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Stephen Jones talks upcoming roster decisions

08/25/2014 10:17 PM

08/25/2014 10:19 PM

Stephen Jones revealed some insight into how the Cowboys are planning to construct this year’s 53-man roster on Monday night.

The Cowboys began the trimming process earlier in the day by cutting defensive end Martez Wilson and fullback J.C. Copeland. More will come Tuesday when rosters are reduced to 75.

The final 53-man roster must be set Saturday and Jones said there is plenty of competition for spots going into Thursday’s preseason finale against Denver. He added that the team is looking at constructing their roster with the full season on mind, not just Week 1 against San Francisco.

“There are jobs up for grabs,” Jones said. “We obviously, starting yesterday, are going through a test of who now and what could change. There are a handful of guys here who are battling and let’s see how they answer the bell on Thursday.”

Among the competitions that Jones weighed in on:

• The running backs. DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar are locks. Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams are battling for the third spot. Or is it possible that the Cowboys will carry all four of them? “I wouldn’t rule it out,” Jones said.
• Third quarterback. Considering the state of Tony Romo’s back, it might seem logical that the Cowboys carry three quarterbacks again. Brandon Weeden is the backup with Caleb Hanie and Dustin Vaughan being the options for the third quarterback. But Jones said Romo’s health does “not necessarily” force the team to carry three.
• Injured players. The Cowboys are in need of pass rushers and face decisions with Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Lawrence. Spencer is on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and would have to be placed on the 53-man roster before the season opener in order to play before Week 7. Lawrence, meanwhile, would have to be on the 53-man or be forced to miss the first eight weeks on short-term injured reserve. “We’ll work through that [by Friday],” Jones said.
• Offensive line. Could the team opt to only go with eight instead of the normal nine or 10? “That’s a reach. You’re getting real thin,” Jones said.

Jones went on to say that the Cowboys will once again be active on the waiver wire to try and improve their roster.

“We’ll make five moves if we think five guys are better,” Jones said. “I don’t think that part bothers us. We’ll make seven. Usually that’s not the case. Usually when you get down to the bottom, they’re pretty close. But anytime we can improve our roster, we’re up for it.”

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Charean Williams has covered the NFL for 21 seasons. She's a Hall of Fame voter, a past president of the Pro Football Writers of America and a proud Aggie. Follow her on Twitter at @NFLCharean

E-mail: cjwilliams@star-telegram.com

Clarence E. Hill Jr. has been the Dallas Cowboys beat writer since 1997. He's battle tested with one playoff win, six coaches, countless scandals, controversies and unfullfilled expectations. Follow him on Twitter at @clarencehilljr

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Drew Davison joined the Star-Telegram as a correspondent in 2007, primarily covering high schools along with helping out with Rangers, Cowboys and colleges coverage. He became one of the Rangers beat writers in July 2011, and also assists with coverage of Texas Motor Speedway and the Cowboys during the offseason. Davison graduated from the University of Kansas and had internships at The Kansas City Star and MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @drewdavison

E-mail: ddavison@star-telegram.com

Jimmy Burch is the college sports and golf writer/columnist for the Star-Telegram. He also covers the Dallas Cowboys and other Dallas-Fort Worth pro sports. Follow him on Twitter at @Jimmy_Burch

E-mail: jburch@star-telegram.com

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