A look at the Cowboys’ 53-man roster


A look at the Cowboys’ 53-man roster
By Tim MacMahon

This isn’t necessarily the Cowboys’ final 53-man roster. They still might make a transaction or two before the season opener.

But here’s how the 53-man roster looks after final cuts Saturday:

QUARTERBACKS (3): Tony Romo, Jon Kitna, Stephen McGee

The Cowboys believe Tony Romo’s poor preseason is an aberration. They’re confident that Kitna is an adequate backup, especially after solid performance in his final two preseason performances. McGee provided hope in the preseason finale that he’s a decent developmental project.

RUNNING BACKS (3): Marion Barber, Felix Jones, Tashard Choice

The Barber trade rumor mill buzzed a bit, but did you really think a team was going to trade for his contract?

FULLBACKS (2): Deon Anderson, Chris Gronkowski

Anderson is a proven lead blocker and special teams performer. Gronkowski gives them versatility.

TIGHT ENDS (2): Jason Witten, Martellus Bennett

They can go light here because of Gronkowski’s ability to play H-back, but the Cowboys could watch the waiver wire closely for decent tight ends.

WIDE RECEIVERS (5): Miles Austin, Roy Williams, Dez Bryant, Kevin Ogletree, Sam Hurd

They traded Patrick Crayton in a cost-cutting move but kept Hurd, who makes a major impact on special teams.

OFFENSIVE LINE (10): Andre Gurode, Leonard Davis, Kyle Kosier, Marc Colombo, Doug Free, Alex Barron, Montrae Holland, Robert Brewster, Sam Young, Phil Costa

Depth is a concern for this season, but the Cowboys believe rookies Young and Costa have a chance to develop into starters.

NOSE TACKLES (2): Jay Ratliff, Josh Brent

Junior Siavii got the second-team reps throughout camp and the preseason, but Brent’s potential earned him the roster spot. Brent overcame a broken hand suffered the first week of camp to consistently display power and explosiveness.

DEFENSIVE ENDS (5): Igor Olshansky, Marcus Spears, Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, Sean Lissemore

Lissemore, a seventh-round pick, apparently seized a spot with his performance in the preseason finale.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (4): DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Victor Butler, Brandon Williams

Steve Octavien, a core special teams player last season, was probably the best player the Cowboys cut.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS (5): Bradie James, Keith Brooking, Sean Lee, Jason Williams, Leon Williams

The nickel/dime job hasn’t been settled. Should the Cowboys call Bobby Carpenter after he was cut by the Rams? He did a decent job in that role last season.

CORNERBACKS (3): Mike Jenkins, Terence Newman, Orlando Scandrick

Cletis Gordon was the most surprising cut. The Cowboys could go light here because of Akwasi Owusu-Ansah’s ability to play corner. He’s been working as a slot guy in the nickel and dime packages.

SAFETIES (6): Gerald Sensabaugh, Alan Ball, Michael Hamlin, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Danny McCray, Barry Church

McCray makes it because of special teams. Wearing No. 40, he’ll remind folks of Bill Bates. Church is a better safety.

SPECIALISTS (3): Mat McBriar, David Buehler, L.P. Ladouceur

Buehler answered the bell during the preseason, allowing the Cowboys to follow through on their plan to keep only one kicker.

Players who made the team that we didn’t have on our final 53-man roster projection: Deon Anderson, Sean Lissemore, Leon Williams

Players who got cut that we had on our final 53-man roster projection: Martin Rucker, Junior Siavii, Cletis Gordon

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