3. This is a make-or-break season for . .
Nick Eatman: Well, the easy answer is Roy Williams. Of course, it’s make or break for him and you guys know it, too. But what about Marcus Spears? He’s going on his fourth season and he’s got competition breathing down his neck. While his lack of production will always be scrutinized, it can’t be overlooked that his position is simply one that doesn’t garner big numbers, including sacks. Still, if Tank Johnson is pushing for playing time at nose tackle, then it’s likely Jay Ratliff will be pushing Spears for time at end. Spears is still the starter but he might have to fighter harder than ever to keep it this year.
Mickey Spagnola: Linebacker Kevin Burnett. The former second-round draft choice is in the fourth and final year of his contract, so this season will be an important one for his continued future with the Cowboys or his future station in the NFL. Not only does he need to continue playing well on the nickel and special teams, he needs to make a run at Zach Thomas for the starting weak inside linebacker position if he wants to parlay the year into either a lucrative contract to remain with the Cowboys or one in free agency with another team offering him a chance to start.
Rob Phillips: Right tackle Marc Colombo, in terms of breaking the bank. Once labeled an injury risk, Colombo has shored up what used to be a problematic position for the Cowboys by starting all 32 games over the past two years. But he needs another strong season to earn a long-term deal and fend off the team’s young tackles.