Relative Value Rankings

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Relative Value Rankings After Week 8

Very few players on the Cowboys have had bad
games in the last couple of weeks, so though there were a number of heroes
against Seattle, not all of these heroes improved in terms of the rankings.

Those on the rise: Terence Newman, Gerald
Sensabaugh

Those falling a bit: Marion Barber, Jason
Witten, Roy Williams

We had 52 people fill out the

poll
for

last week’s list
. Please take a moment to fill out this week’s poll at the
bottom of this post.

53. Allen Rossum, KR

Last week: 50

Poll rating: 1.16

vs. Seattle: Did not play due to injury. Given his grand total of one kickoff
return before that injury and the lowest rating in last week’s poll, he gets the
#53 spot this week.

52. Duke Preston, C

Last week: 53

Poll rating: 1.29

vs. Seattle: Did not play. Preston has not been active all season.

51. Pat McQuistan, T

Last week: 52

Poll rating: 1.35

vs. Seattle: Did not play. McQuistan has not been active all season.

50. Montrae Holland, G

Last week: 51

Poll rating: 1.38

vs. Seattle: Did not play. Holland has not been active all season.

49. Stephen McGee, QB

Last week: 49

Poll rating: 1.42

vs. Seattle: Third quarterback.

48. Michael Hamlin, S

Last week: 48

Poll rating: 1.42

vs. Seattle: Hamlin still has not made the active roster this season, though
he is apparently back from injury.

47. Curtis Johnson, LB

Last week: 47

Poll rating: 1.31

vs. Seattle: Johnson remained inactive against Seattle.

46. Cory Procter, C/G

Last week: 45

Poll rating: 1.19

vs. Seattle: Procter has been on the active roster this season, but he barely
contributes. His 1.19 rating in last week’s poll ranked 52nd, lower than most of
the inactive players.

45. Jason Williams, LB

Last week: 44

Poll rating: 1.42

vs. Seattle: Williams still only has one tackle this season.

44. Steve Octavien, LB

Last week: 40

Poll rating: 1.82

vs. Seattle: Octavien played on special teams. He has recorded only one
tackle all season.

43. Doug Free, T

Last week: 43

Poll rating: 1.36

vs. Seattle: Free came into the game against Seattle to replace Flozell Adams
during cleanup time. As a general matter, he looked pretty solid in terms of run
blocking, though the Cowboys were not throwing the ball at that point.

42. Jon Kitna, QB

Last week: 41

Poll rating: 1.93

vs. Seattle: Kitna still has not seen action this season. Even with the
Cowboys leading big in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys left Tony Romo in the
game.

41. John Phillips, TE

Last week: 42

Poll rating: 1.88

vs. Seattle: Phillips caught a pass for zero yards, giving him his first
reception of the season. 

40. Kevin Ogletree, WR

Last week: 46

Poll rating: 1.46

vs. Seattle: Ogletree caught his first professional pass midway through the
fourth quarter, taking a short hitch pass and darting for a 19-yard gain.

39. Victor Butler, LB

Last week: 39

Poll rating: 1.96

vs. Seattle: Butler had a solid game on special teams, recording one tackle
and one assist. He made jarring tackle on Josh Wilson late in the first half. He also recovered a Nate Burleson fumble late in the game.

38. Junior Siavii, DT

Last week: 36

Poll rating: 2.69

vs. Seattle: Siavii did not record a tackle against the Seahawks.

37. Jason Hatcher, DE

Last week: 37

Poll rating: 2.36

vs. Seattle: Hatcher recorded two tackles and a quarterback hurry against the
Seahawks. He is a solid backup in the defensive-line rotation.

36. Alan Ball, CB

Last week: 35

Poll rating: 2.39

vs. Seattle: Ball had two assists on special teams. He and Pat Watkins
drilled Justin Forsett inside the 10 on the Cowboys’ first punt. This was the
first of several great special teams plays for Dallas.

35. L.P. Ladouceur, LS

Last week: 34

Poll rating: 3.55

vs. Seattle: Another game without a screw-up. Don’t know what else to write.
Hard to move Ladouceur too high on this list, but he quietly does his job.

34. Stephen Bowen, DE

Last week: 38

Poll rating: 2.38

vs. Seattle: Bowen recorded two tackles and an assist. He was also credited
for a pass defense when he knocked down a pass on a third down play early in the
game. The play forced Seattle to settle for a field goal.

33. Pat Watkins, S

Last week: 32

Poll rating: 2.47

vs. Seattle: Watkins recorded two assists on special teams. He is constantly
around the ball on returns.

32. Deon Anderson, FB

Last week: 27

Poll rating: 2.47

vs. Seattle: Anderson is a solid blocker, but Dallas also tends to use tight
ends in the fullback spot in some plays. Other players above him had more
notable games, so Anderson slipped a bit this week.

31. Bobby Carpenter, LB

Last week: 33

Poll rating: 2.63

vs. Seattle: Carpenter recorded his first sack since 2006. He also had three
tackles, an assist, and a QB hurry. Solid game.

30. Roy Williams, WR

Last week: 26

Poll rating: 1.82

vs. Seattle: Williams scored a touchdown against Seattle on one of his two
receptions. He was the target of seven passes, and though several of those were
not on the money, he hasn’t proven that he can catch anything that isn’t thrown
right at him. In fact, he drops passes thrown right at him, and he nearly
bobbled the pass that he caught for a touchdown.

The Fox sideline reporter noted that Williams was very hard on himself last
week. However, he also said that he thought the Cowboys could use him like the
Cardinals use Larry Fitzgerald. Huh?

 

29. David Buehler, K

Last week: 30

Poll rating: 3.79

vs. Seattle: Seven kickoffs, four touchbacks. He is also playing on the punt
coverage unit.

28. Sam Hurd, WR

Last week: 29

Poll rating: 1.79

vs. Seattle: Hurd scored a touchdown on a 36-yard pass play. He also recorded
three assists on special teams, including nice tackle on a punt return in the
third quarter. However, he was called for illegal block in the
back on a punt return. More than one person has commented that I have Hurd
ranked too high, but so I did not move him any higher this week. However, he had
a very good game.

27. Anthony Spencer, LB

Last week: 28

Poll rating: 2.79

vs. Seattle: Spencer is still getting close ("Almost Anthony") but
isn’t quite making the big plays. He was credited, though, with two quarterback
hurries against Seattle.

26. Ken Hamlin, S

Last week: 31

Poll rating: 2.42

vs. Seattle: Last week, I erred in referring to Hamlin as a strong safety.
Ranking him #31 last week was also a bit too harsh, but he has missed a bunch of
plays this season. He recorded three tackles and an assist against Seattle, and
I did not see him miss anything. He made a nice play breaking up a pass in the
third quarter.

25. Martellus Bennett, TE

Last week: 25

Poll rating: 3.12

vs. Seattle: Bennett caugth two passes for 18 yards, giving him nine
receptions on the season. He was also called for holding on a third-down play at
the end of the first quarter, negating what would have been a first down.

24. Nick Folk, K

Last week: 24

Poll rating: 4.29

vs. Seattle: Folk missed a 48-yard field goal in the second quarter, but he
was later successful on a 40-yarder.

23. Orlando Scandrick, CB

Last week: 23

Poll rating: 3.62

vs. Seattle: Scandrick recovered a fumble in the first quarter and recorded
two tackles. He was also credited with two pass defenses. Scandrick was the
defender on one of Seattle’s touchdown passes, but Matt Hasselbeck made a nearly
perfect pass to Deion Branch, and Branch made a great catch right over
Scandrick’s shoulder.

22. Igor Olshansky, DE

Last week: 19

Poll rating: 3.27

vs. Seattle: Olshansky had one tackle. His job is not likely to generate much
buzz, but it’s hard to see a big difference when others in the rotation replace
him.

21. Tashard Choice, RB

Last week: 16

Poll rating: 3.08

vs. Seattle: Choice deserves more touches, but at the moment, he is being
used mostly to block on third down. He did not touch the ball until late in the
game.

20. Marc Columbo, T

Last week: 18

Poll rating: 3.47

vs. Seattle: The running game against the Seahawks wasn’t great, but it
wasn’t bad. Columbo gave up a sack when linebacker David Hawthorne came on a
blitz. However, Patrick Kearney was not a factor.

19. Mat McBriar, P

Last week: 20

Poll rating: 3.87

vs. Seattle: Two of McBriar’s punts were downed inside the 20. Of his 30
punts this season, 17 have been downed inside the 20. That is effective punting.

18. Felix Jones, RB

Last week: 17

Poll rating: 3.05

vs. Seattle: Jones showed a little bit of his big-play ability by taking a
Tony Romo pass underneath and gaining 30 yards. Hard not to think, "Oh, Felix, just don’t
hurt yourself," though it turned out that Jones injured Ken Lucus by
running over Lucas at the end of the play. At some point, Jones is going to break a huge play.

17. Marcus Spears, DE

Last week: 14

Poll rating: 3.42

vs. Seattle: Spears had one tackle and one assist.

16. Flozell Adams, T

Last week: 15

Poll rating: 3.69

vs. Seattle: Surely Adams couldn’t have two consecutive games without a
penalty, could he? Yep. Romo was rarely pressured against the Seahawks. Doug
Free replaced Adams late in the game, but that is probably not a sign of
anything.

15. Patrick Crayton, WR

Last week: 13

Poll rating: 3.90

vs. Seattle: Crayton’s second punt return for a touchdown in as many games
put the game away. He also had three receptions for 39 yards, including a key
reception early in the second quarter on a 3rd-and-11 play. His reception set up
Marion Barber’s two-yard touchdown run. Of course, he also dropped a punt in the
third quarter, but he recovered it. He later fumbled a handoff on an end-around,
losing ten yards in the process.

14. Gerald Sensabaugh, S

Last week: 22

Poll rating: 3.92

vs. Seattle: Sensabaugh was constantly around the ball, and he recorded five
tackles. His form on tackles is probably the best on the team.

13. Terence Newman, CB

Last week: 21

Poll rating: 3.16

vs. Seattle: Newman made a huge play early in the game when he drilled Justin
Forsett and caused a fumble. Newman had six tackles and an assist, along with
two pass defenses. T.J. Houshmandzadeh was frustrated most of the game.

12. Mike Jenkins, CB

Last week: 12

Poll rating: 4.32

vs. Seattle: Jenkins continued to play like the team’s top corner, though the
Seahawks went after Newman and Scandrick more often than Jenkins. Jenkins made a
nice play on Nate Burleson on one of Seattle’s drives in the third quarter.

11. Marion Barber, RB

Last week: 7

Poll rating: 3.03

vs. Seattle: Barber rushed 14 times for 53 yards with a short touchdown. It
certainly wasn’t a bad game for Barber, but he is not making his trademark
bounce to the outside like he did earlier in the season.

10. Kyle Kosier, G

Last week: 9

Poll rating: 3.50

vs. Seattle: Kosier handled the rotation of Brandon Mebane and Colin Cole
pretty well, though the tandem finished with seven total tackles combined.

9. Andre Gurode, C

Last week: 10

Poll rating: 3.45

vs. Seattle: The Seahawks never made a push up the middle, which reflects
well on Gurode as well as Kosier and Davis. On a 3rd-and-10 play late in the
first half, Seattle brought five, running a couple of stunt in the interior. The
Dallas line completely smothered the pass rush, giving Tony Romo more than
enough time to find Miles Austin for a first-down reception. Two plays later,
Romo hit Williams for the Cowboys’ third touchdown of the game.

8. Leonard Davis, G

Last week: 11

Poll rating: 3.56

vs. Seattle: Davis had a solid game along with the other interior linemen.

Blogging the Boys
nominated Davis for a game ball, so at the least I could
put him above Kosier and Gurode. Davis’ best play game on Barber’s two-yard TD
run in the second quarter.

7. Jason Witten, TE

Last week: 5

Poll rating: 3.81

vs. Seattle: Witten had four receptions for 36 yards, which has become a
typical game for him. He is not a big option on third down (though he caught one
in the third quarter), and he dropped at
least one pass that he should have had. Witten has scored only one touchdown
this season.

6. Bradie James, LB

Last week: 8

Poll rating: 3.61

vs. Seattle: James had four tackles and five assists, along with a pass
defense in another solid game. He stripped Nate Burleson on a pass play late in the game, and Victor Butler recovered the fumble.

5. Keith Brooking, LB

Last week: 6

Poll rating: 4.00

vs. Seattle: Eight tackles, three assists, a sack, and a QB hurry. That’s a
good game for the leader of the Dallas defense.

4. Jay Ratliff, NT

Last week: 4

Poll rating: 4.36

vs. Seattle: Ratliff had a huge play early in the game when he stuffed Julius
Jones inside the Seattle 5. He was relatively quiet after that. He was called
for defensive holding early in the second half on a running play.

