With camps opening, the flow of news and roster changes has launched as well.
Dallas has a little while before they have to get to 53 players, but there are plenty of players on the roster who deserve a shot to make the final one.
The slot receiver position and the offensive line are two places where eyes will be fixated this training camp.
Let's take a look at the latest roster moves for receiver, offensive line and the rest of the positions on the field.
The Cowboys released a number of promising players today in order to down to 53 players. they are all listed below.
DE Ben Bass - Releasing Bass is no surprise as his name was not highly mentioned amongst the team's defensive ends.
DE Clifton Geathers - I thought the Cowboys would hold on to Geathers as he showed a lot of potential. He's still a young player and if he clears waivers, Dallas may end up adding him to the practice squad.
OL Harold Gunn - Gunn was released as he did not show enough in training camp or the preseason for the team to warrant holding a roster spot for him.
WR Saalim Hakim - The news coming out of mini and training camp this off-season was that Hakim would challenge for the third receiver spot. He is a very speedy guy who may have worked out ok as a kick returner down the road.
But for right now, the Cowboys decided to pass on his services.
OL Daniel Loper - The guard position has competition with Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau. Loper just didn't stand out.
OL Jeff Adams - Adams was liked by the coaching staff due to his size and potential. Hopefully the team will bring him back on the practice squad.
OT Pat McQuistan - Slightly surprised by this one as McQuistan was looked upon as the veteran on the line to provide stability.
I was never that high on him as I thought Dallas should stick with some of their younger players, like Jeff Adams, to develop. Looks like I was right.
Well, besides Jeff Adams.
CB Lionel Smith - Smith was on the cusp of making the team as he was a key player to watch in Dallas' last preseason game. But no mas for Smith as he was let go today.
TE Andrew Szczerba - Once Jason Witten injured his spleen, the Cowboys needed a fill in player. That guy was Szczerba and now his services are no longer needed.
CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah - A cornerback/return guy, Owusu--Ansah never quite lived up to what the Cowboys expected of him. He may make the practice squad again and see his number called up in 2012.
LB Baraka Atkins - Atkins made his share of plays against the Dolphins but I believe the Cowboys were playing with house money at the linebacker position this season.
He has a lot of potential and we may see him back again soon.
WR Tim Benford - He started strong but tailed off toward the end of the preseason. We heard his name called a lot during mini-camp but nothing once training camp got under way.
DT Robert Callaway - A 324 pound nose tackle that brought a new dimension of size and girth to the Cowboys front line. With Josh Brent still holding down the second nose tackle spot, Callaway was simply a luxury.
QB Rudy Carpenter - The word disappointed is coupled with Carpenter as he had a great chance to make the Cowboys team.
He was battling with Stephen McGee for the final quarterback position and he just didn't do enough to distance himself from McGee.
FB Shaun Chapas - He was drafted last year as the Cowboys were going through a change at fullback. I believe he'll have another year to develop on the practice squad and we'll see him mature next season.
WR Danny Coale - Injuries really slowed his development and he never got on track. He didn't get an opportunity to show what he was capable of doing because he was hurt for most of camp.
RB Lance Dunbar - He played great against the Dolphins on Wednesday and if the Cowboys don't sign him to the practice squad then I am sure that another NFL team will grab him.
LB Adrian Hamilton - He had a sack against the Rams and didn't show anything after that. He was on the bubble and it was officially popped on Friday.
OL Ronald Leary - Penalties and inconsistency destroyed his chances of making the team.
LB Orie Lemon - An interception returned for a touchdown couldn't save his job. He has a high ceiling and I believe we will see him again soon.
RB Jamize Olawale - Dunbar and Tanner were fighting for the last spot and Olawale was looking for practice squad time. He may have found it.
S Eddie Whitley - Never heard much about this Virginia Tech product. Hence the reason he's no longer on the team.
CB Teddy Williams - Williams is another player who failed to show consistency or give the team a valid reason to keep him on.
Dallas made a few roster moves to get down to the NFL mandated 75-man limit. The impacted players are listed below.
Charley Hughlett (LS) - Cut: Hughlett is a rookie and actually had a decent preseason. He did not fumble away any snaps and looked good enough to make the roster.
But Dallas chose to stick with the veteran long snapper L.P. Ladouceur. Nothing against Hughlett as he may turn out to be a pretty good player.
