Marcus Spears is one of several players on this team whose future remains uncertain this offseason.
one of the starting spots, the Cowboys might not hesitate in making a move. Carter's rehab from an ACL injury last November is uncertain, especially since he won't be rehabbing with the team's trainers during the lockout.
8. Defensive Tackle - If the Cowboys stick to the word of both Ryan and Jason Garrett, who have both reiterated that Jay Ratliff will remain at tackle, then there isn't any real questions here as well. Ratliff has made three straight Pro Bowls, although it was clear he didn't have his best season in 2010 as offenses put more emphasis in blocking Ratliff. As for the backups, Josh Brent could be the answer again. Remember, he had no offseason in 2010 as he joined the team through the supplemental draft. Of course, it's looking like he still won't have much of an offseason again, but if he continues his natural progression, he should add some depth.
7. Cornerback - If Cowboys' fans get their wish, then this position will get the biggest facelift of all. That would hinge on the signing of one Nnamdi Asomugha, widely considered the biggest name in free agency. But if the Cowboys don't land the Raiders' free-agent-to-be, then there's a good chance not much changes here, personnel-wise. Still, the Cowboys do have plenty of uncertainty here. The trio of Terence Newman, Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick has to play better. Whether Ryan's new defense will help remains to be seen, but the performance has to improve, whether the Cowboys get outside help or not. Expect a good battle for the fourth spot between Bryan McCann and rookie Josh Thomas. Don't forget that Alan Ball could work his way into the cornerback equation as well.
6. Special Teams - There will be a kicking competition between David Buehler and most likely Kris Brown, who was signed last December. That alone warrants some uncertainty on special teams, not to mention how the rule changes on kickoffs will affect all aspects from the kickoff specialist to the returners. Plus, with Dez Bryant's injury returning a kickoff last year, there will likely be a season-long debate on whether or not he should return any punts or kickoffs. If not, the Cowboys must find some replacements.
5. Wide Receiver - This position could be higher on the list, but that just tells you how much uncertainty surrounds this entire team. Who knows if Roy Williams will be on the roster at all? If he's not, it means the Cowboys have to count on Miles Austin and Dez Bryant to stay healthy, and hope they get some big improvements from guys like Kevin Ogletree, Manny Johnson, Jesse Holley and rookie Dwayne Harris. It's such a key position and it's really not settled. In other years, this could be much higher, but the Cowboys have too many other question marks.
4. Running Back - This is similar to receiver because Marion Barber's status is much like Williams'. Although it seems more likely the Cowboys will part ways with Barber, especially after drafting DeMarco Murray, the real question mark at running back will be the order of production. Since we're guessing here, I think it will start out with Felix Jones, Tashard Choice and Murray based on seniority, but it wouldn't be surprising if Murray becomes the third-down back because of his pass-catching and ability to block. Running back also gets the nod over receiver because there is some question about the fullback spot with the Cowboys taking Sean Choppa in the seventh round to push Chris Gronkowski.
3. Guard - Too many questions here. Will Kyle Kosier be re-signed? Will Leonard Davis get cut? What about rookie David Arkin and his readiness to contribute? And then you've got Montrae Holland, who might finally get the chance to start. The Cowboys have several options here, but it will likely depend on the result of the lockout and if next season is capped. With no salary cap, the Cowboys might part ways with Davis and his contract. But if so, then it would cost the team more to release the veteran guard, who actually played better in the second half of last year when the offense made more of a commitment to the run.
2. Defensive End - There're only