3. DeMarcus Ware, LB

Last week: 1

Poll rating: 4.78

vs. Seattle: Ware recorded yet another sack along with a QB pressure. His
recent play has not been as important as the play of Tony Romo or Miles Austin,
but he is heading up.

2. Miles Austin, WR

Last week: 3

Poll rating: 4.73

vs. Seattle: Austin was Romo’s target on the very first pass play of the game
He finished with five receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. Austin is very
clearly the #1 receiver and biggest offensive weapon for the Cowboys

1. Tony Romo, QB

Last week: 2

Poll rating: 4.62

vs. Seattle: Yes, the Cowboys would not be where they are without Austin, but
Romo’s play has been vital to the team’s three-game winning streak. He completed
passes to ten different receivers, and his 119.8 passer rating in the past three
games is amazing. Romo’s fumble in the fourth quarter was an ugly reminder of his play earlier in the season, but the positives far outweigh the negatives (and to be fair, Austin also fumbled on an end-around, though the Cowboys recovered that one).

Relative Value Rankings After Week 7

There were several great performances in the
Cowboys’ win over Atlanta, making it tough to reorder the rankings. The two biggest
jumps were those of Tony Romo and Miles Austin, both of whom finished in the top
five. Players falling out of the top 20 for at least a week: WR Roy Williams and
CB Terence Newman.

Please take a moment to fill out the poll at
the bottom of this post.

53. Duke Preston, C

Last week: 53

vs. Atlanta: Inactive. Preston has not been active all season.

52. Pat McQuistan, T

Last week: 52

vs. Atlanta: Inactive. McQuistan has not been active all season.

51. Montrae Holland, G

Last week: 51

vs. Atlanta: Inactive. Holland has not been active all season.

50. Allen Rossum, KR

Last week: 46

vs. Atlanta: Rossum lasted one kickoff return before injuring his hamstring.
He is out for two to four weeks. I nearly dropped him to 53, but at least he’s
played.

49. Stephen McGee, QB

Last week: 50

vs. Atlanta: Third quarterback.

48. Michael Hamlin, S

Last week: 49

vs. Atlanta: Inactive. Hamlin reportedly practiced last week, but he has not
yet played in a game.

47. Curtis Johnson, LB

Last week: 48

vs. Atlanta: Inactive. Johnson has not been active since the Dallas game
against Carolina.

46. Kevin Ogletree, WR

Last week: 47

vs. Atlanta: Ogletree went back to inactive status after a poor performance
against Kansas City. With Rossum’s injury, Ogletree may get back on the field.

45. Cory Procter, C/G

Last week: 45

vs. Atlanta: Backup and special teams. Nothing to note.

44. Jason Williams, LB

Last week: 44

vs. Atlanta: Backup and special teams. He did not record a tackle.

43. Doug Free, T

Last week: 43

vs. Atlanta: Backup and special teams. Nothing to note.

42. John Phillips, TE

Last week: 42

vs. Atlanta: Third tight end. He has not caught a pass, but his real job is
to block.

41. Jon Kitna, QB

Last week: 41

vs. Atlanta: Kitna nearly came into the game when Romo injured his head in
the first quarter. Kitna has yet to play a down, though.

40. Steve Octavien, LB

Last week: 40

vs. Atlanta: Special teams. Octavien did not record a tackle.

39. Victor Butler, LB

Last week: 36

vs. Atlanta: Butler recorded one special teams tackle. Any thought that he
might emerge as a pass-rusher have vanished since the Carolina game.

38. Stephen Bowen, DE

Last week: 33

vs. Atlanta: Part of the defensive-line rotation. He did not record a tackle
against the Falcons. Bowen was called for offsides in the third quarter.

37. Jason Hatcher, DE

Last week: 34

vs. Atlanta: Part of the defensive-line rotation. Hatcher recorded one tackle
against the Falcons.

36. Junior Siavii, DT

Last week: 35

vs. Atlanta: Part of the defensive-line rotation. Siavii recorded two tackles
against the Falcons, including a nice solo tackle on Michael Turner on Atlanta’s
opening drive.

35. Alan Ball, CB

Last week: 32

vs. Atlanta: Ball had one special teams tackle last week. He also broke up a pass thrown toward Atlanta WR Michael Jenkins in the fourth quarter.

34. L.P. Ladouceur, LS

Last week: 38

vs. Atlanta: No screw-ups. That’s good for a long-snapper.

33. Bobby Carpenter, LB

Last week: 39

vs. Atlanta: Carpenter recorded three tackles and an assist. He made a nice
tackle on Michael Jenkins in the fourth quarter on a third-and-15 play, stopping
Jenkins short of the first down.

32. Pat Watkins, S

Last week: 31

vs. Atlanta: Watkins had three special teams tackles last week, including a
solid tackle on Eric Weems in the third quarter.

31. Ken Hamlin, S

Last week: 30

vs. Atlanta: New nickname: He Who Shrugs His Shoulder at Air. He recorded two
tackles against Atlanta. No big mistakes (assuming it was not Hamlin’s mistake when Weems ran untouched for a touchdown in the fourth quarter), but it’s hard to have confidence in him as a strong safety. This ranking is probably too harsh, but it is beyond frustrating to watch him.

Correction: Hamlin is the free safety, not the strong safety.

30. David Buehler, K

Last week: 30

vs. Atlanta: On eight kickoffs, Buehler recorded four touchbacks. Amazing. He
is also covering punts now, showing his athletic ability (make you wonder
whether he can tackle better than Ken Hamlin?).

29. Sam Hurd, WR

Last week: 23

vs. Atlanta: Eight Cowboys recorded at least one reception last week. Hurd
wasn’t one of them.

28. Anthony Spencer, LB

Last week: 29

vs. Atlanta: Spencer recorded two tackles and had two assists. He did not
record a sack, though he recovered a fumble caused by one of DeMarcus Ware’s
sacks.

27. Deon Anderson, FB

Last week: 24

vs. Atlanta: The running game struggled last week. Not sure how much of this
relates to Anderson’s play, but he did not make any key blocks against the
Falcons.

26. Roy Williams, WR

Last week: 14

vs. Atlanta: Yes, I’m dropping Williams this far. One reception, 16 yards. In
the first quarter, he dropped what should have been a first-down reception.
Williams is now the #2 receiver on the team and might only be the third-best
receiver behind Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton. Williams dropped another pass
on a third-down play in the second quarter. On top of that, he was called for
offensive pass interference, but that was a questionable call.

25. Martellus Bennett, TE

Last week: 28

vs. Atlanta: Bennett had three receptions for 32 yards against the Falcons,
nearly doubling his totals for the entire season. He caught a 15-yard pass on a
3rd-and-14 play late in the first half, giving Dallas a key first down. Bennett
negated a first-down play, though, when he was called for holding in the third
quarter. Romo had scrambled for 14 yards on the play.

24. Nick Folk, K

Last week: 26

vs. Atlanta: Folk was automatic again, kicking three field goals. One of the
kicks was 46 yards. Solid.

23. Orlando Scandrick, CB

Last week: 25

vs. Atlanta: Scandrick was solid against Atlanta. He broke up a pass intended
for Brian Finneran in the first quarter, and his interception in the fourth
quarter put the game away for good.

22. Gerald Sensabaugh, S

Last week: 27

vs. Atlanta: If the players above him hadn’t played so well, he Sensabaugh
would move up more. He recorded four tackles and three assists, and several of
his hits were hard, such as his second quarter tackle on Verron Haynes
and another hit on Weems on a third-down play. Sensabaugh was also credited with
to pass defenses.

21. Terence Newman, CB

Last week: 11

vs. Atlanta: Yes, I dropped Newman this far, at least for this week. He is
playing like a second corner, and the Falcons picked on him on a few plays. His
speed seems fine, but his reaction speed doesn’t seem very fine. He completely
whiffed (and I mean completely whiffed in a Ken Hamlin sort of way)
trying to tackle Roddy White in the second quarter, and White was able to get a
first down. Although Newman later made a good hit on White, there’s also this matter of returning a punt backwards.

20. Mat McBriar, P

Last week: 19

vs. Atlanta: Of McBriar’s three punts, two were downed inside the 20. This is
not his best year in terms of average, but this may be his most effective year.

19. Igor Olshansky, DE

Last week: 17

vs. Atlanta: Olshansky had one tackle against the Falcons.

18. Marc Columbo, T

Last week: 18

vs. Atlanta: The Falcons did not get much pressure on Tony Romo, even with a
variety of blitzes. Columbo matched up several times with Jamaal Anderson, who
only managed one tackle. Columbo had a penalty for false start early in the
second quarter.

17. Felix Jones, RB

Last week: 15

vs. Atlanta: Fragile Felix played, but Fragile Felix also fumbled. He
finished with eight carries for 37 yards. To his credit, Jones nearly broke one
in the second quarter. However, his fumble occurred on the very next play.

16. Tashard Choice, RB

Last week: 7

vs. Atlanta: Choice was used mostly as a blocking back against Atlanta. He is
more durable than Jones, which is why he is one place ahead of Felix. However,
he is probably the third option in terms of running the ball. That’s too bad.

15. Flozell Adams, T

Last week: 21

vs. Atlanta: Solid game for Flozell, who shut down John Abraham. And get
this: NO PENALTIES.

14. Marcus Spears, DE

Last week: 16

vs. Atlanta: Spears recorded his second sack of the season when he dropped
Matt Ryan in the first quarter.

13. Patrick Crayton, WR

Last week: 20

vs. Atlanta: Crayton went from Demotion Specialist to something a little bit
better when he caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for a touchdown. At
the least, he will return punts now that Rossum is out.

12. Mike Jenkins, CB

Last week: 22

vs. Atlanta: Jenkins is looking more and more like the team’s best corner–
possibly even an elite corner if he keeps developing. He had four tackles, two
assists, one pass defense, and an interception.

11. Leonard Davis, G

Last week: 10

vs. Atlanta: Davis did not have a bad game, though he was called for a false
start.

10. Andre Gurode, C

Last week: 9

vs. Atlanta: Though Atlanta did not get a push up the middle, Dallas had
trouble running inside.

9. Kyle Kosier, G

Last week: 8

vs. Atlanta: Like Davis, Kosier did not have a bad game, though he was called
for a penalty.

8. Bradie James, LB

Last week: 6

vs. Atlanta: James had five solo tackles and two assists against Atlanta.

7. Marion Barber, RB

Last week: 4

vs. Atlanta: Barber only had 47 yards on 14 carries. We’re going to have to
get used to him getting banged up.

6. Keith Brooking, LB

Last week: 5

vs. Atlanta: Brooking has not only emerged as a real leader on this team, but
he has proven

he can handle the Dallas media
. Thumbs up.

5. Jason Witten, TE

Last week: 2

vs. Atlanta: Witten has made some big catches this year, but he is not coming
through as a threat on third down. In seven games this year, Witten has caught
five or fewer passes six times. He is on pace to have just over 700 receiving
yards.

4. Jay Ratliff, NT

Last week: 1

vs. Atlanta: Ratliff had one sack, along with three tackles and an assist. He
also forced a fumble. On the other hand, he was called for offsides, which did
not help him in his bid to remain #1 on this list.

3. Miles Austin, WR

Last week: 12

vs. Atlanta: Austin is the toast of the town for now. If many things work out
for the rest of the season, Austin will deserve credit for his role in the
resurrection.

2. Tony Romo, QB

Last week: 13

vs. Atlanta: Romo was on fire against the Falcons. In the past two games,
Romo has completed 41 of 63 passes for 662 yards with five touchdowns and no
interceptions. That’s a passer rating of 126.5.

1. DeMarcus Ware, LB

Last week: 3

vs. Atlanta: Ware agreed to a new contract just before this game and then
recorded two sacks against the Falcons.

 

Relative Value Rankings: Preseason vs. The Bye Week

With the Cowboys coming off their bye week, the relative value rankings have
not changed. This post compares the

rankings after week 5
with those posted at the

end of the preseason
.

53. Duke Preston, C

Final preseason rank: 36

Preston has never been active for a game in 2009. He has already been
released and resigned, showing his limited value.

52. Pat McQuistan, T

Final preseason rank: 34

McQuistan has not been active in 2009.

The fourth-year pro did not look good during the preseason, and he is
probably gone after this year.

51. Montrae Holland, G

Final preseason rank: 38

Holland saw action in 2008, but he has not been on the active roster in 2009.

50. Stephen McGee, QB

Final preseason rank: 50

McGee has dressed as the third QB but has not seen action. He is not likely
to step on the field unless someone gets hurt.

49. Michael Hamlin, S

Final preseason rank: 52

Hamlin has been injured since preseason and has not seen action in 2009. He
has reportedly practiced this week, and if he can tackle, his value will shoot
up.

