Cowboys might make some roster moves

SAN ANTONIO -- The Cowboys have problems at defensive line and could address this position over the weekend by adding another lineman.

The Cowboys have 10 defensive linemen on the roster, but only six are healthy. The Cowboys have high hopes for end Jason Hatcher (hyperextended elbow) and nose tackle Josh Brent (hand). Both could return this weekend.

Hatcher is bascially a roster lock, because the coaches know what he can do and might give him an increased role this year.

Brent is another story. He was a seventh-round pick in the supplemental draft. However, the Cowboys like his ability to rush the passer and want him to challenge nose tackle Junior Siavii.

Brent's hand limits his ability to grab offensive lineman and in some cases make tackles. The quicker he returns, the better.

Defensive tackle Sean Lissemore (groin) is out at least another week, maybe two, and Lorenzo Washington, a defensive end, returned from a hamstring injury only to reinjure himself.

The Cowboys might find another lineman who is a free agent, most likely a player just coming out of college. If that happens, a roster spot has to open up.

Wade Phillips wanted to rest some of his veterans for Wednesday's morning practice, but he had to use fifth-year man Stephen Bowen with youngsters Marcus Dixon and Siavii on the defensive line.

"We only had three guys," Phillips said. "It's hard to go with two when you have three defensive linemen, and he [Bowen] knows what to do. But it helped him and he needed work with his footwork, and it gave him an opportunity to do that."

Phillips is concerned about the position and said the lack of bodies limits what he can do. He said he might increase the reps of the healthy ones, such as Jay Ratliff or maybe Marcus Spears, but a "couple of these [injured] guys will be back within the next couple of days," Phillips said. "But right now we're down a little bit defensive line-wise, and coaching-wise you worry about that."