Vol. VI: 53-man roster projection

There are just two tweaks from last week's projection. New players are marked by asterisks.


Tony Romo

Kyle Orton

Ideally, Alex Tanney will clear waivers and land on the practice squad. No matter what he does in the preseason finale, it won’t be enough to convince the Cowboys to keep three quarterbacks on the active roster.


DeMarco Murray

Lance Dunbar

Phillip Tanner

Joseph Randle

Tanner, a core special teams player and the epitome of a Jason Garrett Right Kind of Guy, would probably have had a roster spot regardless. Dunbar’s sprained foot, which could sideline him for the season opener, eliminated any doubt.


Dez Bryant

Miles Austin

Terrance Williams

Dwayne Harris

Cole Beasley

*Anthony Armstrong

It took me six editions to get Armstrong on the roster, but the Cowboys keep running him out there on first-team special teams units, a pretty strong sign he’s got a good chance to make the team. He can help more than a 10th offensive lineman.


Jason Witten

James Hanna

Gavin Escobar

Dante Rosario

The Cowboys are committed to featuring two-tight end packages, so they’ll keep four at this position. The problem is that none of the tight ends behind Witten are adequate blockers.


Tyron Smith

Doug Free

Travis Frederick

Ronald Leary

Mackenzy Bernadeau

Phil Costa

Jermey Parnell

David Arkin

Veteran TBD

Jerry Jones revealing that Nate Livings has a degenerative knee condition seems to be foreshadowing of the Cowboys eating his $1.7 million salary. This is an especially dicey group if Leary isn’t recovered from his knee scope in time to start the season opener. Maybe they won’t make the necessary upgrade in their offer to sign six-time Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters, but the Cowboys will certainly take a close look at the waiver wire.


DeMarcus Ware

Anthony Spencer

Jason Hatcher

Jay Ratliff

Nick Hayden

Sean Lissemore

Ben Bass

Kyle Wilber

George Selvie

Biggest question here: Will Ratliff begin the season on the physically unable to perform list? Jones essentially ruled Ratliff out of practice this week and said his status for the season opener was in doubt. Considering Jones’ longstanding confidence that Ratliff would be ready for Week 1, that could be considered a sign that the former Pro Bowl is far from playing.


Sean Lee

Bruce Carter

Justin Durant

Ernie Sims

DeVonte Holloman

Brandon Magee

A concussion has sidelined Magee, but the hunch here is that the front office and coaching staff are enamored enough by his potential to keep him. Caleb McSurdy could make that decision difficult.


Brandon Carr

Morris Claiborne

Orlando Scandrick

Sterling Moore

B.W. Webb

If Claiborne’s knee continues to be an issue, could the Cowboys search for veteran help here?


Barry Church

Will Allen

J.J. Wilcox

Danny McCray

*Jeff Heath

If it’s about an honest evaluation, the Cowboys have to keep Heath, an undrafted afterthought he had caught the coaches’ attention long before his huge fumble-forcing hit Saturday night. He’s an example of Jason Garrett’s injuries-are-opportunities mantra, taking advantage of the reps he received because Matt Johnson and Eric Frampton got hurt. Maybe Johnson will land on the practice squad. The Cowboys can’t justify giving him a roster spot again after he watched from the sideline while Heath made plays.


Dan Bailey

Chris Jones

L.P. Ladouceur

This is as set in stone as the quarterbacks.