48. Curtis Johnson, LB

Final preseason rank: 49

Johnson has been active for one game (vs. Carolina), but he has not recorded
a single tackle.

47. Kevin Ogletree, WR

Final preseason rank: 41

Ogletree was active for the first time in 2009 against the Chiefs, but he was
less than impressive on kickoff returns. He will not serve in that role now that
the Cowboys have signed Allen Rossum.

46. Allen Rossum, KR

Final preseason rank: n/a After the return game struggled against the Chiefs,
the Cowboys signed Rossum. He is ranked low for now, but if he shows some of the
talent he had two or three years ago, he will shoot up.

45. Cory Procter, C/G

Final preseason rank: 48

Procter did not look good during the preseason, but he must have shown
something during training camp because he has been active all year. He has not
had to start at center despite an injury to Andre Gurode.

44. Jason Williams, LB

Final preseason rank: 51

Williams was active for the games vs. Denver and Kansas City. He has recorded
one tackle on special teams.

43. Doug Free, T

Final preseason rank: 44

Free has been active all year but has mostly played on special teams. He
briefly replaced Flozell Adams at one point.

42. John Phillips, TE

Final preseason rank: 40

Phillips is a solid blocker, but he is not going to be involved in the
passing game.

41. Jon Kitna, QB

Final preseason rank: 28

Most people have confidence in Kitna as a backup, but he has yet to play this
year.

40. Steve Octavien, LB

Final preseason rank: 47 Octavien has been active in every game so far, but
he has recorded only one tackle.

39. Bobby Carpenter, LB

Final preseason rank: 33

Carpenter plays quite a bit on special teams and in the nickel packages.
However, he still has bust written all over him.

38. L.P. Ladouceur, LS

Final preseason rank: 32

Ladouceur has made few (if any) mistakes this season as a long-snapper.

37. David Buehler, K

Final preseason rank: 42

Buehler’s key stat: 9 of his 27 kickoffs have been touchbacks. That’s why the
Cowboys drafted him.

36. Victor Butler, LB

Final preseason rank: 46

Butler had two sacks against Carolina, but he has done little since then.

35. Junior Siavii, DT

Final preseason rank: 45

Siavii has been solid as a member of the defensive-line rotation. He has five
tackles in 2009.

34. Jason Hatcher, DE

Final preseason rank: 39

Hatcher has never been great, but he has been solid in 2009 on the line
rotation.

33. Stephen Bowen, DE

Final preseason rank: 43

Bowen appears to get a little more of a push than other backups on the line.
He has five tackles this season.

32. Alan Ball, CB

Final preseason rank: 37

Ball has seen quite a bit of action in 2009. He was picked on a little bit
early in the season, and his unnecessary roughness penalty against Kansas City
was costly.

31. Pat Watkins, S

Final preseason rank: 35

Watkins was on the bubble during the preseason, but he had a strong finale
against the Vikings. Since then, he has filled in for an injured Gerald
Sensabaugh. While Watkins has not looked bad, he has not stood out.

30. Ken Hamlin, S

Final preseason rank: 13

Hamlin has 17 tackles and 8 assists, but his missed tackles have been
maddening. His tackling method appears to be to close his eyes and throw his
shoulder somewhere near where the runner might be.

29. Anthony Spencer, LB

Final preseason rank: 16

Almost Anthony. He has almost had a bunch of sacks and tackles for losses,
but he never seems to get there in time.

28. Martellus Bennett, TE

Final preseason rank: 23

Martellus Façade. Bennett is becoming well-known as a decoy, which is odd. If
he’s best known as a decoy, how effective of a decoy could he be?

27. Gerald Sensabaugh, S

Final preseason rank: 26

Sensabaugh has been pretty good in 2009, but he missed some time with an
injury.

26. Nick Folk, K

Final preseason rank: 22

Folk has missed two field goals thus far, which is more than expected.

25. Orlando Scandrick, CB

Final preseason rank: 24(tie)

Scandrick lost the battle for the second corner job to Mike Jenkins.
Scandrick has struggled at times, but he is improving.

24. Deon Anderson, FB

Final preseason rank: 31

Anderson is principally a blocker. He has been underrated in 2009, even in
these rankings.

23. Sam Hurd, WR

Final preseason rank: 29

Hurd had one big play against the Broncos, but he has otherwise been quiet.
With Miles Austin earning the starting nod and Patrick Crayton being sent to the
third receiver role, Hurd is even less likely to be involved in the offense.

22. Mike Jenkins, CB

Final preseason rank: 24(tie)

Jenkins has had very good moments and several shaky moments. However, he has
made enough good plays to give fans some confidence in him.

21. Flozell Adams, T

Final preseason rank: 9

False start, #76, offense. Adams has looked very good at times, but his
penalty problems are getting worse. And he appears to be having more problems
with speed rushers, which isn’t good.

20. Patrick Crayton, WR

Final preseason rank: 21

Crayton had been decent as a possession receiver, but after a great opener
against the Buccaneers, he has not had a big game. He has 15 receptions for 243
yards this year.

19. Mat McBriar, P

Final preseason rank: 20

McBriar’s 46.5-yard average is his lowest since 2005, but he is on pace to
down 41 punts inside the 20. His highest career number in this category is 28 in
2005.

18. Marc Columbo, T

Final preseason rank: 14

Columbo has quietly had a good year. He has had a few false starts, but his
penalties have not been as bad as those of Adams.

17. Igor Olshansky, DE

Final preseason rank: 19

It is hard for a defensive end in a 3-4 defense to make a huge difference,
but Olshansky is often around the ball. He appears to be more active than Chris
Canty was in 2008.

16. Marcus Spears, DE

Final preseason rank: 17

Spears seems to have improved in 2009, making a better push.

15. Felix Jones, RB

Final preseason rank: 5

Fragile Felix is very important to the Dallas offense because of his
playmaking ability. The fact that he can’t stay on the field is not good for
Dallas. He has played in only nine of 21 games during his two-year career.

14. Roy Williams, WR

Final preseason rank: 7

The good: Williams is a good blocker. He occasionally makes a good play, but
he has not become the go-to guy the Cowboys need.

13. Tony Romo, QB

Final preseason rank: 2 Romo’s stock could jump up with one good performance,
but he’s been very shaky in 2009. His 86.5 rating is far worse than is passer
rating in any of his three previous seasons.

12. Miles Austin, WR

Final preseason rank: 30

Austin is the toast of the town after he caught 10 passes for 250 yards. If
he does it again (or even manages half of that), he’ll easily establish himself
as the most valuable receiver on the roster.

11. Terence Newman, CB

Final preseason rank: 10 Newman has not been bad in 2009, but he has not
played like an elite corner. Teams seem to pick on him, which is not a good
sign.

10. Leonard Davis, G

Final preseason rank: 8

Davis doesn’t get the attention that Larry Allen once did, but Davis has been
solid throughout the 2009 season. Teams are not getting a push from the right
side of the Dallas line, and that is largely attributable to Davis.

9. Andre Gurode, C

Final preseason rank: 6 Like Davis, Gurode is quietly having great season. He
has been a little bit banged up in the past couple of weeks, but he has not
missed time.

8. Kyle Kosier, G

Final preseason rank: 15

Kosier has reminded everyone how much the Cowboys needed him last season.

7. Tashard Choice, RB

Final preseason rank: 27

Choice has given the Cowboys a big spark coming off the bench, and he has
been by far the most durable of the three Dallas backs. He has a
5.1-yard-per-carry average on 44 attempts thus far.

6. Bradie James, LB

Final preseason rank: 11

James is clearly one of the team leaders, and his play has been solid all
year. He is second in team tackles with 33 (23 tackles and 10 assists).

5. Keith Brooking, LB

Final preseason rank: 18

Brooking had a shaky start, but he has proven to be a great pickup. He always
seems to be around the ball, and he has missed few tackles. He leads the team in
tackles with 37 (29 tackles and 8 assists).

4. Marion Barber, RB

Final preseason rank: 4

Barber gets banged up at little bit too easily, but he still runs just as
hard as he ever has.

3. DeMarcus Ware, LB

Final preseason rank: 1

Ware just recorded his first two sacks of 2009 against the Chiefs. He has
provided pressure all season, though, and hopefully the breakout performance at
Kansas City will help.

2. Jason Witten, TE

Final preseason rank: 3

Witten has not made the third-down receptions that fans expect of him. At his
current rate, he would only finish with just over 800 receiving yards despite
having more than 80 receptions.

1. Jay Ratliff, NT

Final preseason rank: 12

Ratliff has been more dominant than any other player on the team. The fact
that the team’s nose tackle could hurdle a center and block a field goal helped
him to jump to the #1 spot, at least until the other stars are able to rebound.

Relative Value Rankings After Week 5

The Cowboys have had some turnover on their roster in the past week, which
affected the bottom of the relative value rankings. Miles Austin moved way up
for obvious reasons, while Martellus Bennett fell back.

Gone: CB Cletis Gordon, who was released to make room for returner Allen
Rossum. Thanks, as always, for those who participated in

last week’s poll
. Click

here
to access this week’s poll.

53. Duke Preston, C

Last week: 52

Poll rating: n/a

Preston was released by the Cowboys before the Kansas City game to make room
for running back Chauncey Washington. When Dallas released Washington, the
Cowboys resigned Preston.

52. Pat McQuistan, T

Last week: 51

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Kansas City: Inactive. He has not been active all season.

51. Montrae Holland, G

Last week: 50 Poll rating: n/a

vs. Kansas City: Inactive. He has not been active all season.

50. Stephen McGee, QB

Last week: 49

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Kansas City: Third quarterback. He has not been active all season.

49. Michael Hamlin, S

Last week: 48

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Kansas City: Inactive. He has not been active all season.

48. Curtis Johnson, LB

Last week: 46

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Kansas City: Inactive.

47. Kevin Ogletree, WR

Last week: 47

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Kansas City: Ogletree was active for the first time all season. He
returned four kickoffs for a 23-yard average. He fumbled one of the kickoffs out
of bounds.

46. Allen Rossum, KR

Last week: n/a

The Cowboys signed Rossum to return punts and kickoffs, which makes his
signing significant, given the team’s problems against Kansas City.

45. Cory Procter, C/G

Last week: 45

Poll rating: 1.75

vs. Kansas City: Proctor played on special teams but did not replace Andre
Gurode.

44. Jason Williams, LB

Last week: 44

Poll rating: 1.68

vs. Kansas City: Williams played on special teams but did not record a
tackle.

43. Doug Free, T

Last week: 43

Poll rating: 1.68

vs. Kansas City: Free played on special teams.

The Landry Hat
thinks that Free might be a "budding elite tackle." Not sure
about that, but Adams continues to make mistakes.

42. John Phillips, TE

Last week: 42

Poll rating: 1.67

vs. Kansas City: Phillips played as a third tight end, as usual.

41. Jon Kitna, QB

Last week: 41

Poll rating: 2.35

vs. Kansas City: There continue to be calls to give Kitna a shot, but few
believe that Dallas will actually call upon Kitna to play without an injury to
Romo.

40. Steve Octavien, LB

Last week: 40

Poll rating: 1.85

vs. Kansas City: Octavien recorded a tackle on special teams last week.

39. Bobby Carpenter, LB

Last week: 39

Poll rating: 1.65

vs. Kansas City: Carpenter recorded two defensive tackles along with an
assist, plus a special teams tackle.

38. L.P. Ladouceur, LS

Last week: 38

Poll rating: 2.95

vs. Kansas City: The snap on Nick Folk’s missed field goal looked good, so it
appears that Ladouceur did his job once again.

37. David Buehler, K

Last week: 37

Poll rating: 3.05

vs. Kansas City: Three of Buehler’s six kickoffs went into the end zone, and
one of those was downed for a touchback.

36. Victor Butler, LB

Last week: 29

Poll rating: 2.48

vs. Kansas City: Butler did not record a single tackle against Kansas City.
Since recording two sacks against Carolina, Butler has done nothing.

35. Junior Siavii, DT

Last week: 35

Poll rating: 2.00

vs. Kansas City: Siavii recorded one tackle and one assist against his former
team.

34. Jason Hatcher, DE

Last week: 34

Poll rating: 2.14

vs. Kansas City: Hatcher recorded one assist against the Chiefs.

33. Stephen Bowen, DE

Last week: 32

Poll rating: 2.59

vs. Kansas City: Bowen recorded two tackles against the Chiefs while playing
on the defensive line rotation.

32. Alan Ball, CB

Last week: 36

Poll rating: 1.81

vs. Kansas City: Ball made three special teams tackles along with two
defensive tackles. It was his unnecessary roughness penalty that most will
remember, though.

