Dallas Cowboys starting lineup projection


Quarterback (Tony Romo): He turned 35 in April, but is coming off his best season and was able to take part in every phase of the offseason.

Running back (Joseph Randle): He won’t get DeMarco Murray's 392 carries, but the Cowboys hope he can be a 1,000-yard rusher as the leader of a committee.

Wide receiver (Dez Bryant): The Cowboys took care of any potential headache with Bryant by signing him to a five-year, $70 million contract. He will put up his fourth straight season with at least 80 catches, 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Wide receiver (Terrance Williams): His numbers faded down the stretch in 2014, but he came up big in the playoffs and asserted himself more in Bryant’s absence from the offseason program.

Wide receiver (Cole Beasley): He was rewarded with a long-term deal that included $7 million guaranteed, and he is a Romo favorite on third-down situations.

Tight end (Jason Witten): He is entering his 13th season and does not appear to be slowing down. He might not have a 90-catch season, but his overall play is a big reason why the Cowboys run so well.

Left tackle (Tyron Smith): Quite simply, he is the best young tackle in the NFL and the Cowboys have him signed through 2023.

Left guard (Ronald Leary): La'el Collins will push him this summer for the starter’s role, but Leary's experience and strength give him the edge right now.

Center (Travis Frederick): Many questioned why the Cowboys took him in the first round in 2013, but he has started every game and has the perfect combination of smarts and athleticism.

Right guard (Zack Martin): He was named All-Pro as a rookie, the first for a Cowboy since 1969. He can play with power and with speed to handle all kinds of defensive lineman.

Right tackle (Doug Free): The leader of the group, he missed the offseason program with foot surgery, but will be 100 percent by the start of camp.


Left defensive end (DeMarcus Lawrence): His rookie year was hampered by a foot injury, but he came on strong in the playoffs and will move to the left side of the line this season.

Defensive tackle (Tyrone Crawford): He found a home last season as the three technique, and the Cowboys view him as a cornerstone piece of the future.

Defensive tackle (Nick Hayden): The coaches like him a lot more than the analytics folks do, but he is dependable and would be better served to play fewer snaps.

Right defensive end (Jeremy Mincey): With Greg Hardy suspended for four games, Mincey, who led the Cowboys in sacks last season, will handle the role at the beginning of the year.

Weakside linebacker (Sean Lee): The Cowboys worked him slowly into the offseason program and he is expected to do everything from the first day of camp, which will be a boost to the defense.

Middle linebacker (Jasper Brinkley): With Rolando McClain suspended the first four games of the season, free-agent signee Brinkley will get the job to start the season and can work first and second downs.

Strongside linebacker (Anthony Hitchens): As a rookie, he showed he can handle all three spots and will be a part of the sub packages as well.

Cornerback (Orlando Scandrick): He is coming off his best season, and the Cowboys re-worked his contract to give him some more money in the offseason.

Cornerback (Brandon Carr): Despite the early threats of a pay cut, Carr remains on the roster at the same $8 million price tag. If he plays the way he did at the end of 2014, then the Cowboys will be happy.

Safety (Barry Church): He led the Cowboys in tackles, according to the coaches, but he was not as impactful as he was in 2013. With changes in coverages, he can be used more to his strengths.

Safety (J.J. Wilcox): He will enter his second full season as the starter, and the Cowboys hope his growing pains are behind him so he can be more of a playmaker.


Kicker (Dan Bailey): The Cowboys have no worries about the point-after attempt moving. Bailey has not missed a field goal inside 33 yards. He’s made 89.8 percent of his kicks overall.

Punter (Chris Jones): He is growing into the job and has a strong leg, but he needs to be more consistent.

Long snapper (L.P. Ladouceur): He hasn’t had a poor snap since he arrived in 2005 and is not in danger of losing his job.