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Vol. 2: Premature 53-man roster projection

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Taylor: 'There Is Going To Be An Adjustment' (2:14)

ESPNDallas' Todd Archer and Jean-Jacques Taylor discuss why the Cowboys cut Brodney Pool and who needs to step up at the receiver position. (2:14)

OXNARD, Calif. -- The second weekly edition of the always-subject-to-change projection of the Cowboys’ 53-man roster for the season opener:

QUARTERBACKS (2)

Tony Romo

Kyle Orton

Stephen McGee hasn’t developed enough to merit keeping a third quarterback, especially since Rudy Carpenter is eligible for the practice squad.

RUNNING BACKS (3)

DeMarco Murray

Felix Jones

Phillip Tanner

The hope is that Tanner won’t miss much more than a week after breaking his hand. He can be a core special teams player, something undrafted rookies Ed Wesley and Lance Dunbar aren’t physical enough for at this point.

FULLBACKS (1)

Lawrence Vickers

Jason Garrett talks a lot about the importance of being a physical team. The signing of Vickers is proof that it’s more than just talk.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6)

Miles Austin

Dez Bryant

Kevin Ogletree

Veteran TBD

Andre Holmes

Danny Coale

No position on the roster has more uncertainty. There isn’t a legitimate No. 3 guy on the roster, but a veteran waiver pickup won’t be ready for that role right away. Tim Benford, Raymond Radway and Cole Beasley all have a chance to make the team.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

Jason Witten

John Phillips

James Hanna

Hanna, who has great speed for a tight end, is getting a ton of reps with Phillips nursing an ankle injury. Can he block well enough to compete for the second tight end role?

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN (10)

Tyron Smith

Doug Free

Nate Livings

Mackenzy Bernadeau

Phil Costa

Jermey Parnell

Derrick Dockery

Ronald Leary

Pat McQuistan

David Arkin

If Costa has any competition, it will be from Bernadeau. But Bernadeau still hasn’t practiced, and the plan was for him to start at guard.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (7)

Jay Ratliff

Jason Hatcher

Sean Lissemore

Kenyon Coleman

Tyrone Crawford

Josh Brent

Clifton Geathers

Lissemore and Crawford make Marcus Spears -- and maybe Coleman -- expendable. Geathers (6-7, 325) looks like a monster and has actually started making some plays.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (5)

DeMarcus Ware

Anthony Spencer

Victor Butler

Kyle Wilber

Alex Albright

Albright is a Joe DeCamillis favorite who has added to his value by working a lot at inside linebacker and even a little at tight end. That makes it worth going heavy here.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS (4)

Sean Lee

Bruce Carter

Dan Connor

Orie Lemon

Carter and Connor should be upgrades over past-their-prime Keith Brooking and Bradie James. One team source said he’d be stunned if Lemon, a practice squad player last season, didn’t survive final cuts.

CORNERBACKS (5)

Brandon Carr

Morris Claiborne

Mike Jenkins

Orlando Scandrick

Mario Butler

Butler hasn’t looked out of place while playing with the first-team nickel in the few days since Claiborne went down. He’s also added to his value by working some at safety.

SAFETIES (4)

Gerald Sensabaugh

Barry Church

Danny McCray

Matt Johnson

Church’s competition with Brodney Pool was a first-round knockout. Mana Silva, who can help on special teams, could make the Cowboys consider going heavy here.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Dan Bailey

Chris Jones

L.P. Ladouceur

Only question here is whether the Cowboys can count on Jones. If not, they’ll be able to find a veteran after the preseason.