However Dallas needs stability and cannot afford to pass such an important duty off to a rookie.
I believe we will see Hughlett in an NFL uniform again soon.
Levy Adcock (T) - Cut: Adcock had to fight with Pat McQuistan and rookie Jeff Adams for a roster spot. He just didn't show enough to warrant the team keeping him. It is honestly that simple.
Delbert Alvarado (P) - Cut: The team had no need to keep two punters. Chris Jones is coming along nicely and Alvarado could not push him out of the starting job.
Harry Flaherty (TE) - Cut: Flaherty is Jason Garrett's nephew. That is where the good fortune ends because Flaherty was cut today. He is not new to this rodeo as he spent time in the Saints and Bucs last season.
Dallas needed another tight end due to Witten's spleen injury but Flaherty's time is done.
David Little (WR) - Cut: Be honest, how many fans knew that David Little held a spot on the Cowboys preseason roster?
He did not catch a pass in the preseason and was not competitive for the third receiver slot.
Tyrone Novikoff (T) - Cut: Here is another tackle fighting for a roster spot behind Adams and McQuistan. He just did not show and do enough to make it past the first round of roster cuts.
Raymond Radway (WR) - Cut: Radway had a pretty decent chance of making the roster this season as he did last year. But he fractured his leg and was lost for the year in 2011.
He just has not been right since and he showed a grand amount of inconsistency during camp. That inability to show stability is what doomed his chances this season.
Radway has a lot of speed and once he recovers it all from his broken leg, he will get another look by an NFL team.
Javarris Williams (RB) - Cut: Williams had to compete with Phillip Tanner, the emerging Jamize Olawalee and Lance Dunbar. He stands at 5'10," has good vision and nice speed.
This is Williams' fourth team and the clock on his career may be running out. He is a good guy with potential. He just may need a strike of good luck to go his way to make an impact.
C.J. Wilson (CB) - Cut: Williams was inconsistent and the Cowboys do not need that right now. He has the potential to turn into a decent cornerback one day but Dallas is looking to win now and not later.
The instability that comes with young players is just something Dallas can't afford to foster right now.
If Wilson does not pick up with a team this season, I wouldn't doubt that the Cowboys will invite him back to camp next year.
Below is a full list of the team’s roster moves before the August cut down day.
Placed G Mackenzy Bernadeau, WR Danny Coale, CB Mike Jenkins, S Matt Johnson and C/G Kevin Kowalski on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
June 19, 2012
Released TE George Bryan.
June 11, 2012
Signed OT Pat McQuistan, WR Danny Coale, TE James Hanna and LB Caleb McSurdy.
June 4, 2012
Signed P Delbert Alvarado.
6/19/2012: The Cowboys released rookie tight end George Bryan. Bryan was an undrafted rookie free agent out of NC State.
6/11/12: Dallas signed rookie draft picks Danny Coale and tight end James Hanna. Hanna will fight for the second spot with John Phillips but will more than likely end up as the third option.
Coale is in a competition with a host of receivers for the Cowboys starting slot position.
From the NFL scouting services of ourlads.com
Updated: 08/28/2012 6:34PM ET
UPDATED 8/28: For players who really have a legit shot at making the team's roster, below is a list of players who will make it by the skin of their teeth.
Receiver Cole Beasley should push for a roster spot as he's been, turning heads since mini-camp. Kevin Ogletree has performed well all preseason and has been consistent. Even so, Beasley has performed well enough to earn a roster spot.
Quarterback Stephen McGee surprised me and made the final roster. He was slightly better than Rudy Carpenter and that is all that he needed to be. It earned him a roster spot.
Guard/Center David Arkin was actually in danger of being cut because he seemed to regress. He was mowed over on consecutive plays against the Dolphins second and third unit. We will have to keep an eye on him.
Defensive end Marcus Spears ended up making the team after all. He seemed to play with more energy and grit after it was reported that he may lose his job.
Linebacker Alex Albright has the potential to turn into a real star. He's a converted outside linebacker with the skills and vision to play inside.
Quarterback Rudy Carpenter was signed to push McGee. This will be his second stint with the team as he was let go in 2009 because the team decided to go with McGee.
It is time for a different approach as McGee has not turned out anything of substance since his arrival.
Receiver Danny Coale finally got on the field and showed why the Cowboys drafted him. He is injury free and trying to prove that he deserves to be on the team.
