On the surface the answer is easy based on his recent preseason performances. Based on his play at receiver the answer is an easy and resounding yes. But if you dig deeper you have to take other things into account when determining the final 53 man roster. When you really think about it, it seems that Isaiah Stanback still has a chance even if his play at the receiver position has not been at all impressive because he does a good job on special teams.
While Kevin Ogletree has looked very good at receiver, the 5th receiver is going to have to be someone who can perform on special teams to make the active roster on game day. Ogletree has returned a few kicks and actually looked pretty good doing it, but he has to do more to be a factor on game day. Special teams coverage units are where bottom of the roster guys have to make their living. Ogletree has not done a good job in the few opportunities he has had to cover punts.
Stanback, on the other hand, tends to fly down the field with his tremendous speed and make an impact covering kickoffs. I know his receiver play has not been good, but he is always a threat on kickoff returns and actually looks explosive when he gets a crease to run through. The problem, as always, with Stanback is deciding whether you can rely on him to be healthy. I don't see how you can honestly believe that he will do anything but get hurt again, but the coaches just really seem to like the guy.
What makes me nervous is that Kevin Ogletree has looked so good over the last two preseason games that there is absolutely no way he can clear waivers to be signed to the practice squad. So the question becomes whether you can afford to keep him on the roster given his subpar coverage abilities on special teams. He would probably have to be inactive on game day unless another receiver is injured. Depending on how the final roster shakes out there is a slight chance that the Cowboys will keep six receivers. If you cut Ogletree you have to assume that he is gone for good.
I don't see the Cowboys cutting Ogletree under any circumstances at this point, but you never can tell what the coaches are thinking. I don't even think it is Ogletree vs. Stanback anymore. It is now do they keep a 6th receiver on the roster if they want Stanback? My best guess is that Ogletree stays and Stanback goes. My #2 option would be keeping both guys but the numbers don't work out very well when you try to keep six receivers on the final roster. I have a slight fear that Stanback will be cut and finally show he can play receiver in this league somewhere else, but, really, what are the odds Stanback even makes it through the season?
At some point the Cowboys have to pull the plug on the Stanback experiment and I think this is the year it happens. I would still love to see Stanback break out as a player this season but the preseason games have given me no indication that anything is different with him this year. I don't think you can give up a talented receiver like Ogletree to keep the unfulfilled potential of Stanback...especially when you have to be under the assumption that Stanback won't be available for all 16 games this season.
When the final roster is announced in the near future I won't be surprised if Stanback makes it based on his special teams play. I will be extremely disappointed if Ogletree doesn't make the team because he looks like a guy who could be a player on this team for a long time if he continues to work hard. Ogletree will probably have to be inactive on game day as long as the four receivers ahead of him are healthy, but he'll be a great fill in if any of those guys get hurt. Isaiah Stanback better pray that the coaches find a way to keep six receivers on the final roster. I believe the coaches have seen enough from Ogletree to know that he can play receiver at the NFL level...that should be enough to allow him to make the final roster. With Stanback we're still talking about potential after three years of waiting.