Final Cuts Don't Come Easy

accurate, and veteran safety Marcus Coleman indeed is facing a four-game suspension, then he's not even a consideration. Worse, if he is to be suspended four games, he must be on someone's 53-man roster for the suspension to start. So if the Cowboys think Coleman could be of some use by Week 5 or 6, they initially have to place him on the 53-man roster for the suspension to take place. But to do so you might have to expose a young player to the waiver wire you'd rather not, and he could be gone by the time Coleman is placed on the exempt list. So backup strong safety will cause some concern, unless the Cowboys think Davis can play both spots. 

And then there is wide receiver, though, Parcells admitted here Tuesday, "Actually, the wide receiver position would be down the list a bit because some of those kids have come on pretty well, so I'm encouraged a bit now." 

That, and he feels better about Crayton being ready for the Sept. 10 season opener, and has to feel Owens' chances of being ready for the opener have greatly improved since that's 12 days away. 

But even if Crayton, Glenn and Owens are ready for the opener, he has tough decisions to make with Jamaica Rector, Terrance Copper, Sam Hurd and Green. If Green makes it as a return guy, then chances are only two of the other three are on the roster, and it would seem now one of them is Rector. So you want Copper or Hurd? Hurd you can get on the practice squad - maybe. 

Lastly, there are those five offensive tackles. This one is a hard call to make. Obviously Adams is one, and at the other end of the spectrum, McQuistan is two. After that, well, it's the Tackle Tre, Colombo-Petitti-Fabini. Two would stay for sure, but three? Or might the Cowboys go looking for another? 

"Based on the calls were getting on offensive linemen wanting some of ours," Parcells said, "I'm not expecting too much to be out there." 

Wanting some of ours? Could someone want Marc Colombo, who has started the past two preseason games but has played little the past two years, or possibly Rob Petitti, who started 16 games last year but is working as the swing guy this year? Fabini? And if it isn't a tackle, you think someone might give something big for Al Johnson, who currently is backing up Gurode, but would leave the Cowboys without a legitimate backup center? And at this point, Procter is the only legitimate backup guard seemingly worth keeping on the team, or has D'Anthony Batiste turned some heads? 

"I'm wrestling with that position (offensive tackle), wrestling with the numbers on the offensive line," said Parcells, who admitted he could keep five tackles, but that he doesn't know if he will since "we're actually discussing that." 

See, these are the types of things Parcells is sifting through as the Cowboys put in final preparations for Thursday's final preseason game, a 7 p.m. (CDT) start with Minnesota at Texas Stadium. And while this whole T.O. ordeal has weighed on his mind, these types of decisions seem more weighty, and for sure now that Owens seems to be easing into practice. 

Now it would seem if you were cutting the final 17 guys off this roster - presuming they don't trade like a draft choice for another player or claim a guy off waivers - then slicing the first 13 or 14 would seem to be a pretty simple task. But those last three or four spots? 

At this time, the critical decisions would seem to be coming down to keeping Thomas Johnson or Stanley at backup nose, if either; keeping Hurd or Green at wide receiver, or neither because of a wide receiver to be picked up soon; keeping four or five offensive tackles, and if four, which of the Tre is out; and then possibly keeping Elam or Pile, which could be impacted by what eventually happens with Marcus Coleman. 

You want to make the call(s)? 

Yeah, well, just place your job on the come line, then roll the dice.                   

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