He will fight with Andre Holmes for the final receiver spot and should grab it.
Orie Lemon has stood out in the preseason because you see his number and hear his name called. He is quick and has high energy.
Pat McQuistan is a veteran who brings experience to the line. He will probably be picked over a rookie or younger tackle.
UPDATED 8/28: The players listed below are closest to being released.
Defensive end Clifton Geathers just couldn't push Spears and Coleman enough to keep a roster spot.
Safety Brodney Pool failed his conditioning test. A new player who had a starting role waiting for him failed his conditioning test.
That does not bode well for his chances to make the team. Barry Church wants a spot and is getting a closer look because of Pool's failed test.
Wide receiver Danny Coale saw his Cowboys tenure end to early due to injuries. Because he couldn't stay on the field, Dallas was forced to cut him.
Rudy Carpenter lost out to Stephen McGee because he didn't show enough on the field to warrant the team holding on to him.
Quarterbacks on the Roster: Stephen McGee, Kyle Orton, Tony Romo
Projected Starter: Tony Romo
Off-season Additions: Kyle Orton, Rudy Carpenter
Roster Cuts: Rudy Carpenter
Projected Final Roster: Tony Romo, Kyle Orton, Stephen McGee
Romo has no chance of losing his job for play on the field, so the only chance we'll get to see another quarterback is if he gets injured or the Cowboys are so far ahead that Romo's services are no longer needed.
Running Backs on the Roster: Felix Jones, DeMarco Murray, Phillip Tanner, Lawrence Vickers
Projected Starter: DeMarco Murray
Off-season Additions: Lance Dunbar, Jamize Olawalee, Lawrence Vickers
Roster Cuts: Lance Dunbar, Jamize Olawale, Shaun Chapas
Projected Final Roster: DeMarco Murray, Felix Jones, Lawrence Vickers, Phillip Tanner
Murray is back and should reclaim the top running back spot. He looks great following his ankle injury and should return to form.
The concern for some may be Jones. He’s in the last year of his contract and needs to show the team that he’s a viable change-up back to Murray.
Jones seems to be injury prone and if he can’t make it through 2012 without an injury, his chances of being re-signed will dramatically take a dive.
His conditioning should be fine once he returns back to football shape. Jones had a shoulder injury back in December, but that shouldn’t have done anything to inhibit his conditioning during the off-season.
Vickers is a fullback and was brought in to replace Tony Fiammetta. He should have no problem making the team and pushing Shaun Chapas to the practice squad.
The two rookies on the team, Olawalee and Dunbar, will push to make an impression on head coach Jason Garrett.
I believe that Tanner will receive the last running back spot and the two rookies will do fine on the practice squad.
Wide Receivers on the Roster: Miles Austin, Cole Beasley, Dez Bryant, Dwayne Harris, Andre Holmes, Kevin Ogletree
Projected Starters: Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Danny Coale (slot)
Off-season Additions: Cole Beasley, Tim Benford, Danny Coale, Saalim Hakim, Andre Holmes, Donavan Kemp, Raymond Radway, Teddy Williams.
Roster Cuts: Danny Coale, Tim Bendford, Saalim Hakim
Projected Final Roster: Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Andre Holmes, Dwayne Harris, Cole Beasley, Kevin Ogletree
Cole Beasley made the team over Danny Coale and Kevin Ogletree stepped up to keep his job. Overall, Dallas has a pretty strong receiving corp.
Tight Ends on the Roster: James Hanna, John Nalbone, John Phillips, Andrew Szczerba, Jason Witten.
Projected Starter: Jason Witten
Off-season Additions: James Hanna, John Nalbone, Andrew Szczerba
Roster Cuts: John Nalbone, Andrew Szczerba
Projected Final Roster: Jason Witten, John Phillips, James Hanna
There is no news here as Hanna was drafted for the third spot, Phillips will take over for the departed Bennett and Witten is an All-Pro.
The off-season additions will give the Cowboys a chance to see what options they may have outside of Phillips and Hanna.
But more than anything, the team will get to see what they have with Hanna. He’s speedy, versatile, and has an opportunity to turn into a great player.
He’ll have to add consistency to his game but I believe he will turn out to be a great tight end.
