53-Man Roster Prediction (v.3)

After the second preseason game against San Diego, here are the updated roster predictions. 
QB: Tony Romo, Jon Kitna, Stephen McGee (3)
Previous: Romo, Kitna, Mcgee

I’m a little surprised by how little work Kitna is getting in the preseason games, but they must feel comfortable with it.


RB: Felix Jones, DeMarco Murray, Lonyae Miller, Phillip Tanner (4)
Prev: Jones, Murray, Miller

Last week I said I wouldn’t make a snap decision on “Tanner vs. Miller” after one game. Well, after two games I’ve decided to end the debate all together. There’s a good chance Murray won’t be ready to jump into the action just yet, so why not keep an extra back and let these two prospects keep battling for a few weeks in the regular season? I’m not suggesting we’ll keep four running backs all season, but it makes a lot of sense for the first few weeks.


FB: None
Prev: Shaun Chapas

As just discussed, I’m starting to think none of the current fullbacks make the team. Why cut a talented running back or cornerback just to fill a position that can easily be covered by our tight ends? Maybe Lonyae Miller could even be taught to lead block. If they don’t pick up a free agent after the roster cuts begin, I’m betting we leave this spot empty.


WR: Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris, Raymond Radway (5)
Prev: Austin, Bryant, Ogletree, Harris, Radway

I didn’t see anything to make me change my picks. Ogletree had a nice night against the Chargers, which he needed. No noise from Harris or Radway, but they didn’t get opportunities. Manny Johnson had some plays but he’s been here long enough that they know what he is (and isn’t).


TE: Jason Witten, Martellus Bennett, John Phillips (3)
Prev: Witten, Bennett, Phillips

He had a bad drop in the redzone, but Martellus redeemed himself with a few nice plays later on. I’ve wondered if maybe Martin Rucker could make the team as a fourth TE at the expense of the FB position. We’ve certainly seen Phillips playing from the FB spot enough that it must be a weighed option in Garrett’s mind. However, it’s not like any of our top three TEs are bad receivers so there may not be a need for Rucker despite his ability.


OT: Doug Free, Tyron Smith, [Free Agent], Young (4)
Prev: Free, Smith, [FA], [Free Agent]

Still confident that a veteran will be signed to backup starters, but I guess it makes sense that Young and Parnell are probably fighting for a roster spot. I’ll go with Young on the chance that he gets back into form with more preseason time, but ultimately I have no idea what’s happening at this spot.


G/C: Andre Gurode, Kyle Kosier, David Arkin, Phil Costa, Bill Nagy (5)
Prev: Gurode, Kosier, Arkin, Nagy, Montrae Holland, Costa

This may be jumping the gun, but I’m cutting Holland. Between Arkin, Costa, and Nagy we seem to have a decent starter and two good backups. Not sure yet who the starter would be, but Nagy sure looked solid last night running with the first-team. Cutting Holland sends a little over a million dollars into next year’s cap, which may sound like a pittance but is becoming more attractive as future flexibility than Holland is as an overpaid backup or even a progress-stopping starter.


DE: Marcus Spears, Kenyon Coleman, Jason Hatcher, Sean Lissemore, Clifton Geathers (5)
Prev: Spears, Coleman, Hatcher, Lissemore

I was tempted to keep Geathers last week. While he didn’t have any big plays in the Chargers game, I did hear a quote from defensive line coach Brian Baker that he really liked Geathers and said he was the most “prototypical” of all of the ends. Another interesting quote from Baker; he said he felt he has “five starters” among his other DE’s right now. If he’s that high on Hatcher and Lissemore, that’s even more reason to think Olshansky gets cut. One thing working in Igor’s favor now is Spears’ groin strain, but I’ll wait to see what his condition at final cuts before saving Olshanksy.


DT: Jay Ratlif, Josh Brent (2)
Prev: Ratliff, Brent

Lissemore got more snaps at NT during the last game. I’ve heard that he’s been called the “white Ratliff” by the defensive coaches. Even if that’s an exaggeration, it doesn’t sound like there’s any need for a third defensive tackle.


OLB: DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Victor Butler, Brandon Williams, Alex Albright (5)
Prev: Ware, Spencer, Butler, Williams, Albright

I’m wary of a potential Brandon Williams release, but I’m not ready to pull the trigger just yet. Neither he or Albright has done much to distinguish themselves in preseason games. I still think both make the team for special teams purposes while Carter is on PUP, but I’m prepared to change that pick.


ILB: Bradie James, Keith Brooking, Sean Lee, Kenwin Cummings (4)
Prev: James, Brooking, Lee, Cummings

No real analysis needed, so I’ll give you a thought to ponder. Is it just me, or has Sean Lee not made a single play yet in preseason? I hope that’s not a sign.


CB: Terence Newman, Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick, Alan Ball, Mario Butler (5)
Prev: Newman, Jenkins, Scandrick, Ball, Josh Thomas

It appears undrafted Mario Butler has been catching fire in practices and he made a nice play in the Chargers game. It would be a shame to see them cut a fifth-round pick in Josh Thomas, but my philosophy has always been that if you cut a drafted player because an undrafted free agent outplayed him then there’s really no net loss.


S: Gerald Sensabaugh, Abram Elam, Barry Church, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Danny McCray (5)
Prev: [Free Agent], Sensabaugh, Owusu-Ansah, Church, McCray

Seeing McCray bring the blitz with the first-team defense was a warning sign for Owusu-Ansah. The more McCray can play at safety is the more expendable AOA becomes. If they aren’t as willing to cut Josh Thomas or even Bryan McCann loose as I was, then AOA could be the fall guy for a sixth corner.


ST: David Beuhler, Matt McBriar, L.P. Ladouceur (3)
Prev: Beuhler, McBriar, Ladouceur

We didn’t get to see any FG attempts, and practice reports have yielded no useful information. Bailey had a pretty ugly kickoff, so if anything the needle probably moved a little in Beuhler’s favor.