46) Which Drafted Rookies Can Contribute On Game-Day?

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IRVING, Texas – As the Cowboys focus on the offseason, training camp is still in sight.

Coming off two straight 8-8 seasons and three full seasons removed from the playoffs, the Cowboys have plenty of question marks surrounding them as they prepare for the 2013 season.

As we count down the days to camp, the writers of DallasCowboys.com will take a different question each day that is hovering over this team.

With 46 days until the Cowboys take the field in Oxnard, Calif., today's question centers on the active game-day roster.

46) Which Drafted Rookies Can Contribute On Game-Day?

For the most part, draft picks find their way on the 53-man roster, typically the ones drafted in the first five rounds. Maybe a sixth- or seventh-round pick won't make it but even then they usually stick around on the practice squad.

The Cowboys only have one sixth-rounder in DeVonte Holloman, who was more of a special-teams pick.

So history tells us these guys will probably make the final roster. Ok, let's go beyond that.

What about the 46-man game-day roster? That's when you separate a player who makes the team because of the investment and someone who can actually help.

Sure, it appears B.W. Webb will make this roster, but can he contribute come Sept. 8 against the Giants?

Starting with first-round pick Travis Frederick, it seems he is only playing center for now. Expect him to get every chance to win the job over Phil Costa. If Frederick doesn't start it'll only be because of injury or Costa is 100 percent head and shoulders above the rookie from Wisconsin. Even then, if Costa is that good they may try to move one of them to guard.

Gavin Escobar and Terrance Williams will likely have roles in offensive sub-packages. Both should have no problems getting to the game.

J.J. Wilcox and B.W. Webb need to flash some special-teams skills. Webb might have a role in the nickel defense, but it's unlikely he'll be a better slot corner than Orlando Scandrick right away. If Wilcox keeps making plays like he has in the OTAs, he'll have an outside shot to win the starting job. However, it's more likely that he plays on the nickel or dime and then has a special teams role. [embedded_ad]

Joseph Randle will have to out-perform Lance Dunbar for backup tailback duties. Randle should be able to make the game-day roster, but it'll be interesting to see if he can contribute on special teams, either covering kicks, returning kicks or both. Holloman has an edge over most sixth-rounders because he was drafted solely to play teams. He actually has shown promise at outside linebacker as well.

Sticking with our numerical journey to training camp, let's take a closer look at the number 46:

  • The Cowboys drafted a player with the 46th overall selection three consecutive years, starting in 1993, when they took Kevin Williams in the second round. In 1994, one of the best draft picks of all time occurred with the 46th pick by taking Larry Allen. The next year, the Cowboys drafted running back Sherman Williams at No. 46.
  • Linebacker Brandon Magee, an undrafted rookie free agent from Arizona, currently wears No. 46. He's hoping that changes by the start of the season, meaning he makes the team and will likely move into a jersey numbers in the 50s or 90s.
  • The Cowboys will play Oakland on Nov. 28 for the 46th Thanksgiving Day game. The Cowboys currently have a 28-16-1 record on Turkey Day. 
  • James Washington made one of the more memorable play in Cowboys' Super Bowl history, returning a fumble 46 yards against the Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII. Washington had a fumble return for a touchdown, forced another fumble and intercepted a pass in that 30-13 win over Buffalo.
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