Offensive Tackles on the Roster: Jeff Adams, Levy Adcock, Doug Free, Ronald Leary, Pat McQuistan, Tyrone Novikoff, Jermey Parnell, Tyron Smith
Projected Starters: Doug Free, Tyron Smith
Off-season Additions: Jeff Adams, Levy Adcock, Ronald Leary, Pat McQuistan, Tyrone Novikoff
Roster Cuts: Jeff Adams, Levy Adcock, Pat McQuistan, Tyrone Novikoff, Ronald Leary,
Projected Final Roster: Tyron Smith, Doug Free, Jermey Parnell
Dallas made quite a few cuts to their offensive line but we knew that Free and Smith would stay. Let's see how Parnell pans out for the 'Boys.
Offensive Guards on the Roster: David Arkin, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Harland Gunn, Nate Livings
Projected Starters: David Arkin, Nate Livings
Off-season Additions: Mackenzy Bernadeau, Harland Gunn, Nate Livings
Roster Cuts: Harland Gunn
Projected Final Roster: David Arkin, Nate Livings, Mackenzy Bernadeau
No fourth here because I believe that Bill Nagy will see plenty of time at guard. He’s listed as a center on the Cowboys roster sheet but he may end up starting at the position.
Bernadeau is expected to start but he can’t get on the field due to injuries. Livings is coming along and Gunn is a rookie.
They key for Dallas will be to find the right group of players that mesh well up front. Rather, two more players that work well with Smith and Free.
Depending on how well training camp goes for these two men, this list may very well chance.
Centers on the Roster: Phil Costa, Charley Hughlett, Kevin Kowalski, Bill Nagy
Projected Starter: Phil Costa
Off-season Additions: Charley Hughlett
Roster Cuts: Charley Hughlett, Kevin Kowalski, Bill Nagy
Projected Final Roster: Phil Costa, Ryan Cook
Cook was acquired from the Dolphins as the team doesn't have enough faith in Arkin and Costa.
Defensive Ends on the Roster: Ben Bass, Kenyon Coleman, Tyrone Crawford, Clifton Geathers, Jason Hatcher, Sean Lissemore, Marcus Spears
Projected Starters: Sean Lissemore, Marcus Spears
Off-season Additions: Kyle Wilber, Tyrone Crawford, Ben Bass
Roster Cuts: Ben Bass, Clifton Geathers
Projected Final Roster: Tyrone Crawford, Sean Lissemore, Marcus Spears, Kenyon Coleman
Wilber is listed as a defensive end on the Cowboys team page but he’ll come out as a linebacker in the end. For the sake of this piece, he’s down as an end.
Wilber will make the team as an end or linebacker, but he’ll be there. The emergence of Lissemore will be key but more than anything the Cowboys want change up front.
Spears and Coleman are not top of the line defenders and Spears is quickly becoming expendable.
If Wilber works more as a hybrid and plays both positions, Lissemore should be able to open up and the team can bring Crawford along slowly.
Defensive Tackles on the Roster: Josh Brent, Rob Callaway, Jay Ratliff
Projected Starters: Jay Ratliff, Josh Brent
Off-season Additions: Rob Callaway
Roster Cuts: Rob Callaway
Projected Final Roster: Jay Ratliff, Josh Brent
Ratliff will continue to play the three-technique and Brent will be his back-up. No news here, no new players who will come and change the nose for the Cowboys.
There was noise in the off-season that the Cowboys were looking for a bigger, bulkier nose tackle but Jones decided not to explore that option.
Ratliff is quick and agile and instead of replacing him with a slower, bigger lineman, Ratliff will continue to patrol the middle. He does get swallowed by bigger tackles but it's not enough of a problem to force the Cowboys to make a move.
Outside Linebackers on the Roster: DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Victor Butler, Adrian Hamilton, Alex Albright,
Projected Starters: DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer
Off-season Additions: Adrian Hamilton
Roster Cuts: Adrian Hamilton
Projected Final Roster: DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Victor Butler, Adrian Hamilton
Wilber will work the end and the linebacker position, but I don’t see Ryan giving him a workload that he can’t handle, so we’ll leave him at the end position for right now.
Dallas is still searching for Spencer’s replacement as he continues to work without a long-term deal. If Wilber can earn Ryan’s trust through the season, this will be Spencer’s last go round in Dallas.
