Lockout analysis: Secondary

ESPN Dallas is providing a daily breakdown on how the lockout has affected the individual position groups.

Position: Secondary

Depth chart: Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick, Bryan McCann, Terence Newman, Alan Ball, Danny McCray, Gerald Sensabaugh, Barry Church, Andrew Sendejo and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah

Not under contract: McCann, Sensabaugh and Ball

Player hurt most by lockout: Owusu-Ansah

Player with most to gain: Sensabaugh

Analysis: This was one of the weakest areas for the Cowboys in 2010. The entire secondary underachieved, from veteran Terence Newman to Alan Ball. Ball was so bad at free safety, the team is moving him back to corner. If the season started today, the starting strong safety would be Church and the starting free safety would be McCray.

Owusu-Ansah, a fourth-round draft pick in 2010, was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 10 with a right high ankle sprain, so his development was slowed. With no minicamps or OTAs this summer and a new scheme to learn under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, the coaches can't help Owusu-Ansah get the reps he needs to become a better player. He does have the speed and smarts to play free safety, yet his skills are in the developmental stage. With McCray getting more reps and confidence in practice the last two months of the season, it will be interesting to see those two players match up in training camp.

Sensabaugh played better in the second half of the season and is an unrestricted free agent. How much he'll command on the open market hasn't been determined, but he may be one of the more sought-after safeties. The Cowboys would like to bring him back, in part because the younger players on the roster haven't shown enough.

Jenkins and Newman have to play better, and not being around Ryan to learn things leaves them with some question marks. There's a chance the team releases Newman in a cost-savings move to get under the salary cap, and it's quite possible the Cowboys sign another player, such as Oakland's Nnamdi Asomugha, who has played for Ryan in the past. The team would like to get younger overall, but the inability to sign better replacements in free agency has slowed the progress. Scandrick was the Cowboys' best corner last season and he would like to compete for a starting job in 2011, but the lockout has put that quest on hold, at least for now.