Gronkowski, one of ten rookies, could help at fullback, tight end and special teams.
Summary: Romo and Kitna are entrenched as Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. Stephen McGee's 304-yard, one-touchdown preseason finale performance ended questions about his roster security. Internally, the team was pleased with his recent progress but wanted to see him play well in a full-game audition. He'll run the scout-team offense once again.
Running Back (5)
Summary: The Cowboys elected to keep two fullbacks, Gronkowski and the fourth-year veteran Anderson, rather than a third tight end. Gronkowski, an undrafted rookie, played some wing at Arizona and could help fill injured John Phillips' role in three-tight end sets. Anderson is back as a run blocker and core special-teamer. No changes among the three-running back rotation.
Wide Receiver (5)
Summary: Ogletree slides up a spot on the depth chart following Crayton's departure. The Cowboys also kept Hurd, who signed a $1.759 million restricted tender in the offseason, despite trade rumors during the week. His special teams ability - he had a team-high 19 tackles last season - likely gave him a better chance than Crayton to be active on game days.
Tight End (2)
Summary: The Cowboys did not elect to keep a third true tight end after Phillips' season-ending knee injury, but they're likely to keep as many as two on the practice squad for depth. Witten and Bennett are again the primary resources in two-tight end formations.
Offensive Line (10)
Summary:The Cowboys went heavy with 10 linemen, due in part to the Colombo and Kosier injuries. Colombo (knee scope) is expected to practice this week, but Kosier (sprained MCL) - the starting left guard and primary backup center - could miss up to three games. Holland is Kosier's guard replacement, and undrafted rookie Phil Costa is the current backup center. The Cowboys also kept three backup tackles: Barron, the primary swing tackle; Brewster, the second-year vet who also can play both sides; and the sixth-rounder Young, who will miss another two-to-three weeks with a sprained MCL.
Defensive Line (7)
Summary: Another heavy position. Five of six rotation players from 2009 are back: Spears, Ratliff, Olshansky, Bowen and Hatcher. Seventh-rounders Brent and Lissemore beat out the sixth rotation guy, Junior Siavii, who signed with the Seahawks on Sunday. The Cowboys decided to go younger with Brent, a powerful nose tackle, and Lissemore, who can play end or tackle.
Summary: Heavy again, particularly the five inside linebackers: starters Brooking and James; second-rounder Sean Lee; and veteran backups Leon and Jason Williams. Leon Williams likely beat out Steve Octavien for one of the final overall spots. To be active, he must contribute heavily on special teams. Victor Butler grabbed the third outside linebacker spot and is expected to spell Ware and Spencer.
Summary: The Cowboys had to go light somewhere, and this is it. The fourth cornerback competition was heated through training camp, but ultimately only the top three made it. Those other heavy positions eliminated Cletis Gordon, who had double-digit interceptions in practice, and undrafted rookie Bryan McCann. The Cowboys have cornerback flexibility with their safeties, though; starting free safety Alan Ball can play there in a pinch, and fourth-rounder Akwasi Owusu-Ansah has been working in the slot.
Summary: Sensabaugh (shoulder subluxation), the starting strong safety, has a good chance to be ready for the opener. The Gordon and McCann cuts made room for two undrafted safeties, McCray and Church. McCray figures to make an immediate impact on special teams, and he and Hamlin could help as dime safeties/linebackers. Owusu-Ansah performed well on kickoff and punt returns and could split time with Dez Bryant.
Summary: Buehler's excellent preseason (10-for-11 field goals, including 4-for-4 and the winning kick last Thursday) earned him full-time kicking duties. The Cowboys hoped he could handle kickoffs and place kicks because it would create an extra spot for another position backup like Lissemore or Leon Williams. McBriar (punter) and Ladouceur (long snapper) are entrenched at their positions.