Commentary

Sizing up the Cowboys' depth chart

Updated: April 26, 2010, 1:49 AM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

Now that the NFL draft is over, here is the Cowboys' projected depth chart:

OFFENSE


QUARTERBACK

Tony Romo
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesTono Romo just turned 30 and is in his prime.
Tony Romo: Coming off one of his best seasons, and after turning 30 is entering his prime

Jon Kitna: Trusted backup isn't going anywhere, and he's a sounding board for Roy Williams

Stephen McGee: Coming off injuries, so the team wants to see what he can do in camp

RUNNING BACK

Felix Jones: The team hasn't announced it yet, but he will eventually take the No. 1 spot over

Marion Barber: Is determined to go injury-free in 2010 while holding his starting job

Tashard Choice: Wants more playing time but won't get it with Barber on the roster

Herb Donaldson: Spent last year on the practice squad and could do so again

Deon Anderson: The fullback has a job as long as he's healthy

WIDE RECEIVER

Miles Austin: The No. 1 receiving threat, but has to prove he's not a one-hit wonder

Roy Williams: Two bad seasons has put his playing time and future in doubt

Dez Bryant: The rookie moves into the No. 3 spot and is expected to make an impact

Patrick Crayton: Seeks a trade but not getting bites, so trusted veteran could stay

Kevin Ogletree: Team has high hopes thanks to his speed and playmaking ability

Sam Hurd: Ace special teams player who wants out as his role gets reduced

Manuel Johnson: A year away from pushing someone for an active roster spot

Jesse Holley: The realty show winner needs another year to learn

TIGHT END

Jason Witten
Jeff Hanisch/US PresswireJason Witten is coming off his second career thousand-yard season.
Jason Witten: One of the top players on the team and Romo's favorite target

Martellus Bennett: Must step up his game once the regular-season starts

John Phillips: Cowboys like his potential; fighting Bennett for playing time

LEFT TACKLE

Doug Free: When Flozell Adams was cut, Free was given the task of playing left tackle

Pat McQuistan: He might get a position change if the club thinks he can't handle this spot

LEFT GUARD

Kyle Kosier: In the final year of his contract, he's a strong force inside

Cory Procter: He's also the backup center and is steady

RIGHT GUARD

Leonard Davis: Cowboys hinted he could move to tackle; he's strong where he is

Travis Bright: Still developing his game, probably a few years away

CENTER

Andre Gurode: The Pro Bowler remains a constant strength

RIGHT TACKLE

Marc Colombo: Hoping to play injury-free in 2010; one of the nastiest on the line

Robert Brewster: Missed last year with an injury; team would like to see what he can do

Sam Young: The rookie can play both tackle spots; he's a backup for now

DEFENSE


LEFT END

[+] EnlargeMarcus Spears
Jeff Hanisch/US PresswireMarcus Spears had 50 tackles, 2.5 sacks and tied his career best with 16 quarterback pressures last season.
Marcus Spears: Is worried about a trade but must maintain his starting gig

Jason Hatcher: Coaches looking to see if he can challenge Spears for the starting job

Marcus Dixon: Cowboys expect him to step up to active roster this year

NOSE TACKLE

Jay Ratliff: The best player on the defensive line and second best on the defense

Junior Siavii: Could use more playing time, but is doing well when he gets in

RIGHT END

Igor Olshansky: Was a solid contributor last year, and the expectations are the same

Stephen Bowen: He's the nickel guy who could challenge for more playing time

Sean Lissemore: The seventh-round pick will get some time to develop

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKER

Anthony Spencer; Emerged as a force last year, has to do it again

Victor Butler: Earned a starting spot for one game and was benched quickly

Curtis Johnson: Cowboys need to see more of him in 2010

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER

DeMarcus Ware: The superstar linebacker is looking for an injury-free year

Brandon Williams: Needs to show the coaches what he can do when healthy

MIKE MIDDLE LINEBACKER

Bradie James: The inside linebacker is the heart and soul of the defense

Sean Lee: The rookie will challenge to become the nickel linebacker

Bobby Carpenter: Currently is the nickel linebacker but is looking over his shoulder

Steve Octavien: Will get some special teams time

MO MIDDLE LINEBACKER

[+] EnlargeKeith Brooking
Jeff Moffett/Icon SMIKeith Brooking has been effective but will turn 35 in October.
Keith Brooking: Is getting older, so just how long can he go?

Jason Williams: Looks for playing time while staying healthy

Stephen Hodge: If he's healthy enough, he will play special teams

Donovan Woods: Battling for a roster spot

LEFT CORNERBACK

Terence Newman: Coming off a Pro Bowl season and is steady

Orlando Scandrick: The slot corner got better in the second half of last year

Jamar Wall: The young player could see some special teams time

RIGHT CORNERBACK

Mike Jenkins: Is getting better and better

Cletis Gordon: Is going to get a chance to play special teams

Marquis Floyd: Spent last year on practice squad, might be headed there again

FREE SAFETY

Alan Ball: If they don't get a veteran, it's his job to lose

Mike Hamlin: Wrist injury slowed his development; he's healthy now

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah: The fourth-round pick won't be around until camp

STRONG SAFETY

Gerald Sensabaugh: Wants long-term deal and will probably get it

Pat Watkins: A strong special teams player who is counted on in a pinch

SPECIALISTS

FIELD GOAL KICKER

David Buehler: He will get his chance to win the job

Connor Hughes: If he can't beat out Buehler, he will be sent home

PUNTER

Mat McBriar: Strong but is not satisfied

PUNT RETURNS

Dez Bryant: Has the physical skills to make plays here

Patrick Crayton: If Bryant can't do this, Crayton gets the job back

Terence Newman: Has the speed for this spot but is better at corner

KICK RETURNS

Felix Jones: Increased playing time might take him out of this role

Miles Austin: Has the speed for this spot, but …

Dez Bryant: This guy might take it over

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah: Very good in college, could be in the pros too

Cletis Gordon: He will get a strong look

LONG SNAPPER

L.P. Ladouceur: Very good at what he does

HOLDER

Mat McBriar: He hated doing this job, but he might have to do it again

Tony Romo: He hates this job

Patrick Crayton: Former college quarterback

Calvin Watkins covers the Houston Rockets and the NBA for ESPN.com. He joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers as well as colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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