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53-Man Roster Prediction (v.2)
I did a 53-man Roster prediction after the draft back in May. This new edition, the first since joining the blog, takes into account all of the Training Camp reports and the first preseason game, which I finally got to watch today. I’ll be doing another one after each preseason game. I’ve decided to include the picks from the May prediction for comparison:
QB: Tony Romo, Jon Kitna, Stephen McGee (3)
Previous: Romo, Kitna, Mcgee

Count me as someone who is stunned by how well McGee is progressing. I thought he might get cut last year, and now he’s almost solidified himself as our #2 QB whenever Kitna leaves.

RB: Felix Jones, DeMarco Murray, Lonyae Miller (3)
Prev: Jones, Tashard Choice, Murray

I know Phillip Tanner had the bigger day over Miller last week, but one game doesn’t change perceptions from two weeks of camp. Miller has been one of the biggest stars in San Antonio and all it takes is for him to have a good day in the next game to change perception. That said, I’m not totally sure Choice has lost his job. It just seems unlikely they stick with him when Miller can play special teams.

FB: Shaun Chapas
Prev: Chapas

I don’t have a great sense of who’s winning the battle between Chapas and Chris Gronkowski, so I’ll stick with my logic that the younger, drafted guy is more likely to make the team.

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

Yeah, there will be some unexpected cuts reflected in this new edition. I had some figured out like Barber and Colombo back in May, but not Roy or Leonard Davis. Anyways… it seems like Ogletree and Harris have done well enough to negate the need for a third receiver being brought in. Radway has distinguished himself from the rest of the pack for the last spot. I doubt Holley, Manny Johnson, or anyone else does anything special in the remaining weeks to alter this.

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

It was great to see Phillips back on the field and looking solid, especially with Bennett now having a minor injury.

OT: Doug Free, Tyron Smith, [Free Agent], [Free Agent] (4)
Prev: Free, Smith, Sam Young, Robert Brewster

Brewster’s been cut and Young has been awful throughout camp and in the Denver game. There will definitely be a veteran swing tackle signed before the regular season. Maybe they hang on to Young if he snaps out of his funk over the next few weeks, but it doesn’t sound very promising. I imagine they’ll grab a cheap veteran and some other prospect they like to work with throughout the season.

G/C: Andre Gurode, Kyle Kosier, David Arkin, Phil Costa, Montrae Holland, Bill Nagy (6)
Prev: Gurode, Kosier, Leonard Davis, Arkin, Nagy

When Davis was first cut it was assumed that Holland would be starting. But now it sounds like it’s a battle between Arkin and Costa. It’s also unknown if Costa would take over at center while Gurode slides to guard, or if Costa will play guard himself. Whatever the result, it sure is nice to see some competition for jobs. If there’s a need at another position, it will probably come from here with Nagy or maybe Holland being the casualty.

DE: Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher, Kenyon Coleman, Sean Lissemore (4)
Prev: Igor Olshansky, Stephen Bowen, Hatcher, Lissemore

A lot’s changed here since May. I never thought Spears would be back, though I’m delighted he is. I think Ryan’s going to find ways to use him that will surprise you. I think Bowen would’ve come back except for that crazy salary the Redskins threw at him. As for Olshansky, I think the way Hatcher and Lissemore have been producing in camp pushes him off the team.

DT: Jay Ratlif, Josh Brent (2)
Prev: Ratliff, Brent, [Free Agent]

I thought they might bring in another guy for depth, but it sounds like they’ve been using Lissemore at NT some so that helps free up a needed roster spot for elsewhere. Only six D-Linemen may sound a little thin, but Ryan uses his linebackers a lot and they should get plenty of rest.

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

I thought they might bring a previous Ryan player for depth, but it sounds like Butler and Williams are both doing a good job. Albright is another camp standout who I think makes the team at least for a while with Bruce Carter being on the PUP List to start the year.

ILB: Bradie James, Keith Brooking, Sean Lee, Kenwin Cummings (4)
Prev: James, Brooking, Lee, Bruce Carter, [Free Agent]

As I just mentioned, Carter starts the year on PUP. Cummings has earned a roster spot and would likely make the team even without Carter’s injury.

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

Two big things have changed here; Newman’s injury and a lack of development from Owusu-Ansah and Church. I think Ball would’ve been cut if Akwasi had progressed, but now he’s a needed depth option at two positions. Thomas and Bryan McCann are likely fighting for a roster spot, though I could see both guys making it if injuries are an issue among the top guys. However, keeping both means either Owusu-Ansah or Church would probably be leaving.

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

I have a feeling that between now and the final ediition I’ll have booted Akwasi off the roster, but I need to hear more about him first. It sounds like there are a few Andrew Sendejo fans among the coaches. Ball will still be around as a backup option as well. McCray makes the team as Joe D’s favorite special teamer.

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

Right now I’d say Beuhler is slightly ahead of Dan Bailey in the kicking battle just based on his superior leg strength, as they seem to have fairly similar accuracy issues. There’s a chance this Kai Forbath kid could get on the field and steal the job once his quad heals. Whatever happens, I doubt they keep two kickers.