31. Pat Watkins, S

Last week: 33

Poll rating: 2.43

vs. Kansas City: Watkins started in place of Gerald Sensabaugh. Watkins
recorded four tackles with an assist. He was the deep safety on the play where

30. Ken Hamlin, S

Last week: 30

Poll rating: 1.88

vs. Kansas City: He recorded three tackles with an assist. I did not see
Hamlin make any bad plays, but his 1.88 rating leaves him here.

29. Anthony Spencer, LB

Last week: 28

Poll rating: 2.24

vs. Kansas City: Until further notice, Spencer will be known as Almost
Anthony. He had two tackles and three quarterback hits, but he still has not
recorded a sack.

28. Martellus Bennett, TE

Last week: 23 Poll rating: 2.26 vs. Kansas City: Whereas Spencer is known as
Almost Anthony, Bennett should be known as Martellus Façade, meaning "a false,
superficial, or artificial appearance or effect." Bennett did not have a
reception and has only four this year.

27. Gerald Sensabaugh, S

Last week: 27

Poll rating: 2.84

vs. Kansas City: Inactive with an injury.

26. Nick Folk, K

Last week: 21

Poll rating: 3.63

vs. Kansas City: Folk missed a 40-yard field goal, giving him two misses this
year. That is how many misses he had in 16 games in 2008.

25. Orlando Scandrick, CB

Last week: 26

Poll rating: 2.65

vs. Kansas City: Scandrick recorded one tackle playing in the nickel package.

24. Deon Anderson, FB

Last week: 25

Poll rating: 2.58

vs. Kansas City: The running game had some trouble, but nothing appeared to
be Anderson’s fault. He has only one reception for five yards this year.

23. Sam Hurd, WR

Last week: 24

Poll rating: 2.50

vs. Kansas City: Hurd caught one pass for 10 yards against the Chiefs. He
should have had a touchdown pass in the second quarter, but Romo’s pass went
through his hands.

22. Mike Jenkins, CB

Last week: 22

Poll rating: 3.19

vs. Kansas City: Jenkins had three tackles against the Chiefs. He did not
appear to have a bad game overall, but he was the defensive back covering Dwayne
Bowe on Bowe’s game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter. Jenkins made a good
play on Bowe in overtime.

21. Flozell Adams, T

Last week: 17

Poll rating: 2.75

vs. Kansas City: Yes, Adams has handled some good defensive ends, but his
penalties are just too much. He had a terrible game against Kansas City.

20. Patrick Crayton, WR

Last week: 18 Poll rating: 2.68 vs. Kansas City: He fumbled a punt. He got
lucky when officials called a play dead before he fumbled after a reception. He
dropped a pass. Four receptions for 44 yards did not make up for the errors.

19. Mat McBriar, P

Last week: 16 Poll rating: 4.07 vs. Kansas City: McBriar downed two punts
inside the 20, but when Dallas needed a big punt in overtime, he didn’t deliver.

18. Marc Columbo, T

Last week: 20 Poll rating: 3.33 vs. Kansas City: Columbo did not appear to
give up any big plays, though the line in general struggled. Tashard Choice’s
long touchdown in the third quarter went off left tackle.

17. Igor Olshansky, DE

Last week: 19 Poll rating: 2.78 vs. Kansas City: Olshansky is quiet, but he
has been effective for the most part given what he’s been asked to do. He had
three tackles with two assists last week.

16. Marcus Spears, DE

Last week: 15

Poll rating: 3.04

vs. Kansas City: Spears had two tackles against the Chiefs.

15. Felix Jones, RB

Last week: 11

Poll rating: 2.72

vs. Kansas City: My nicknames aren’t very original, of course, but Fragile
Felix has to stick.

14. Roy Williams, WR

Last week: 12

Poll rating: 2.41

vs. Kansas City: Had Roy played, Miles Austin did not have the game he had.
And there is little doubt that Williams could not have done what Austin did.

13. Tony Romo, QB

Last week: 13

Poll rating: 2.00

vs. Kansas City: Romo’s head was down for much of the game, and he looked
off. However, he threw for more than 350 yards for the second time this season,
so maybe this will lead to him getting his confidence back.

12. Miles Austin, WR

Last week: 31

Poll rating: 2.16

vs. Kansas City: If Austin had done anything since the Tampa Bay game, I’d
move him into the top 10 easily. The skeptic in me wants to go on One Shot
Wonder alert, but hopefully he can use his 10-reception, 250-yard performance as
a springboard.

11. Terence Newman, CB

Last week: 10

Poll rating: 2.79

vs. Kansas City: Teams almost certainly aren’t shying away from Newman. He’s
made a few big plays this year but doesn’t look like an elite corner right now.

10. Leonard Davis, G

Last week: 6

Poll rating: 3.50

vs. Kansas City: Davis gave up a sack in the second quarter.

9. Andre Gurode, C

Last week: 5

Poll rating: 3.44

vs. Kansas City: Gurode was questionable but played. He might have been to
blame when Romo fumbled the ball in the second quarter.

8. Kyle Kosier, G

Last week: 4

Poll rating: 3.71

vs. Kansas City: Kosier did not appear to have a bad game, but he was called
for holding penalty that negated a 16-yard run by Barber early in the game.

7. Tashard Choice, RB

Last week: 14

Poll rating: 3.57

vs. Kansas City: Choice should have been in the game throughout the fourth
quarter and overtime (probably earlier). He gained 92 yards on only eight
carries.

6. Bradie James, LB

Last week: 8

Poll rating: 3.70

vs. Kansas City: James had seven tackles against the Chiefs. Brooking is
showing that he is a team leader, but James is still making plays.

5. Keith Brooking, LB

Last week: 9

Poll rating: 4.07

vs. Kansas City: Hard not to like this guy. He recorded a team-high eight
tackles with three assists and a sack.

4. Marion Barber, RB

Last week: 2

Poll rating: 3.83

vs. Kansas City: Barber looked hurt against the Chiefs. Applaud his courage,
but Choice should have seen more action than Barber.

3. DeMarcus Ware, LB

Last week: 3

Poll rating: 3.14

vs. Kansas City: Ware finally recorded a sack, registering two against Kansas
City. He still doesn’t look dominant.

2. Jason Witten, TE

Last week: 1

Poll rating: 3.79

vs. Kansas City: Five receptions, 47 yards. Witten has caught quite a few
passes on first and second down, but he is not making many third-down catches.

1. Jay Ratliff, NT

Last week: 7

Poll rating: 3.85

vs. Kansas City: It would be nice to have a bigger nose tackle, but the
Cowboys have a nose tackle who hurdled a center on a blocked field goal. Wow. He
won’t last in the top position, but he was very good against Kansas City.

Relative Value Rankings After Week 4

After such a disappointing loss, it is a little bit hard to acknowledge players who contributed in positive ways. Nevertheless, here we go.

Thanks to those who voted in last week’s poll. We had a total of 81 votes, several more than the previous week.

Marvin White was ranked #42 in the previous review, but he was released last week to make room for running back Chauncey Washington. The Cowboys this week waived Washington, but Detroit signed White before the Cowboys could resign him. The Cowboys signed former Charger Cletis Gordon, who played under Wade Phillips as a rookie in 2006.

Rookie LB Jason Williams saw action for the first time in 2009.
 
53. Cletis Gordon, CB

Last week: n/a

Dallas just signed Gordon, so he gets the last spot. He is supposed to play on special teams next week.

52. Duke Preston, C

Last week: 53

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Denver: Inactive. Preston has not been active all year.

51. Pat McQuistan, T

Last week: 52

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Denver: Inactive. McQuistan has not been active all year.

50. Montrae Holland, G

Last week: 51

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Denver: Inactive. Holland has not been active all year.

49. Stephen McGee, QB

Last week: 50

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Denver: Third quarterback. McGee has not played in 2009.

48. Michael Hamlin, S

Last week: 48

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Denver: Inactive. Hamlin has not played in 2009 due to injury.

47. Kevin Ogletree, WR

Last week: 47

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Denver: Inactive. Ogletree has not been active all year.

46. Curtis Johnson, LB

Last week: 45

Poll rating: 1.72

vs. Denver: Johnson was inactive against the Broncos after playing in the first three games.

45. Cory Procter, C/G

Last week: 46

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Denver: Procter played on special teams against the Broncos. He might see action against the Chiefs because of an injury to Andre Gurode.

44. Jason Williams, LB

Last week: 49

Poll rating: n/a

vs. Denver: Williams was active for the first time in 2009. He recorded a tackle on special teams.

43. Doug Free, T

Last week: 43

Poll rating: 1.80

vs. Denver: Free played on special teams against Denver.

42. John Phillips, TE

Last week: 44

Poll rating: 1.90

vs. Denver: Phillips again saw action as the third tight end in several packages.

41. Jon Kitna, QB

Last week: 40

Poll rating: 2.25

vs. Denver: There have been a few more suggestions about Kitna replacing Tony Romo as the team’s bus driver. Not going there…

40. Steve Octavien, LB

Last week: 37

Poll rating: 1.92

vs. Denver: Octavien played on special teams but did not record a tackle.

39. Bobby Carpenter, LB

Last week: 34

Poll rating: 1.61

vs. Denver: Carpenter recorded one special teams tackle. He still plays as a nickel linebacker, but he hasn’t been impressive.

38. L.P. Ladouceur, LS

Last week: 41

Poll rating: 3.22

vs. Denver: The Cowboys only kicked twice–once on a field goal and once on an extra point. Ladouceur saw quite a bit of action on punts, though, and seemed to do a great job again.

37. David Buehler, K

Last week: 39

Poll rating: 3.92

vs. Denver: Two of Buehler’s kickoffs went into the end zone, with one being downed for a touchback.

36. Alan Ball, CB

Last week: 36

Poll rating: 2.25

vs. Denver: Ball recorded one special teams tackle against the Broncos. He will likely play some safety while Gerald Sensabaugh is injured.

35. Junior Siavii, DT

Last week: 32

Poll rating: 2.24

vs. Denver: Siavii recorded one tackle against the Broncos.

34. Jason Hatcher, DE

Last week: 31

Poll rating: 2.61

vs. Denver: Hatcher played against Denver but did not record a tackle. For the season, he has a total of one tackle.

33. Pat Watkins, S

Last week: 38

Poll rating: 2.24

vs. Denver: Watkins recorded five tackles with one assist after replacing Gerald Sensabaugh. With Sensabaugh likely out two to four weeks, Watkins will see much more action.

32. Stephen Bowen, DE

Last week: 33

Poll rating: 2.43

vs. Denver: Bowen recorded his first sack of the season against the Broncos.

31. Miles Austin, WR

Last week: 30

Poll rating: 2.58

vs. Denver: Austin caught three passes for 19 yards against Denver. He has only five receptions all year.

30. Ken Hamlin, S

Last week: 27

Poll rating: 2.59

vs. Denver: Hamlin is simply missing far too many tackles. He should have been able to bring down Brandon Marshall on Marshall’s game-winning touchdown. Instead, Hamlin looked like he was playing two-hand touch. Terrible.

29. Victor Butler, LB

Last week: 25

Poll rating: 3.59

vs. Denver: After his two-sack performance against Carolina, Butler failed to record a tackle against Denver.

28. Anthony Spencer, LB

Last week: 24

Poll rating: 2.55

vs. Denver: If we could reward players for almost making plays, Spencer would be a Pro Bowler. Instead, he nearly gets sacks and nearly gets interceptions but never quite gets there.

27. Gerald Sensabaugh, S

Last week: 23

Poll rating: 3.15

vs. Denver: Sensabaugh had one tackle before leaving the game with an broken thumb. He will likely miss two to four weeks.

26. Orlando Scandrick, CB

Last week: 29

Poll rating: 2.82

vs. Denver: Scandrick recorded three tackles, including a key third-down tackle that forced Denver to kick a field goal

25. Deon Anderson, FB

Last week: 28

Poll rating: 3.00

vs. Denver: Anderson is solid as a blocker and as a special teams player. He isn’t asked to do much more in the offense.

24. Sam Hurd, WR

Last week: 35

Poll rating: 1.90

vs. Denver: Hurd made the play of the game when he caught a 53-yard pass on a fourth-down play late in the game. Hurd led the Cowboys with three receptions for 62 yards, but he probably should not have been the go-to guy on the final two plays of the game.

23. Martellus Bennett, TE

Last week: 19

Poll rating: 2.85

vs. Denver: Bennett may have talent, but he has not made plays. He has four receptions for 40 yards, and I have not seen anything about his blocking that is terribly impressive. He was called for a holding penalty that negated a long Tashard Choice run.

22. Mike Jenkins, CB

Last week: 26

Poll rating: 3.48

vs. Denver: Jenkins was solid all game against the Broncos. He secured his place as the second corner.

21. Nick Folk, K

Last week: 22

Poll rating: 3.76

vs. Denver: Folk made a 49-yard field goal to open the scoring against Denver.

