
He appeared in two games with Dallas at the end of the 2011 season. Again, a crowded secondary leaves questions about his stability. His best chance to make the squad is as a special teams star.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Matt Johnson, S, R, Eastern Washington
The Cowboys really want to give Johnson a good look, but injuries have slowed his play in the preseason.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Eddie Whitley, S, R, Virginia Tech
He has not made an impact in training camp, but has the measurables to fit somewhere in the league.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Brandon Carr, CB, 5, Grand Valley State
A lot rides on his shoulders in the secondary and so far he’s been worth the $50.1 million investment. Carr had two interceptions in the San Diego preseason game.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Danny McCray, S, 3, Louisiana StateSpecial teams stud and quality backup. He makes plays and that’s the name of the game in the NFL.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Lionel Smith, CB, R, Texas A&M
He has a knack for getting his hands on the ball when he gets an opportunity. And with Mike Jenkins out, he’s getting opportunities.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Barry Church, S, 3, Toledo
Turning the corner and becoming a notable defender, Church took over the starting safety job in training camp and is another much needed leader on defense.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Gerald Sensabaugh, S, 8, North Carolina
He needs to make more big plays in the passing game, but Sensabaugh is ultra tough against the run.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Sean Lee, LB, 3, Penn State
The team’s leader on defense begins his second season as a full-time starter. He makes a lot of plays and will be one of the stars (or scapegoats) in 2012.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Kyle Wilber, LB, R, Wake Forest
A fouth-round draft pick who started 36 of 43 games in college, Wilber broke his thumb in the first preseason game and will miss the start of the season.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Dan Connor, LB, 5, Penn State
The veteran will be competing for a starting job, and he provides depth and added speed. The former Carolina Panther signed a two-year deal.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Adrian Hamilton, LB, R, Prairie View A&M
Sleeper prospect who is very raw. He led the nation as a senior with 20.5 sacks, but the undrafted free agent has an uphill climb.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Bruce Carter, LB, 2, North Carolina
A healthy Carter is living up to the hype that came after his selection in the second round in 2011.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Alex Albright, LB, 2, Boston College
One of three undrafted free agents to make the team in 2011, he ended up playing in 16 games. And he impressed coaches and fellow players against San Diego in preseason.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Caleb McSurdy, LB, R, MontanaThe Cowboys seventh-round draft pick has a knack for playing big against the run, but he ruptured his Achilles tendon during camp and will have to try to come back next year after season-ending surgery.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Victor Butler, LB, 4, Oregon State.
A strong pass rusher, he had a big preseason performance at San Diego and will be counted on for more plays in the regular season.
Keep him or cut him? KEEP
Orie Lemon, LB, 1, Oklahoma State
He might get caught in the numbers game at linebacker, but he belongs in the NFL somewhere.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Baraka Atkins, DT, 4, MiamiHe’s competitive, but was out of football most of last season. And at a competitive position, he’ll be one of the odd men out.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Anthony Spencer, LB, 6, Purdue
He carries an $8 million franchise tag and is the “other” linebacker opposite DeMarcus Ware. Now that Spencer has big money, he needs to finally start racking up big sack numbers.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
DeMarcus Ware, LB, 8, Troy
Disruptive, active playmaker who is shattering sack records. He can dominate a game and is the Cowboys best player on defense. But he faces regular double-teams and he needs more pass-rushing help.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Tyrone Crawford, DT, R, Boise State
Big, third-round draft pick who’ll be in the rotation upfront barring injury. He’s impressed the coaches in rookie camp and in Oxnard.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Robert Callaway, DT, 1, Saginaw ValleyA raw, small-school talent who is trying to impress the coaches.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Ben Bass, DT, R, Texas A&M
The undrafted free agent from Texas A&M is trying to find a spot with the Cowboys as a pass-rushing defensive end. He’s more likely to end up on the practice squad.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Jay Ratliff, NT, 8, Auburn
In seven seasons, Ratliff has earned four Pro Bowl nods after beginning his career as a seventh-round pick. He’s also one of the leaders on the Dallas D.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Josh Brent, NT, 3, Illinois
A third-year player who began his career through the supplemental draft, he plays behind Ratliff and could give the Cowboys another big body to clog up the middle.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Sean Lissemore, DT, 3, William & Mary
He can play defensive end or nose tackle in the Cowboys’ 3-4 scheme. And he’s very active, which makes him an important piece of Rob Ryan’s defense.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Marcus Spears, DT, 8, Louisiana State:
He’s steady, durable and a good team player, but has not risen to elite level yet.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Jason Hatcher, DT, 7, Grambling State
The Cowboys want more production from Hatcher. He’s a good fit in the rotation, but a groin injury has hampered him in the early part of training camp.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Clifton Geathers, DT, 2, South Carolina:
Got playing time in five games last season with two tackles and three quarterback hurries. And he’s looking good so far in camp this season.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Kenyon Coleman, DT, 11, UCLA:
Quiet, but effective, contributor who has first-hand knowledge of Rob Ryan’s defense.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Delbert Alvarado, P, 1, South Florida:
He gives the Cowboys another punting option for camp after getting a workout during rookie minicamp and signing June 4. But his chances of playing on Sundays for America’s Team are slim barring injuries.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT
Dan Bailey, K, 2, Oklahoma State
Mr. Reliable will be looking for a sophomore encore. Bailey had one of the best kicking seasons in franchise history in 2011, but beware the sophomore slump.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Chris Jones, P, 1, Carson Newman
Good enough to allow the Cowboys to release Mat McBriar. Jones averaged 42.6 yards per punt in backup roles last season.
Keep or cut: KEEP
L.P. Ladouceur, long snapper, 8, California
One of the best in the game at a position that no one talks about — until there’s a mistake.
Keep him or cut him?: KEEP
Charley Hughlett, LS, R, Central Florida
Plays a specialized position that isn’t likely to warrant two roster spots. And he’s been quiet in camp.
Keep him or cut him?: CUT


