Marcus Spears fighting for roster spot

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys could go heavy at defensive line by carrying eight players at that position when the 53-man roster is determined, but one veteran could be in jeopardy of not making it.

Marcus Spears, who has played on the second team the last two seasons, is a productive player who at times seems better than Kenyon Coleman, the other veteran starting end.

"I'm not worried about that," Spears said about his roster status. "That's for you guys to talk about. I got to go out and play as well as I can and perform when I'm out there and let the chips fall where they may."

The interesting thing about Coleman is sometimes you don't realize he's making plays because he's a run stopper and his goal is to keep the tackle from pushing him downfield. In three preseason games, Coleman has zero tackles.

Spears has been pretty active around the ball this preseason, given his seven solo tackles.

In his eight-year career, Spears had always been a starter -- prior to last season, when Coleman, signed in free agency because he knows defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's scheme, took over one starting end spot and Jason Hatcher grabbed the other. It appears with some younger linemen with position flexibility -- such as Sean Lissemore -- there could be a chance Spears' status is in question.

However, with nose tackle Jay Ratliff's status for Week 1 in question because of an ankle injury, the decision to cut Spears could prove to be a difficult one.

"You got to do what you gotta do," Spears said. "You gotta do your part. That's what I'm called to do right now and I focus on doing that and playing well when I'm in the game. ... You go with what the coaches decide to do when you're in there and you try and perform."