20. Marc Columbo, T

Last week: 18

Poll rating: 3.65

vs. Denver: Denver did not appear to get much of a rush from the ri
ght side of the Cowboys’ l
ine, which bodes well for Columbo.

19. Igor Olshansky, DE

Last week: 17

Poll rating: 3.60

vs. Denver: Olshansky had two tackles and an assist against Denver. He has been good at times but has not stood out.

18. Patrick Crayton, WR

Last week: 14

Poll rating: 3.29

vs. Denver: Crayton nearly had the play of the game when he picked up a punt and appeared to run it in for a score. The play was called a touchback, and the rest of Crayton’s game was average: 3 rec., 16 yds.

17. Flozell Adams, T

Last week: 13

Poll rating: 3.68

vs. Denver: Adams was beaten on at least three plays in the first half. This was his weakest game.

16. Mat McBriar, P

Last week: 21

Poll rating: 4.43

vs. Denver: Three of McBriar’s six punts landed inside the 20. His average is not overly impressive, but he is proving that he is a weapon.

15. Marcus Spears, DE

Last week: 20

Poll rating: 2.87

vs. Denver: Spears recorded a sack, two tackles, and an assist. This was one of Spears’ most active games.

14. Tashard Choice, RB

Last week: 15

Poll rating: 4.30

vs. Denver: Choice still looks quick and had a good game against Denver. He should have had more than 33 rushing yards.

13. Tony Romo, QB

Last week: 10

Poll rating: 3.69

vs. Denver: Romo is testing most fans’ patience. He missed throws, and he looked like someone with a complete lack of confidence. Not good for a franchise quarterback.

12. Roy Williams, WR

Last week: 12

Poll rating: 3.34

vs. Denver: Williams made a couple of fine plays against the Broncos. He was also injured trying to bring in a high pass from Romo. Just for that, he gets to move up a spot ahead of Romo this week.

11. Felix Jones, RB

Last week: 4

Poll rating: 4.43

vs. Denver: Did not play due to injury. Jones is very talented, but being fragile does not help his relative value ranking.

10. Terence Newman, CB

Last week: 8

Poll rating: 3.73

vs. Denver: Newman recorded three tackles and recorded one pass defense. It was the play he didn’t make that most noticed. Being in the right place against Brandon Marshall wasn’t enough. He somehow missed the ball and then half-assed it when chasing Marshall.

9. Keith Brooking, LB

Last week: 16

Poll rating: 3.79

vs. Denver: Brooking plays hard every play and always seems to be near the ball. He recorded nine tackles against Denver.

8. Bradie James, LB

Last week: 11

Poll rating: 3.81

vs. Denver: James recorded six tackles and two assists with his first sack of the season. He also recovered a fumble early in the second half.

7. Jay Ratliff, NT

Last week: 9

Poll rating: 4.61

vs. Denver: Ratliff did not record a tackle, but he disrupted the middle of the Denver line on several plays.

6. Leonard Davis, G

Last week: 7

Poll rating:

vs. Denver: Davis was called for a holding penalty. He was otherwise pretty solid.

5. Andre Gurode, C

Last week: 5

Poll rating: 4.38

vs. Denver: Gurode was called for a tripping penalty just before Romo fumbled on a sack in the second quarter. Gurode was apparently injured in the game.

4. Kyle Kosier, G

Last week: 6

Poll rating: 4.41

vs. Denver: Unlike most of the other linemen, Kosier is not being called for penalties. He has been solid all season.

3. DeMarcus Ware, LB

Last week: 2

Poll rating: 4.23

vs. Denver: Ware is not making plays, and it is not because he is being double-teamed all of the time. Several times on Sunday, Ware was handled by one tackle. He still has not recorded a sack, though he had two tackles and two assists.

2. Marion Barber, RB

Last week: 3

Poll rating: 4.27

vs. Denver: Barber only had 41 rushing yards and 27 receiving yards, but he gave everything he had. If he could remain healthy, he would likely take the #1 spot.

1. Jason Witten, TE

Last week: 1

Poll rating: 4.79

vs. Denver: Witten only managed four receptions for 31 yards. He was used as a blocker at the end of the game, which makes no sense at all.

Poll

Please take a moment to vote in this week’s poll.

 

Relative Value Rankings After Week 3

There was more movement in the weekly Relative Value Rankings based on performances against Carolina. Thanks to those who participated in the poll last week. I took votes into consideration along with performances to determine this week’s rankings. This week’s poll is at the bottom of this post.

Players rising up this week: LB Victor Butler, RB Tashard Choice

Players slipping: LB Bobby Carpenter, WR Sam Hurd

53. Duke Preston, C

Last week: 52

vs. Carolina: Inactive. He has yet to be active in 2009.

52. Pat McQuistan, T

Last week: 51

vs. Carolina: Inactive. He has yet to be active in 2009.

51. Montrae Holland, G

Last week: 50

vs. Carolina: Inactive. He has yet to be active in 2009.

50. Stephen McGee, QB

Last week: 49

vs. Carolina: Inactive. He has yet to be active in 2009.

49. Jason Williams, LB

Last week: 48

vs. Carolina: Inactive. He has yet to be active in 2009.

48. Michael Hamlin, S

Last week: 48

vs. Carolina: Inactive. He has yet to be active in 2009.

47. Kevin Ogletree, WR

Last week: 46

vs. Carolina: Inactive. He has yet to be active in 2009.

46. Cory Procter, C/G

Last week: 45

vs. Carolina: Inactive. He has yet to be active in 2009.

45. Curtis Johnson, LB

Last week: 53

vs. Carolina: He was placed on the active roster for the first time this season. He did not record a tackle.

44. John Phillips, TE

Last week: 42

vs. Carolina: Phillips saw action in the fullback position as well as the third tight end position. His most notable contribution: called for a false start on fourth-and-goal from the Carolina 1 in the third quarter. Not good.

43. Doug Free, T

Last week: 43

vs. Carolina: Free came into the game when Flozell Adams was injured briefly in the third quarter.

42. Marvin White, S

Last week: 41

vs. Carolina: White saw action on special teams but did not record a tackle. He was called for holding on a punt return late in the first quarter.

41. L.P. Ladouceur, LS

Last week: 39

vs. Carolina: His snap on Folk’s missed field goal  was a little bit inside (toward’s McBriar’d body), but it did not appear to cause Folk to miss.

40. Jon Kitna, QB

Last week: 38

vs. Carolina: Chatter about the team using Kitna should die down this week.

39. David Buehler, K

Last week: 37

vs. Carolina: Four kicks in the end zone with three touchbacks. Great draft pick.

38. Pat Watkins, S

Last week: 36

vs. Carolina: Played special teams but did not record a tackle.

37. Steve Octavien, LB

Last week: 35

vs. Carolina: Played special teams but did not record a tackle.

36. Alan Ball, CB

Last week: 40

vs. Carolina: Ball recorded a tackle late in the game when he filled in for Terence Newman.

35. Sam Hurd, WR

Last week: 29

Poll Rating: 2.26

vs. Carolina: Hurd recorded one tackle on special teams. Hurd was supposed to be a viable candidate as the #3 receiver, but he has shown very little.

34. Bobby Carpenter, LB

Last week: 31

Poll Rating: 1.79

vs.
Carolina: Carpenter played in the nickel package and on special teams.
He recorded two tackles and an assist. He completely whiffed trying to
tackle DeAngelo Williams on a third-and-16 draw play in the second
quarter.

33. Stephen Bowen, DE

Last week: 34

vs. Carolina: Bowen saw action on the defensive line. He nearly got to Delhomme on at least one play.

32. Junior Siavii, DT

Last week: 33

vs. Carolina: Siavii likewise saw action on the defensive line. He did not record a tackle.

31. Jason Hatcher, DE

Last week: 32

vs. Carolina: Hatcher saw action on the defensive line and on special teams. He recovered a Jake Delhomme fumble on the Panthers’ final offensive series.

30. Miles Austin, WR

Last week: 27

Poll Rating: 2.58

vs. Carolina: Austin was the target of only one pass. He has made two pretty big receptions this year, but he is usually just another guy running routes.

29. Orlando Scandrick, CB

Last week: 28

Poll Rating: 1.78

vs. Carolina: Scandrick recorded two tackles on defense along with a special teams tackle.

28. Deon Anderson, FB

Last week: 30

Poll Rating: 2.48

vs. Carolina: Anderson is a solid blocker. He is not involved in the passing game, though. In the opening drive, Dallas used third tight end John Phillips at fullback, so it will be interesting to see if Anderson may be used less.

27. Ken Hamlin, S

Last week: 24

Poll Rating: 2.21

vs. Carolina: Anyone think of a former player who wore #31 when watching Hamlin? Doesn’t tackle well; makes poor choices in coverage. Hamlin completely missed a tackle on Muhsin Muhammad, allowing Muhammad to race on an apparent 79-yard touchdown. It was called back due to an offensive pass interference penalty, but that does not excuse Hamlin’s poor play.

26. Mike Jenkins, CB

Last week: 26

Poll Rating: 2.33

vs. Carolina: Jenkins recorded an interception in the second quarter, giving Dallas its first turnover of the season.

25. Victor Butler, LB

Last week: 44

vs. Carolina: Butler had a huge game, picking up two sacks. That’s two more than DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer combined.

24. Anthony Spencer, LB

Last week: 22

Poll Rating: 2.63

vs.
Carolina: A positive play: Spencer tackled fullback Tony Fiammetta for
a minimal gain on a second down play in the first quarter. The bad:
Spencer is not generating a pass rush. Just like this poll, Victor Butler may cause Spencer to look over his shoulder.

23. Gerald Sensabaugh, S

Last week: 23

Poll Rating: 2.35

vs. Carolina: Sensabaugh recorded two tackles and an assist. I didn’t see any mistakes, but he also has not made a big play since the opening week.

22. Nick Folk, K

Last week: 20

Poll Rating: 4.08

vs. Carolina: Folk had been automatic until he missed a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter.

21. Mat McBriar, P

Last week: 21

Poll Rating: 3.74

vs. Carolina: McBriar was quietly great, downing five punts inside the 20-yard line.

20. Marcus Spears, DE

Last week: 18

Poll Rating: 2.79

vs. Carolina: Spears did not record a tackle.

19. Martellus Bennett, TE

Last week: 16

Poll Rating: 3.16

vs. Carolina: I know that Bennett causes matchup problems, and I know he is a good blocker. But he has not been much of a weapon in the passing game so far.

18. Marc Columbo, T

Last week: 15

Poll Rating: 3.54

vs. Carolina: Columbo gave up a sack when Jon Beason ran right past him on a first-quarter play. He was also called for holding in the second quarter, negating a first-down throw to Patrick Crayton. Columbo has been solid, but he had a little bit of trouble against Carolina.

17. Igor Olshansky, DE

Last week: 19

Poll Rating: 2.96

vs. Carolina: Olshansky recorded four tackles. He is getting a better push in the pass rush and has been around the ball carrier quite a bit.

16. Keith Brooking, LB

Last week: 17

Poll Rating: 2.48

vs. Carolina: Brooking recorded three tackles with two assists. Brooking and DeMarcus Ware made a good play in the first quarter back breaking through to stop Jonathan Stewart for a four-yard loss.

15. Tashard Choice, RB

Last week: 25

Poll Rating: 3.12

vs. Carolina: What a great game. When Felix Jones went down with an injury early in the third quarter, Choice came in and looked like a #1 running back. 18 carries, 82 yards, 1 TD.

14. Patrick Crayton, WR

Last week: 14

Poll Rating: 2.68

vs. Carolina: Crayton is not a flashy player, but he has been dependable.  Three receptions for 44 yards, plus a 14.5 average on punt returns.

13. Flozell Adams, T

Last week: 13

Poll Rating: 2.83

vs. Carolina: Adams is still an excellent left tackle. His block on the Panthers’ right outside linebacker in the third quarter helped to set up Felix Jones’ 40-yard run. Then again there is the call: “False Start, #76, Offense.”

12. Roy Williams, WR

Last week: 12

Poll Rating: 2.50

vs. Carolina: Four receptions for 75 yards. Not bad, but he needs to make a few of those difficult catches.

11. Bradie James, LB

Last week: 9

Poll Rating: 3.30

vs. Carolina: Let the team in total tackles with three tackles and three assists.

10. Tony Romo, QB

Last week: 8

Poll Rating: 1.96

vs. Carolina: Romo looked very shaky in the first half, but he managed the game well in the second half. He finished 22 of 33 with 255 yards and no interceptions. He may have to give up stats as a game manager, but this change could help Dallas to more wins.

9. Jay Ratliff, NT

Last week: 10

Poll Rating: 3.83

vs. Carolina: Ratliff generated pressure and recorded the first sack of the season for Dallas.

