The Dallas Cowboys have filled their roster with the 53rd player on Tuesday, acquiring rookie linebacker/defensive end Caesar Rayford from the Colts.
The Cowboys have sent a late round (undisclosed) draft pick to Indy in exchange for the undrafted rookie, who started out with the Redskins before joining the Colts in May. Rayford made their roster, only to be sent to the Cowboys three days later.
Rayford had five sacks for the Colts, not only leading the team, but all NFL players in the preseason.
He’s considered a rangy player with long arms. Rayford ran a 4.56 in the 40 coming out of college at the Univ. of Washington. He’s also shown the ability to block kicks.
Rayford went undrafted out of Washington in 2008 and spent the last four years in the Arena Football League, where he had 28.5 sacks with the Utah Blaze. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound defensive end signed with the Colts in May and had a team-high five sacks, four tackle for loss and five quarterback hits in preseason. He also had two forced fumbles.
Rayford also played for the British Columbia Lions of the CFL and Spokane Shock of the Arena League.
Rayford came out of nowhere this summer, piling up a league-leading five sacks in the preseason. The undrafted defender — who projects as a 4-3 end in Dallas — earned high praise from Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who called Rayford a “football junkie.”
Rayford, 27, fills out the roster after the Cowboys had an empty spot after trading veteran tight end Dante Rosario. This is the fourth trade the Cowboys have made since Saturday. They’ve acquired Edgar Jones from the Chiefs, traded Sean Lissemore to the Chargers and Rosario to Chicago.
The trade might suggest the Cowboys are not that confident in Anthony Spencer’s return from a knee injury. Spencer has yet to practice since the first few days of training camp, before he underwent a scope on his knee.
Currently, the Cowboys are prepared to play George Selvie and Kyle Wilber at the end positions if Spencer doesn’t play.