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Vol. 1: 53-man roster projection

OXNARD, Calif. -- We'll do a weekly 53-man roster projection throughout Cowboys training camp and the preseason.

We recognize that this is ridiculously premature, which is why we'll revise it on a weekly basis.

QUARTERBACKS (2)

Tony Romo

Kyle Orton

There’s no reason to believe at this point that the Cowboys will carry a third quarterback on the roster after going with two last season.

RUNNING BACKS (4)

DeMarco Murray

Lance Dunbar

Joseph Randle

Phillip Tanner

Special teams are probably Tanner’s ticket to the 53-man roster, but that’s a good bet. Dunbar, an explosive North Texas alum, isn’t going to make it easy for fifth-round pick Randle to get carries as a rookie.

TIGHT ENDS (4)

Jason Witten

James Hanna

Gavin Escobar

Dante Rosario

The Cowboys will keep four tight ends. The question is whether Escobar, the second-round pick, can beat out Hanna to join Witten with the starters.

RECEIVERS (5)

Dez Bryant

Miles Austin

Terrance Williams

Dwayne Harris

Cole Beasley

Keep an eye on undrafted rookie Eric Rogers as a sleeper. He’s big (6-foot-3, 210) with good hands. Danny Coale, a 2012 fifth-round pick coming off a torn ACL, can’t be counted out, either.

OFFENSIVE LINE (10)

Tyron Smith

Nate Livings

Travis Frederick

Mackenzy Bernadeau

Doug Free

Jermey Parnell

Phil Costa

Ronald Leary

Demetress Bell

Kevin Kowalski

Ryan Cook, the fill-in starter at center last season, didn’t do himself any favors by flunking the conditioning test. Same goes for Bell, but the former Bills and Eagles starter is a more experienced option than Darrion Weems as the fourth tackle.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)

DeMarcus Ware

Jay Ratliff

Jason Hatcher

Anthony Spencer

Sean Lissemore

Kyle Wilber

Ben Bass

Nick Hayden

Veteran TBD

The Cowboys were looking to improve their defensive line depth before they arrived in Oxnard. It’s a desperate need after key reserve Tyrone Crawford suffered what appears to be a season-ending torn Achilles.

LINEBACKERS (6)

Bruce Carter

Sean Lee

Justin Durant

Alex Albright

DeVonte Holloman

Brandon Magee

Do the Cowboys carry more than six linebackers? Veteran Ernie Sims and Caleb McSurdy, a seventh-round pick who missed his rookie season with a torn Achilles tendon, can make a case that they should.

CORNERBACKS (5)

Brandon Carr

Morris Claiborne

Orlando Scandrick

B.W. Webb

Sterling Moore

There doesn’t appear to be a threat to Moore for the fifth corner job. That could change at some point, perhaps after other teams make their cuts to 53.

SAFETIES (5)

Barry Church

Will Allen

Matt Johnson

J.J. Wilcox

Danny McCray

Allen, a good special teams player and savvy veteran who has played for Monte Kiffin, should be safe even if Johnson or Wilcox wins the starting job. Undrafted rookie Jakar Hamilton, who had a fifth-round grade on the Cowboys’ board, is a threat to special teams ace McCray.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Dan Bailey

Chris Jones

L.P. Ladouceur

No competition here. Ladouceur’s job isn’t in any jeopardy as he recovers from a strained calf.