8. Terence Newman, CB

Last week: 11

Poll Rating: 2.04

vs.
Carolina: Newman held Steve Smith in check all evening. Newman was horrible in the tackling department, but none of his missed tackles turned out to be significant. His pick-6
sealed the Cowboys’ win.

7. Leonard Davis, G

Last week: 6

Poll Rating: 3.79

vs. Carolina: Another solid game for Davis.

6. Kyle Kosier, G

Last week: 7

Poll Rating: 3.92

vs. Carolina: Kosier had more solid blocks that sprung Felix Jones. He should be a Pro Bowl contender if people are paying attention.

5. Andre Gurode, C

Last week: 5

Poll Rating: 3.92

vs. Carolina: Another game without pressure up the middle.

4. Felix Jones, RB

Last week: 4

Poll Rating: 4.21

vs. Carolina: The great: Jones looks like he may break one every time he touches the ball. The bad: He looks like he may break a bone every time he touches the ball. Jones will miss next week’s game against Denver.

3. Marion Barber, RB

Last week: 3

Poll Rating: 4.31

vs. Carolina: Barber has been great this season, but the Cowboys hardly looked like they missed him– except, perhaps, for goalline play-calling.

2. DeMarcus Ware, LB

Last week: 1

Poll Rating: 3.67

vs. Carolina: Ware still has not recorded a sack, though he came very close in the Carolina game.

1. Jason Witten, TE

Last week: 2

Poll Rating: 3.89

vs. Carolina: Nine receptions for 77 yards. Witten is Romo’s only reliable target, and he comes through time and time again. Given Ware’s lack of a sack, Witten takes the top spot for a week.

Poll

Please take a moment to rate the Dallas Cowboys:

Relative Value Rankings After Week 2

Quite a few changes in this week’s relative value rankings.

There weren’t too many who made huge strides forward, but here are some players who have risen or fallen:

Rising: G Kyle Kosier; RB Felix Jones; RB Tashard Choice, TE Martellus Bennett, DE Igor Olshansky.

Falling: QB Tony Romo, CB Terence Newman, CB Orlando Scandrick, LB Keith Brooking.

At the bottom of this list is a poll that allows users to rate most of the main players. Please take a moment to cast your votes.
 
53. Curtis Johnson, LB

Last week: 53

vs. N.Y. Giants: Did not play.

Notes: Leaving Johnson at the bottom position again this week. We don’t know much about him.

52. Duke Preston, C

Last week: 50

vs. N.Y. Giants: Did not play.

Notes: Fortunately, Dallas has had no injuries on the offensive line; as a result, Preston hasn’t been active.

51. Pat McQuistan, T

Last week: 49

vs. N.Y. Giants: Did not play.

Notes: Won’t be surprised if we never see McQuistan this season . . . or ever again in the NFL.

50. Montrae Holland, G

Last week: 46

vs. N.Y. Giants: Did not play.

Notes: Another veteran who probably won’t be in the league much longer.

49. Stephen McGee, QB

Last week: 51

vs. N.Y. Giants: Did not play.

Notes: I’ve seen some irrational calls to give McGee his shot already. Um, no.

48. Jason Williams, LB

Last week: 52

vs. N.Y. Giants: Did not play.

Notes: It would be helpful to know if Williams will be effective as a pass-rusher. He’ll likely only be a special-teamer, though.

47. Michael Hamlin, S

Last week: 48

vs. N.Y. Giants: Did not play.

Notes: I haven’t seen an update on Hamlin’s injury.

46. Kevin Ogletree, WR

Last week: 47

vs. N.Y. Giants: Did not play.

Notes: He isn’t likely to see action any time soon, but he might make the roster at some point this season.

45. Cory Procter, C/G

Last week: 44

vs. N.Y. Giants: Backup lineman and special teamer.

Notes: He sees action as a blocker on special teams. Nothing noteworthy to add.

44. Victor Butler, LB

Last week: 43

vs. N.Y. Giants: Saw actions on special teams.

Notes: Butler should have had a tackle on a kickoff return, but the returner slipped right under Butler.

43. Doug Free, T

Last week: 42

vs. N.Y. Giants: Backup lineman and special teamer.

Notes: Similar to Proctor, Free is a body on special teams. Nothing noteworthy about his performance.

42. John Phillips, TE

Last week: 40

vs. N.Y. Giants: Third tight end.

Notes: Phillips is a blocker, so he does not get many opportunities to stand out.

41. Marvin White, S

Last week: 39

vs. N.Y. Giants: One special teams tackle.

Notes: White recorded one tackle on a kickoff return.

40. Alan Ball, CB

Last week: 38

vs. N.Y. Giants: Tied for the team lead with two special teams tackles.

Notes: Missed a tackle on a punt return by Dominik Hixon in the first quarter, though the play was called back due to penalty. His two tackles came on kickoff returns.

39. L.P. Ladouceur, LS

Last week: 37

vs. N.Y. Giants: Long snapper.

Notes: No screw-ups. That’s good.

38. Jon Kitna, QB

Last week: 36

vs. N.Y. Giants: Did not play.

Notes: Curious whether anyone starts calling for Kitna to replace Romo. Ridiculous, I think, but the frustration level when it comes to Romo is pretty high right now.

37. David Buehler, K

Last week: 35

vs. N.Y. Giants: Kickoff specialist.

Notes: After Dallas took a 24-20 lead in the third quarter, Buehler kicked the ball deep in the back of the end zone for his sole touchback. Several other kicks also reached the end zone.

36. Pat Watkins, S

Last week: 34

vs. N.Y. Giants: Special-teamer.

Notes: Watkins was on the ground near a few tackles, but he did not record one.

35. Steve Octavien, LB

Last week: 33

vs. N.Y. Giants: Special-teamer and backup linebacker.

Notes: He helped to bring down Ahmad Bradshaw on one punt return along with Bobby Carpenter and Sam Hurd. Carpenter got the credit, though.

34. Stephen Bowen, DE

Last week: 41

vs. N.Y. Giants: Recorded one tackle.

Notes: Bowen’s one recorded tackle came on a first down play in Dallas territory. Bowen held Brandon Jacobs to a two-yard gain.

33. Junior Siavii, DT

Last week: 45

vs. N.Y. Giants: Two tackles.

Notes: Siavii picked up two consecutive tackles when the Giants drove into Dallas territory with a 27-24 lead in the fourth quarter. Siavii’s stops helped the Cowboys to hold New York to a field goal.

32. Jason Hatcher, DE

Last week: 32

vs. N.Y. Giants: Backup defensive lineman; recorded one assist.

Notes: It looked like Hatcher got a good push.

31. Bobby Carpenter, LB

Last week: 31

vs. N.Y. Giants: Nickel linebacker; recorded one defensive tackle and two special teams tackles.

Notes: Carpenter was near the ball on defense on a few plays, and he was active on special teams. However, he was called for defensive holding on a third down play deep in Giant territory, giving the Giants new life.

30. Deon Anderson, FB

Last week: 30

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting fullback.

Notes: Anderson did not touch the ball. On a goalline play in the second quarter, Anderson went right to block before Marion Barber tried to jump the pile. I thought that a lead blocker usually tried to clear a linebacker on those types of plays.

Update, 9/23: On further review, Anderson made at least three solid blocks on plays were Marion Barber was able to cut back.

29. Sam Hurd, WR

Last week: 26

vs. N.Y. Giants: Backup receiver; 1 rec., 7 yards.

Notes: Hurd did not record a special teams tackle, and he was limited to one reception.

28. Orlando Scandrick, CB

Last week: 25

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting corner; six tackles, two pass defenses.

Notes: Scandrick made a couple of nice plays, but he was also burned. He got the start tonight, and given that the Giants threw the ball all over the place, Scandrick gets some of the blame.

27. Miles Austin, WR

Last week: 24

vs. N.Y. Giants: Backup receiver; 1 rec., 20 yards.

Notes: Austin shows big-play potential, but not often enough. I will move him up eventually, but two catches (even though they were both significant) just not justify a bump forward.

26. Mike Jenkins, CB

Last week: 23

vs. N.Y. Giants: Third corner; four tackles, one pass defense.

Notes: Jenkins didn’t technically start, but he had the outside receiver in the nickel. Jenkins could have had a pick on the Giants’ opening drive. I thought he looked better than Scandrick.

25. Tashard Choice, RB

Last week: 29

vs. N.Y. Giants: 2 att., 8 yards; 1 rec., 3 yards.

Notes: Choice made plays to convert two third downs on the Cowboys’ first touchdown drive. He could have had a very long run on a third-down draw, but Kenny Phillips tripped him up. With Marion Barber likely out for one to two weeks, Choice’s value.

24. Ken Haml
in, S

Last
week: 22

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting safety; six tackles, two assists.

Notes: I thought Hamlin used to be a good form tackler. He seems to rely much more on throwing his body on tackles, and he missed a few again. He also bit on a play-action fake on a play that resulted in a 49-yard completion to Mario Manningham. He also completely blew a run blitz in the third quarter on a 19-yard run by Ahmad Bradshaw.

23. Gerald Sensabaugh, S

Last week: 21

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting free safety; four tackles, two assists.

Notes: Unlike the Tampa Bay game, Sensabaugh did not have any big plays against the Giants. He seems like a solid safety; but then again, the Cowboys gave up 330 passing yards.

22. Anthony Spencer, LB

Last week: 20

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting outside linebacker; two tackles (both for losses), one pass defense.

Notes: Spencer made some good plays on run support, though he also should have had contain on a few plays but ran upfield too far. Spencer is getting some pressure on the quarterback, but he can’t seem to close in quickly enough to get a sack.  He nearly had an interception in the first quarter but was only able to tip the ball.

Anyone else notice that Greg Ellis has three sacks in two games with the Raiders?

21. Mat McBriar, P

Last week: 18

vs. N.Y. Giants: 4 punts, 43.5 average, one punt inside the 20.

Notes: McBriar didn’t average his 50 yards per punt, but he was effective.

20. Nick Folk, K

Last week: 19

vs. N.Y. Giants: One field goal of 47 yards.

Notes: Folk remains automatic.

19. Igor Olshansky, DE

Last week: 28

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting defensive end; recorded one tackle.

Notes: Olshansky made more of a push than he did against Tampa Bay. Although he only recorded one tackle, his presence was more noticeable.

18. Marcus Spears, DE

Last week: 15

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting defensive end; one pass defense.

Notes: Spears had a game similar to Olshansky– nothing especially noteworthy, but the line must have done its job to shut down the New York running game.

17. Keith Brooking, LB

Last week: 12

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting linebacker; two tackles, one assist, one pass defense.

Notes: There was a bit of a mixed reaction about Brooking’s performance against Tampa Bay. I thought he looked good, and several other writers mentioned him as a possible defensive player of the game. Others said he missed assignments. Against New York, I think his performance was shaky. He wasn’t around the ball as much, and he missed tackles on both Brandon Jacobs (understandable) and Steve Smith (inexcusable).

16. Martellus Bennett, TE

Last week: 27

vs. N.Y. Giants: 1 rec., 11 yards.

Notes: Romo tried to get the ball to Bennett on a third down play on the opening drive, though Bennett was not the first option nor was he open. Bennett’s first reception of the night came on the team’s first touchdown drive, when he caught a hitch pass and drove his way a few extra yards to the Giant 2. He was also used heavily as a blocker, lining up next to Marc Columbo to double-team Justin Tuck.

15. Marc Columbo, T

Last week: 16

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting right tackle.

Notes: The Giants did not record a sack and really did not generate pressure from the Cowboys’ right side. Columbo had a quiet game, but it seemed effective.

14. Patrick Crayton, WR

Last week: 13

vs. N.Y. Giants: 1 rec., 4 yards; 1 rush, 20 yards.

Notes: Crayton would have had a 36-yard reception late in the second quarter, but the play was called back due to a tripping penalty on Flozell Adams.

13. Flozell Adams, T

Last week: 14

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting left tackle.

Notes: Some will say that Flozell should drop further because of his tripping penalty on Justin Tuck in the second quarter. And, to be sure, the penalty cost the Cowboys 42 yards (negated a 36-yard completion and cost six yards). Last week, I dropped him because of his penalty against Tampa Bay. I won’t do it again because he shut down both Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, the latter of whom was held to one tackle and no sacks.

12. Roy Williams, WR

Last week: 6

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting receiver; 1 rec., 18 yards.

Notes: If nothing else, Williams has shown that he is a good blocker at
the receiver position. One reception isn’t going to silence his
critics, though. Near the end of the first half, Williams had a chance
to make a play near the goalline, but the ball bounced off his hands.

11. Terence Newman, CB

Last week: 8

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting corner; four tackles, one assist.