David Humphrey and Rick Press

PRESEASON WEEK THREE: 2012 Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster projection

PRESEASON WEEK THREE: 2012 Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster projection - The Boys Are Back blog

Here’s the third installment. Will the final, 53-man roster look exactly like this? Probably not. Injuries make this a moving target. But here’s the latest stab on what the roster will look like on opening night.

Quarterbacks (2)

Tony Romo  Kyle Orton

Comment: Can the Cowboys afford to carry a third quarterback with there injury issues at so many other positions? It’s unlikely.

Running backs (4)

DeMarco Murray  Felix Jones  Lawrence Vickers  Lance Dunbar

Comment: Jamize Olawale has made the most of his opportunity with Dunbar and Phillip Tanner out. He’s an intriguing prospect. But Dunbar has looked good in his two days back and intrigued the coaches before Olawale was on the radar screen.

Wide receiver (6)

Diamond Dez Bryant  Miles Austin  Kevin Ogletree

Andre Holmes  Cole Beasley  Danny Coale

Comment: Still believe the No. 3 receiver will come off the waiver wire. That will reduce this list by one.

Tight ends (4)

Jason Witten  John Phillips  James Hanna  Andrew Szczerba

Comment: Witten’s injury creates a scenario where the team carries an extra player here for the first week or two of the regular season.

Offensive line (9)

Tyron Smith  Doug Free  Mackenzy Bernadeau  Nate Livings  Phil Costa

David Arkin  Ronald Leary  Jermey Parnell  Pat McQuistan

Comment: Going with 10 remains a possibility here.

Defensive line (7)

Jay Ratliff  Jason Hatcher  Kenyon Coleman  Tyrone Crawford  Sean Lissemore

Josh Brent  Clifton Geathers

Comment: Hard to envision a scenario where Coleman and Marcus Spears both make this group. If the coaches see enough promise in another young player, it’s not out of the question that both are gone.

Linebackers (9)

DeMarcus Ware  Anthony Spencer  Sean Lee  Bruce Carter  Dan Connor

Victor Butler  Alex Albright  Kyle Wilber  Adrian Hamilton

Comment: You haven’t heard a lot about Hamilton. But the Cowboys like his upside.

Secondary (9)

Brandon Carr  Morris Claiborne  Barry Church  Gerald Sensabaugh  Orlando Scandrick

Mike Jenkins  Mario Butler  Matt Johnson  Danny McCray

Comment: Butler’s versatility is a big plus here.

Specialists (3)

Dan Bailey  Chris Jones  LP Ladouceur

Comment: If the Cowboys want to save money and get younger, Charley Hughlett has a chance

Courtesy: David Moore

ROSTER MOVE: Dallas Cowboys waive safety Justin Taplin-Ross

The Dallas Cowboys have two roster spots open after waiving safety Justin Taplin-Ross on Sunday.

