Once the Cowboys start cutting players from their 90 man roster down to 53, there will be some difficult decisions to be made.
There are a handful of players in the 3-0 win over the Oakland Raiders that need to be highly observed to see if the continue the success they had in Monday night’s preseason opener.
Players I think the coaches really need to keep a keen eye on in these next 3 games are as follows :
49 Jamize Olawale 12 carries / 42 yards, Cowboys will place him on P.S.
62 David Arkin played very well at Center in 1st start
76 Pat McQuistan has grown into a player since last time here, this time at RT
78 Jermey Parnell has developed more strength since last season
15 Andre Holmes 3 catches / 40 yards, may not be #3 WR but will be #4
16 Tim Benford 1 catch / 9 yards, if he doesn’t make team, Practice squad man
80 Andrew Szczerba has to outshine James Hanna, 1 catch / 20 yards
84 James Hanna 2 catches / 15 yards, him or Szczerba will win #3 TE
55 Alex Albright 9 tackles, can play inside or outside linebacker, a keeper
79 Ben Bass 5 tackles, 1 sack, the Dline needs to develop him
20 Teddy Williams 4 tackles, looked impressive playing LCB
36 Mana Silva 4 tackles, 1 int. could be good depth and special teamer
38 Eddie Whitley 2 tackles, will most likely develop on practice squad
53 Adrian Hamilton 2 tackles, needs to develop on the 53 man roster
56 Caleb McSurdy 4 tackles, will be a battle between him and Lemon
58 Orie Lemon 2 tackles, him and McSurdy will fight for #4 ILB spot
59 Baraka Atkins 2 tackles, 1 sack with 5th team since 2007
70 Tyrone Crawford 1 tackle
These are the players I will mainly keep my focus on this Saturday at the San Diego Chargers. I could easily add Cole Beasley to this list as well, but he really needs to show us this separation we are hearing about in training camp.
I just have a feeling that players like Crawford and Bass are being watched very closely with veterans Kenyon Coleman and Marcus Spears’ jobs are in jeopardy. The Cowboys are also trying to find solid depth behind Gerald Sensabaugh and Barry Church at safety keeping a close eye on Danny McCray, Mana Silva, and Eddie Whitley. 4th round pick Matt Johnson also needs to get into the mix before preseason ends. With Mike Jenkins still out nursing that surgical repaired shoulder, players like Williams, Mario Butler, C.J. Wilson, and Lionel Smith are being heavily watched because one of the 4 will be kept on the roster to replace Jenkins until he is healthy to play again. I have never seen so much competition as we are looking at with Inside and Outside Linebacker. Lemon and McSurdy are fighting for that #4 spot, but look out, the Cowboys may get very creative with the roster depth adding Albright as the #4 ILB that can play outside in a pinch.
Outside Linebacker looks to be the strongest competition with players like Hamilton, Atkins, Victor Butler, Kyle Wilber and of course, Albright playing behind Demarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer.
No matter who pulls ahead of who at wide receiver, I just don’t see the #3 wideout on this team. I feel that Holmes will be #4, and then guys like Dwayne Harris, Benford, Beasley, and possibly Danny Coale will be battling it out for 1-2 spots for the #5 and possible #6 spot.
As far as the offensive line, we can only hope that the walking injured will heal up and return soon, if not, we may not have a true #1 and #2 quarterback on this team either.