Notes: Newman did not have a good game against the Giants. On a few plays, the lack of a pass rush hurt, but receivers were able to get open by giving Newman quick moves. New York also had success running slants in front of Newman. Newman doesn’t look like he has slowed down as far a general speed, but reaction time has been very poor. Good reason to worry.

10. Jay Ratliff, NT

Last week: 11

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting nose tackle;

Notes: Ratliff had several great plays against the Giants. He shot the gap to blow up at least two runs, and he also made a nice play covering and then tackling Ahmad Bradshaw in the flat.

9. Bradie James, LB

Last week: 10

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting middle linebacker; two tackles, three assists, one pass defense.

Notes: James was more active against the Giants. I did not see any missed tackles. He showed some leadership with his comments after the loss.

8. Tony Romo, QB

Last week: 2

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting quarterback; 13/29, 127 yards, 1 TD, 3 Int.

Notes: Romo didn’t have to win this game, given that the running game was working so well. But when the team needed him to be safe with the ball, he threw picks.

7. Kyle Kosier, G

Last week: 17

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting left guard.

Notes: Kosier had several huge blocks, especially on touchdown runs by Tony Romo and Felix Jones.

6. Leonard Davis, G

Last week: 7

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting right guard.

Notes: The Giants got no push up the middle, indicating that Davis and Gurode did their jobs.

5. Andre Gurode, C

Last week: 5

vs. N.Y. Giants: Starting center.

Notes: I think Gurode is about as solid as they come. The Giants were not able to get pressure up the middle.

4. Felix Jones, RB

Last week: 9

vs. N.Y. Giants: Backup running back; 7 att., 96 yards, 1 TD.

Notes: His 38-yard kickoff return set up the Cowboys’ first touchdown. His 56-yard touchdown set up Tony Romo’s touchdown run in the third quarter. Jones then scored on a seven-yard touchdown run to give Dallas a 31-30 lead in the fourth quarter. He was a little bit hesitant on a couple of runs and a couple of returns, and he also fumbled a kickoff return. However, he made up for it with his other plays.

Jones is going to have to carry a greater load this week with the injury to Marion Barber.

3. Marion Barber, RB

Last week: 4

vs. N.Y. Giants: 18 att., 124 yds., 1 TD

Notes: Barber is a big-game back. He cuts back and to the outside as well as any running back in the league, and he was one of big keys to the Cowboys staying in the game. However, a quad injury could keep Barber out of action for a week or two.

2. Jason Witten, TE

Last week: 3

vs. N.Y. Giants: 5 rec., 33 yards, 1 TD

Notes: Witten caught a few key passes, but it was a generally quiet night.

1. DeMarcus Ware, LB

Last week: 1

vs. N.Y. Giants: 6 tackles, no sacks.

Notes: Ware just missed getting sacks on a couple of plays. The Giants double-teamed him most of the game, using either a tight end or a running back along with the tackle block Ware.

Poll

Relative Value Rankings After Week 1

Each week, we will take a look at every active player on the Dallas Cowboys. I have ranked them in terms of relative importance based on three principal criteria: (1) actual performance; (2) talent and potential; and (3) how badly the team would suffer. This list only represents my opinion, of course, and it is subject to debate.

Last week, we had only 52 players to rank. This week’s list features the entire roster of 53.

53. Curtis Johnson, LB

Last week: 49

vs. Tampa Bay: Inactive

Notes: Dallas is trying to convert Johnson from defensive end to linebacker. It may take some time.

52. Jason Williams, LB

Last week: 51.

vs. Tampa Bay: Injured/Inactive

Notes: Williams is going to be a solid player for the Cowboys, but we almost have to put injured rookies near the bottom of the list.

51. Stephen McGee, QB

Last week: 50

vs. Tampa Bay: Inactive as third-string quarterback.

Notes: McGee is not likely to contribute this year barring injuries.

50. Duke Preston, C

Last week: 36

vs. Tampa Bay: Inactive

Notes: It looked like Preston might beat out Cory Proctor for the backup center job, but Preston wasn’t even active against Tampa Bay. Given that I ranked Proctor #48 last week, I’d say this pushes Preston down pretty far.

49. Pat McQuistan, T

Last week: 34

vs. Tampa Bay: Inactive

Notes: McQuistan looked poor during the preseason and did not even make the active roster against the Buccaneers.

48. Michael Hamlin, S

Last week: 52

vs. Tampa Bay: Injured/Inactive

Notes: Hamlin’s value rose a bit thanks to the rib injury suffered by Gerald Sensabaugh. Hamlin will likely see action on both special teams and in nickel and dime packages when he returns.

47. Kevin Ogletree, WR

Last week: 41

vs. Tampa Bay: Inactive

Notes: Although I liked how Ogletree looked during the preseason, he did not make the active roster for the Tampa Bay game.

46. Montrae Holland, G

Last week: 38

vs. Tampa Bay: Inactive

Notes: Similar to Preston, Holland seemed to outplay Cory Proctor during the preseason, but it was Proctor on the active roster in week 1 rather than Holland.

45. Junior Siavii, DT

Last week: 45

vs. Tampa Bay: Backup; saw action on defensive line rotation.

Notes: Siavii saw action, but he did not seem to provide much of a push up the middle. Hard to judge linemen in this rotation.

44. Cory Procter, C/G

Last week: 48

vs. Tampa Bay: Backup; saw action on special teams.

Notes: Proctor is backup to both Andre Gurode and both guards, which should mean that he has pretty good value. However, nobody wants to see him play extensively due to injuries to any of the starters.

43. Victor Butler, LB

Last week: 46

vs. Tampa Bay: 1 assist

Notes: Butler saw a little bit of action on defense.

42. Doug Free, T

Last week: 44

vs. Tampa Bay: Backup; played on special teams

Notes: Large body. At least he made the active roster.

41. Stephen Bowen, DE

Last week: 43

vs. Tampa Bay: Backup; saw action on defensive line rotation. 1 tackle.

Notes: Another large body, but this one is on defense. Bowen’s tackle came on a play when Byron Leftwich fumbled and had to improvise.

40. John Phillips, TE

Last week: 40

vs. Tampa Bay: 3rd tight end.

Notes: Phillips saw action when Dallas went to a single-back, 3 TE set. He isn’t likely to make much news.

39. Marvin White, S

Last week: n/a

vs. Tampa Bay: 1 special teams tackle

Notes: White just joined the Cowboys, and he recorded a tackle on a punt return in the third quarter.

38. Alan Ball, CB

Last week: 37

vs. Tampa Bay: 1 tackle.

Notes: Ball saw action in the second half. On a 3rd-and-6 play from the Dallas 14 in the fourth quarter, Sammie Stroughter ran right in front of ball to make a catch and nearly score.

37. L.P. Ladouceur, LS

Last week: 32

vs. Tampa Bay: Long-snapper

Notes: Ladouceur is not likely to make news unless he screws up. Against Tampa Bay, he didn’t screw up.

36. Jon Kitna, QB

Last week: 28

vs. Tampa Bay: Backup quarterback

Notes: Kitna is a good insurance policy, but hopefully he won’t play much. Unlike Brad Johnson, Kitna is not holding field goals and extra points.

35. David Buehler, K

Last week: 42

vs. Tampa Bay: Kickoff specialist

Notes: His job: kick the ball through the back of the end zone. His performance: three touchbacks, which were three more than Dallas had last season.

34. Pat Watkins, S

Last week: 35

vs. Tampa Bay: 4 tackles, 1 special teams tackle.

Notes: Watkins replaced Gerald Sensabaugh in the second half and made several tackles. Many of his plays came during clean-up time, but he looked pretty good after finishing strong in the preseason.

33. Steve Octavien, LB

Last week: 47

vs. Tampa Bay: Backup linebacker.

Notes: Octavien replaced DeMarcus Ware in the first quarter when Ware was shaken up trying to tackle Kellen Winslow. Octavien did not record a tackle nor did he generate much of a pass rush.

32. Jason Hatcher, DE

Last week: 39

vs. Tampa Bay: Backup; saw action in defensive rotation.

Notes: Hatcher did not record a sack, but we heard his name several times when he pressured Byron Leftwich.

31. Bobby Carpenter, LB

Last week: 33

vs. Tampa Bay: Carpenter saw action in the nickel formations.  

Notes: Although Carpenter only recorded two tackles, he made a nice play on fourth down reception by Kellen Winslow on a fourth-and-7 play late in the game.

30. Deon Anderson, FB

Last week: 31

vs. Tampa Bay: Starting fullback.

Notes: Dallas does not use its fullbacks very often, so Anderson is not likely to have many touches. He’s not a bad receiver out of the backfield, but more of those passes are likely to go to Martellus Bennett this year.

29. Tashard Choice

Last week: 27

vs. Tampa Bay: Backup running back. 2 att., 10 yards.

Notes: Choice will play a bigger role in some games, but he only touched the ball twice against Tampa Bay. His first run on the opening drive of the game gave Dallas a first down.

28. Igor Olshansky, DE

Last week: 19

vs. Tampa Bay: Starting defensive end. Recorded one tackle.

Notes: Hard not to notice that the Tampa Bay line pushed the Dallas defensive line off the ball. It is also hard not to notice Chris Canty making plays for the Giants on Sunday.

27. Martellus Bennett, TE

Last week: 23

vs. Tampa Bay: Second tight end. 1 rec., 13 yards.

Notes: Bennett will become more involved with the offense, but like Choice, he had few opportunities against Tampa Bay. Tony Romo missed a chance to throw a jump-ball to Bennett in the red zone during the first quarter.

Update (9/17): Having read other write-ups about the matchup problems that Bennett caused,  I acknowledge he should be higher on this list.

26. Sam Hurd, WR

Last week: 29

vs. Tampa Bay: Backup receiver; led team in special teams tackles with 3.

Notes: Hurd saw action at receiver but was never
a target. His value was pr
imarily on special teams.

25. Orlando Scandrick, CB

Last week: 24 (tie)

vs. Tampa Bay: Rotated at corner with Mike Jenkins. Recorded two tackles.

Notes: Jenkins seemed to outplay Scandrick, but neither was tested very much. Scandrick served more of a nickel corner role against the Buccaneers.

24. Miles Austin, WR

Last week: 30

vs. Tampa Bay: 1 rec., 42 yards, 1 TD

Notes: Austin did the most with one opportunity, catching a ball over his back shoulder and racing the rest of the way to score with just under a minute left in the first half. He should get more opportunities.

23. Mike Jenkins, CB

Last week: 24(tie)

vs. Tampa Bay: 2 tackles, 1 pass defended

Notes: Jenkins had an interception called back when Gerald Sensabaugh was called for illegal contact. Jenkins also picked up and returned a blocked field goal in the first quarter. However, Jenkins was nearly burned badly by Antonio Bryant late in the first half.

22. Ken Hamlin, S

Last week: 13

vs. Tampa Bay: 5 tackles, 2 assists

Notes: From what I could judge, Hamlin appeared to miss at least two tackles on Cadillac Williams. His tackling was a problem late last season, and he fell on this list thanks to similar problems on Sunday.

21. Gerald Sensabaugh, S

Last week: 26

vs. Tampa Bay: 4 tackles, 3 assists, blocked field goal

Notes: Sensabaugh had a very good debut for Dallas. He blocked a field goal in the first quarter, leading to a Dallas field goal. He put a big hit on Michael Clayton in the second half, but Clayton got the better of it. Sensabaugh was called for an illegal conduct penalty, erasing Jenkins’ interception, but the call was pretty touchy.

20. Anthony Spencer, LB

Last week: 16

vs. Tampa Bay: 2 tackles, 2 assists

Notes: Daryl Johnston noted that Spencer was just a little bit slow getting to the quarterback. He should have had a sack or two. (Hard not to notice on Monday that Greg Ellis recorded a sack, pushing his way past San Diego’s right tackle on the play)

19. Nick Folk, K

Last week: 22

vs. Tampa Bay: 2 field goals (51, 22).

Notes: His 51-yarder after the opening drive erased preseason concerns. His two field goals raised his career field goal average to 87.3%, which at the moment is the highest in team history.

18. Mat McBriar, P

Last week: 20

vs. Tampa Bay: 4 punts, 43.0 average.

Notes: McBriar is better at his position than all but a few other Cowboys, meaning he should be higher on this list. It’s just too hard to put a punter above the players below.

17. Kyle Kosier, G

Last week: 15

vs. Tampa Bay: Starting left guard.

Notes: Solid performance. Romo wasn’t pressured up the middle, but the Cowboys had a little bit of trouble running up the middle on the left side.

16. Marc Columbo, T

Last week: 14

vs. Tampa Bay: Starting right guard.

Notes: Nothing bad to note regarding Columbo. The Buccaneers’ sole sack came from the right side of the Dallas line, but that was on a corner blitz.