Taplin-Ross did not play on Saturday’s 28-20 loss to San Diego and was far down the depth chart. With his departure and the cutting of running back Ed Wesley on Friday, the Cowboys have 88 players on the roster entering Monday’s practice against the Chargers.

The Cowboys do not have any immediate plans to fill the roster spots. Linebacker Isaiah Greenhouse, who has a broken thumb, is not with the team but has not been cut.

PRESEASON WEEK ONE: 2012 Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster projection

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Raymond Radway makes catch during Dallas Cowboys Training Camp (Star-Telegram Ron Jenkins) - The Boys Are Back blog

The regular season starts for the Dallas Cowboys in just a few weeks. Here’s our first of weekly projections on how the 53-man roster will shake out.

Quarterbacks (2)

Tony Romo  Kyle Orton

Comment: Teams that keep three like the third to be a young quarterback that can one day develop into a starter. Does Stephen McGee still fit that profile? Cowboys could save a roster spot here and try to slip Rudy Carpenter by on the practice squad for protection.

Running backs (5)

DeMarco Murray  Felix Jones

Phillip Tanner  Lance Dunbar  Lawrence Vickers

Comment: The Cowboys like Dunbar, but he picked a bad time to get injured. He needs to get on the field soon to earn a spot.

Wide receiver (5)

Dez Bryant  Miles Austin

Andre Holmes  Danny Coale  Cole Beasley

Comment: Even though Kevin Ogletree is starting now that Austin is injured, it’s not a lock he makes the team. If the team adds a veteran here as the season nears, a distinct possibility, he could lose his spot to a younger player with more upside. If the Cowboys decide to keep six here it will likely be at the expense of a running back.

Tight end (3)

Jason Witten  John Phillips  James Hanna

Comment: No intrigue here.

Offensive line (10)

Tyron Smith  Doug Free  Phil Costa  Mackenzy Bernadeau  Nate Livings

Ronald Leary  David Arkin  Jeremy Parnell  Pat McQuistan  Derrick Dockery

Comment: There remains a lot to sort through here but injuries to Bill Nagy and Kevin Kowalski have thinned the field.

Defensive line (7)

Jay Ratliff  Kenyon Coleman  Jason Hatcher  Tyrone Crawford  Sean Lissemore

Josh Brent  Clifton Geathers

Comment: One veteran is likely to go as the Cowboys try to get younger in the line. Marcus Spears is odd lineman out at this stage but it could be Coleman.

Linebacker (9)

DeMarcus Ware  Anthony Spencer  Sean Lee  Bruce Carter  Dan Connor

Victor Butler  Kyle Wilber  Alex Albright  Orie Lemon

Comment: Who excels on special teams will have an edge on the final couple of spots.

Secondary (9)

Morris Claiborne  Brandon Carr  Mike Jenkins  Orlando Scandrick

Mario Butler  Barry Church  Gerald Sensabaugh  Matt Johnson  Danny McCray

Comment: Mana Silva is still in the running for a spot. He makes plays.

Specialists (3)

Dan Bailey  Chris Jones  LP Ladouceur

Comment: Jones is no Mat McBriar as a punter, but he’s the best the team has in camp. It wouldn’t hurt to watch the waiver wire here.

Courtesy: David Moore

Editors Note: RED indicates an injury concern going into the season.

ROSTER CHANGE: Dallas Cowboys release undrafted rookie tight end George Bryan

The Cowboys released rookie tight end George Bryan, an undrafted player out of North Carolina State signed after the NFL draft.

His release leaves four tight ends on the roster, veterans Jason Witten and John Phillips, sixth-round pick James Hanna and undrafted Andrew Szczerba.

Bryan was the all-time leader for receptions by a tight end at NC State. He left the Wolfpack with 126 catches for 1,323 yards and 17 touchdowns in 51 games.

RELATED: Dallas Cowboys claim John Nalbone

The never-ending search for upgrades has led the Cowboys to claim tight end John Nalbone off waivers from Seattle and release undrafted rookie George Bryan.

Nalbone was a fifth-round pick by Miami in 2009 but played in only two games. He has spent time with six different teams, joining the Seahawks’ practice squad last season.

He joins Jason Witten, John Phillips, James Hanna and undrafted Andrew Szczerba as the Cowboys’ tight ends on the 90-man roster.

Want to keep up with who’s on the current roster? Click HERE

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