We are still waiting for Butler to breakout and if this isn’t the season that he finally shows what he can do, then he should receive the Ogletree treatment.
Inside Linebackers on the Roster: Sean Lee, Dan Connor, Bruce Carter, Caleb McSurdy, Isiah Greenhouse, Aston Whiteside, Alex Albright
Projected Starters: Sean Lee, Dan Connor
Off-season Additions: Caleb McSurdy, Aston Whiteside
Roster Cuts: Aston Whiteside, Caleb McSurdy, Isiah Greenhouse
Projected Final Roster: Sean Lee, Dan Connor, Bruce Carter, Alex Albright
Sean Lee is an established star for the Cowboys. This is just his year to show the rest of the league just how great he will truly be.
Dan Connor and Bruce Carter are going to battle it out to see who will start when the season begins. I still have my money on Connor, as Carter continues to acclimate himself to Ryan’s defense.
Same goes for Connor but he’s the veteran and Carter isn’t.
Carter is a hard worker who will eventually make his presence known. Until that point, Connor has the leg up until Carter learns the entire playbook and can earn the coach’s trust.
Cornerbacks on the Roster: Mario Butler, Brandon Carr, Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick, C.J. Wilson, Morris Claiborne, Issac Madison, Lionel Smith, Justin Taplin-Ross, Eddie Whitley, Mario Butler
Projected Starters: Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Mike Jenkins (slot)
Off-season Additions: C.J. Wilson, Morris Claiborne, Issac Madison, Lionel Smith, Justin Taplin-Ross, Eddie Whitley
Roster Cuts: C.J. Wilson, Issac Madison, Lionel Smith, Justin Taplin-Ross, Eddie Whitley
Projected Final Roster: Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Mike Jenkins, Orlando Scandrick, Mario Butler
All eyes will be on Carr and Claiborne, Jenkins as well, but one of the main issues with the Cowboys last season was their lack of depth.
After the first three, who will the team trust if an injury arises? Scandrick is an interesting case because he hasn’t earned the full trust of the team’s fans. I’m not sure if he has the ear and trust of his own coaches.
The team ended up going with the young Butler and Jenkins is still a question mark because he has not practiced.
Safeties on the Roster: Barry Church, Danny McCray, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Brodney Pool, Gerald Sensabaugh, Mana Silva, Matt Johnson
Projected Starters: Gerald Sensabaugh, Barry Church
Off-season Additions: Brodney Pool, Mana Silva, Matt Johnson
Roster Cuts: Brodney Pool
Projected Final Roster: Barry Church, Gerald Sensabaugh, Matt Johnson, Danny McCray
Pool failed his conditioning test and can’t get on the field, so he was cut.
Sensabaugh is the team’s best safety at the moment and Barry Church is strongly searching for an opportunity. He has his chance with Pool’s false start.
With Pool being on the outs, can the team trust having Church play his way in a safety?
Kicking Specialists on the Roster: Dan Bailey, Delbert Alvarado, Chris Jones
Projected Starter: Dan Bailey, Chris Jones
Off-season Additions: Delbert Alvarado
Roster Cuts: Delbert Alvarado
Projected Final Roster: Dan Bailey, Chris Jones
The team and fans seem to be ok with Bailey, but Jones is another story. All-World punter Mat McBriar had a foot injury last season and the team decided not to re-sign him.
For the record, I never thought that the team should have allowed him to walk. His foot seems to be made of gold and Jones is just an unproven punter.
Dallas has no chance of getting McBriar back if Jones doesn’t work because he’s an Eagle now. Well, that is if the Eagles decide to release him; then the Cowboys move seems justified. But that’s an entirely different ball of wax.
What makes it worse is that he worked out for the ‘Boys and decided to roll with the Eagles.
If Jones turns out to be a liability in the game of field position, who will the team turn to?
Return Specialists on the Roster: Dez Bryant, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
Projected Starters: Dez Bryant, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
Off-season Additions: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
Roster Cuts: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
Projected Final Roster: Dez Bryant
I’m not a huge fan of Bryant being mentioned in the return game. He is an extremely talented player who the team wishes to use in any capacity to get a leg up.
For the Cowboys and Mr. Bryant, field position is the main issue. The team is in need of a real return specialist instead of a speedy receiver with decent field vision.
There is also a concern of injury with Dez and, if he breaks an ankle or injures himself, what happens at receiver?