15. Marcus Spears, DE

Last week: 17

vs. Tampa Bay: 2 tackles

Notes: Spears isn’t going to make too many headlines, but he disrupted a couple of plays and was around the ball. I thought he looked better than Olshansky.

14. Flozell Adams, T

Last week: 9

vs. Tampa Bay: Starting left tackle

Notes: Adams seemed to handle the right side of the Tampa Bay line pretty well, but his penalties are beyond maddening. His unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the second quarter wiped out a 16-yard run by Patrick Crayton (below). That is therefore a 31-yard penalty on Adams.

13. Patrick Crayton, WR

Last week:

vs. Tampa Bay: 4 rec., 135 yards, 1 TD.

Notes: It’s tempting to put Crayton up higher thanks to his huge game. If not for Flozell Adams, Crayton would have had a 16-yard run as well.

12. Keith Brooking, LB

Last week: 18

vs. Tampa Bay: 7 tackles, 2 assists

Notes: Brooking tied for the team lead in overall tackles, and he seemed to swarm around the ball. He is a noticeable upgrade from Zach Thomas.

11. Jay Ratliff, NT

Last week: 12

vs. Tampa Bay: 2 tackles

Notes: There have been plenty of calls for the Cowboys to pick up a bigger nose tackle and move Ratliff to defensive end. The Cowboys did not get much of a push up the middle against Tampa Bay, and the Buccaneers had success in the inside run game.

10. Bradie James, LB

Last week: 11

vs. Tampa Bay: 5 tackles, 2 assists

Notes: I wouldn’t blame James for the team’s tackling problems, but many of the Buccaneers’ longer runs went right up the middle thanks to poor tackling. James had a chance to make a couple of those tackles but missed. Then again, James made a nice play tackling Sammie Stroughter on a 3rd-and-4 play in the third quarter (along with Scandrick).

9. Felix Jones, RB

Last week: 5

vs. Tampa Bay: 6 att., 22 yards

Notes: Jones will move back up this list, but his role was limited against Tampa Bay. His 36-yard kickoff return to open the game was a good start, and his 19-yard run on the Cowboys’ second possession helped set up a second field goal.

Update (9/16): Jones suffered a thigh bruise against Tampa Bay, which explains why he played so little during the season half. The fact that he was injured does not help his value ranking, though, given how many games he missed in 2008 due to injury.

8. Terence Newman, CB

Last week: 10

vs. Tampa Bay: 8 tackles (1 for loss), 1 assist.

Notes: Newman struggled a bit against Michael Clayton. At the end of the first half, Tampa Bay moved into field goal range when Clayton took a half-step past Newman and caught a long pass just before time expired. That said, Newman did not do anything that should reduce his value on this list.

7. Leonard Davis, G

Last week: 8

vs. Tampa Bay: Starting right guard

Notes: Nothing spectacular, but the Buccaneers did not get a push up the middle all game.

6. Roy Williams, WR

Last week: 7

vs. Tampa Bay: 3 rec., 86 yards, 1 TD

Notes: Williams’ 66-yard touchdown reception was huge, proving several of us wrong about his big-play ability.

5. Andre Gurode, C

Last week: 6

vs. Tampa Bay: Starting center.

Notes: The Buccaneers didn’t get much pressure up the middle, which reflects well on Gurode. Late in the first half, Gurode quickly snapped the ball when a Tampa Bay defender jumped offsides, resulting in a penalty on Tampa Bay. One play later, Romo hit Miles Austin on a 42-yard touchdown pass.

4. Marion Barber, RB

Last week: 4

vs. Tampa Bay: 14 att., 71 yards, 1 TD

Notes: There was talk last week that perhaps Felix Jones is more valuable to the Cowboys than Barber, but against the Buccaneers, Barber showed why he is the starter.

3. Jason Witten, TE

Last week: 3

vs. Tampa Bay: 5 rec., 71 yards.

Notes: Witten wasn’t spectacular, but he continues to be most reliable. His biggest receptions came in the first half, including an 18-yarder that pushed the Cowboys inside the Tampa Bay 10.

2. Tony Romo, QB

Last week: 2

vs. Tampa Bay: 16/27, 353 yards, 3 TD, 0 Int.

Notes: It was a tale of two halves for Romo. In the first half, he threw behind receivers a couple of times, and the

offense looked a little bit off. In the second half, Romo was great, holding on to the ball just long enough to make some huge plays.

1. DeMarcus Ware, LB

Last week: 1

vs. Tampa Bay: 4 tackles, 2 passes defended

Notes: Ware was used as much in coverage as he was in the pass rush. Though he didn’t have a sack, Tampa Bay had to account for him.

Relative Value Rankings: Final Roster Cuts Edition

The Cowboys on Saturday announced cuts today that reduced the team’s roster to 52 players. Dallas will most likely sign another player to increase the roster size to 53, and other roster moves are possible.
In light of today’s news, here is a list of the 52 players who made the team. Similar to a power rankings list, these players are listed in order of their relative value. Of course, these rankings only represent my opinions about these players.
Two factors I considered in compiling this list: (1) the player’s talent and production potential; and (2) how badly the team would suffer if the player went out for the season.
52. Michael Hamlin, S
The rookie from Clemson broke his wrist and will be out six weeks. He will be a special teams player when he returns. It is tough to say what impact he will have, and since he’s injured, he gets the Least Valuable Player ranking– at least for now.
51. Jason Williams, LB
Williams was the team’s highest draft pick in 2009. He suffered a high ankle sprain and will be out for about a month. His value should rise once he returns.
50. Stephen McGee, QB

McGee is yet another rookie who was injured during the preseason. He will run the scout team when he returns from a sprained ankle.
49. Curtis Johnson, LB
Johnson played defensive end for the Colts in 2008. Dallas picked Johnson up on September 2 and plan to convert him to an outside linebacker. Given the change in position and his lack of experience with the team, he starts at #49.
48. Cory Procter, C/G
Procter started 11 games in 2008 at left guard, but he was hardly impressive. With the signing of Duke Preston, it looked as if Procter’s days may be numbered, but Procter made the squad.
47. Steve Octavien, LB
Dallas signed Octavien late in 2008 after placing Kyle Kosier on injured reserve. Octavien will be a special teamer for the Cowboys in 2009.
46. Victor Butler, LB
Butler is another of the three rookies who both made the squad and is healthy enough to play at this point. He will be a backup at linebacker and a special teams player.
45. Junior Siavii, DT
Siavii was originally a second-round pick by the Chiefs but was out of football for three years. Dallas released him last year, but he made the team in 2009.
44. Doug Free, T
Free did not look good against the Vikings, raising concerns about the depth of the Cowboys’ line.
43. Stephen Bowen, DE
Bowen provides depth on the defensive line, but not much more. He had 16 tackles and one sack in his first three seasons.
42. David Buehler, K
Buehler made the team as a kickoff specialist, and he may also contribute in other ways.
41. Kevin Ogletree, WR
Ogletree beat out Isaiah Stanback for the #5 receiver spot. If Dallas uses all of the receivers more than it has in the past, then Ogletree may get some opportunities. 
40. John Phillips, TE
Phillips made the squad as a blocking tight end. That is probably more action than Ogletree will see.
39. Jason Hatcher, DE
The former third-round pick has had 5.5 sacks in three seasons.
38. Montrae Holland, G
Dallas traded for Holland in 2008 to provide depth, but the former starter for the Saints and Broncos struggled with his weight. He was not especially impressive during preseason in 2009, but he looked better than Procter.
37. Alan Ball, CB
Ball is a pretty good special teams player, and perhaps he is bit low on this list. He will rise if he makes some plays in nickel and dime formations.
36. Duke Preston, C
The Cowboys signed Preston late in training camp, and some expected his signing to lead to the release of Procter. Preston can play both center and guard.
35. Pat Watkins, S
Watkins was one of the players on the bubble during training camp, but a very strong performance against the Vikings in the final preseason game helped him to secure a roster spot.
34. Pat McQuistan, T
Like Free, McQuistan did not look good against the Vikings.
33. Bobby Carpenter, LB
Carpenter saw a lot of action during the preseason, and he did not look bad for the most part. However, he still does not look like a starter, and most still consider him to be a complete bust.
32. L.P. Ladouceur, LS
Never underesstimate the value of a good long snapper.
31. Deon Anderson, FB
The Cowboys probably won’t use a fullback in many of the team’s packages, meaning that Anderson’s value is limited. Anderson has also been hurt during the preseason.
30. Miles Austin, WR
Austin might have competed for the #2 receiver slot, but he has not looked as strong as expected. He has also been hurt. Still, he has greater speed than any of the other receivers.
29. Sam Hurd, WR
Hurd reportedly looked good during training camp, but he has once again struggled with injuries.
28. Jon Kitna, QB
Kitna is certainly an upgrade over Brad Johnson, but there will also certainly be a drop-off in quality if Kitna has to fill in for Tony Romo in 2009.
27. Tashard Choice, RB
Choice’s value will rise if the team truly uses three backs in 2009. He was great in December while filling in for an injured Marion Barber.
26. Gerald Sensabaugh, S
The Cowboys struggled with Roy Williams in coverage. The team then struggled more when Williams was injured in 2008. If Sensabaugh can provide solid coverage, his value will shoot up quickly.
24/25 (tie) Mike Jenkins, CB; Orlando Scandrick, CB
Scandrick will split time with Jenkins at corner. Several reports have indicated that Scandrick outperformed Jenkins during training camp, but Jenkins has not looked bad during the preseason.
23. Martellus Bennett, TE

Bennett has a huge upside, and most expect the Cowboys to run out of two tight end sets to use Bennett more in the passing game.
22. Nick Folk, K
Folk would probably be a little bit higher, but he has looked a little bit shaky during the preseason.
21. Patrick Crayton, WR
Crayton will once again be the team’s #2 receiver, as well as one of the punt returners. A 50-catch season like the one he had in 2007 would be nice.< /div>

20. Mat McBriar, P

McBriar is quite a weapon as a punter, and the team missed him when he was injured in 2008. He looked better as the preseason progressed.
19. Igor Olshansky, DE
Olshansky replaces Chris Canty and might even be an upgrade.
18. Keith Brooking, LB
Brooking replaces Zach Thomas (who was, incidentally, released today by the Chiefs). The Cowboys hope that Brooking will bring some leadership into the locker room.
17. Marcus Spears, DE
This is contract season for Spears, who has underachieved at times but had a strong season in 2008.
16. Anthony Spencer, LB
Spencer became the starter at outside linebacker with the release of Greg Ellis. Spencer showed playmaking ability in 2008, but Dallas is going to need him to be more consistent in 2009.
15. Kyle Kosier, G
Kosier’s value became apparent in 2008 when he missed 13 games. His health in 2009 will be vital.
14. Marc Columbo, T
Columbo has been steady at right tackle for the past three seasons. Adding to his relative value is the lack of a strong backup.
13. Ken Hamlin, S
Hamlin did not have a great season in 2008, managing only one interception and missing a few tackles. It would certainly help if he could return to his 2007 form.
12. Jay Ratliff, NT
Ratliff should probably be higher on this list, but it’s hard to put a nose tackle ahead of the others ahead of him. We’ll see if he can be a disruptive force again this season.
11. Bradie James, LB 
James is one of the leaders of this squad, and he has become a great middle linebacker in the 3-4. He had eight sacks and 80 tackles in 2008.
10. Terence Newman, CB
With the team’s trade of Anthony Henry, Newman is the only veteran presence among the team’s cornerbacks.
9. Flozell Adams, T
Adams’ value is based less on his dominance at left tackle and more on a great deal of concern that would arise if he missed any time with injury.
8. Leonard Davis, G
Davis made the Pro Bowl once again in 2008 thanks to another solid season at right guard. He also played left tackle during training camp, though he did not make this move in any of the preseason games.
7. Roy Williams, WR
Williams will have plenty of chances to show that the Cowboys did not make a mistake by trading several draft picks, including a first-rounder, to obtain the former Longhorn.
6. Andre Gurode, C
Gurode has been steady at the center position since 2006, and he has made three consecutive Pro Bowls. His value is even greater given the lack of a strong backup.
5. Felix Jones, RB
Odd that a backup running back would be so valuable, but Jones make be the team’s mosts dangerous weapon. Dallas certainly missed him in 2008 when he missed 10 games with a toe injury.
4. Marion Barber, RB 
Some believe that Barber is on the downside of his career, based on his running style and the injuries he sustained in 2008. As of now, though, he is the team’s workhorse at running back.
3. Jason Witten, TE
Witten may catch 90 to 100 passes this year. The team needs this type of production to help make up for the loss of Terrell Owens.
2. Tony Romo, QB
A number of fans are frustrated with Romo, but the fact remains that the team cannot win without him. 
1. DeMarcus Ware, LB
Ware should have won the defensive player of the year award in 2008. He was simply dominant.