Category Archives: NFL Dallas Cowboys Practice Squad

NFL PRO SCOUTING REPORT: A closer look at your newest Dallas Cowboy – DT Corvey Irvin | DE Caesar Rayford brought back

2013-2014 ROSTER UPDATE - Meet your newest Dallas Cowboy, DT Corvey Irvin - DE Caesar Rayford brought back

Corvey Irvin   DT, Georgia   6-3   301  4.96 (40 time)

Selected by Carolina Panthers in 3rd round of 2009 NFL Draft

The Dallas Cowboys have added another defensive tackle to the roster, by signing tackle Corvey Irvin, a former third-round pick of the Panthers in 2009. Former NFL scout Bryan Broaddus checked a few of his recent games this past preseason as a member of the Chicago Bears.

Games Viewed: Chicago Bears (Preseason 2013) vs. Carolina & San Diego

  • Played both as a one and three technique in a 4 – 3 scheme, would say that he is better suited to play as the three.
  • Really nice initial quickness off the snap but needs to win on that first move.
  • Tends to play high and upright, when he gives up his chest, he struggles to get off the block.
  • When he is free, can get up the field and make things happen, keeps moving and working, did a nice job of working down the line.
  • Thought he was a bit hit-and-miss when it came to finding the ball, there were times where he was too tied up with blocker and by him.
  • Better when he was on the move, twist, slant, will use pass rush moves to try and free himself, will even try to spin, active here.
  • Thought he was much better as a pass rusher than he was as a run player, times where he got too high and washed on the play.
  • Needs to do a better job of using his hands when it comes to getting off blocks when playing against the run, again needs to win on that first move.
  • Fits the scheme because of his ability to quickly get off the ball, attacking the blocker, but needs to play with better stoutness.


ROSTER RELATED: Cowboys bring back DE Caesar Rayford to practice squad

The Dallas Cowboys added 6’ 7” defensive end Caesar Rayford to the practice squad today. Rayford was cut from the active roster Tuesday to make room for DT Corvey Irvin.

He had originally been acquired Sept. 3 in a trade with Indianapolis. The Dallas Cowboys sent a 2015 conditional pick to the Colts in exchange for him. Rayford appeared in seven games, playing 147 snaps. He made six tackles and contributed one quarterback pressure.

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2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Miami Dolphins sign David Arkin from Dallas practice squad | Injured defensive tackle Marvin Austin released

dallas cowboys guard david arkin (62) does extra snapping practice after practice - 2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Miami Dolphins sign David Arkin from Dallas practice squad IRVING, Texas – The Miami Dolphins signed guard David Arkin from the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad.

The 2011 fourth-round pick from Missouri State was released by the team on Oct. 26 to make room for safety Jakar Hamilton on the 53-man roster. Arkin then returned to the Cowboys’ practice squad two days later.

Arkin was inactive for six of his seven games this year on the 53-man roster and never played in a regular season game for the Cowboys. He appeared to be taking strides this preseason from where he was at in past years.

Given the recent goings-on in Miami and the suspension of offensive lineman Richie Incognito, the Dolphins are looking for all the depth they can get.

The Dallas Cowboys also parted ways today with defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who was waived/injured.

Austin signed with the Cowboys on Oct. 21 and played that weekend against the Lions, finishing with a tackle. He was unable to push through a back injury Sunday against the Vikings that bothered him in practice late in the week.

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas RG Brian Waters placed on IR | Micah Pellerin promoted from practice squad

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER - Dallas RG Brian Waters placed on IR - Micah Pellerin promoted from practice squad

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have officially placed guard Brian Waters on injured reserve after a week of evaluation.

Waters suffered a strained rib, a hyperextended knee and a torn triceps in last weekend’s loss to Detroit, with the triceps injury proving to be the most severe.

The veteran guard, who was halfway through his 13th NFL season, sought out several secondary opinions that would allow him to continue playing this year, but those were of no avail.

Mackenzy Bernadeau will start in place of Waters on Sunday against Minnesota. Bernadeau started in all 16 games last season, and he was the starter for the first three weeks of 2013 before Waters replaced him in Week 4.

It remains to be seen what Waters will do going forward. The Cowboys signed him to a one-year contract just five days before the season opener against the New York Giants. The six-time Pro Bowler played to his lofty reputation in five starts this season, but he will be 37 by the start of the 2014 campaign.

In Waters’ place, the Cowboys called up defensive back Micah Pellerin from the practice squad. This marks the fourth week in a row the Cowboys have activated a practice squad player. They called up linebacker Cameron Lawrence on Oct. 11, defensive end Jason Vega on Oct. 18 and safety Jakar Hamilton on Oct. 26.

Pellerin was a standout for the team in training camp after joining the practice squad at the tail end of 2012. He has experience playing both safety and cornerback, though he has played primarily as a corner during his time with Dallas.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett hinted on Friday that Pellerin would get the nod, as the team will be without Morris Claiborne for Sunday’s game against the Vikings. Claiborne injured his hamstring in the loss to the Lions.

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas guard David Arkin returns to the practice squad

2013-2014 Dallas COWBOYS ROSTER - Dallas guard David Arkin returns to the practice squad

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys made the decision to cut David Arkin on Saturday because they needed the roster spot. But they haven’t completely given up on their three-year investment.

The Cowboys decided to bring back Arkin on the practice squad today. Arkin has only been active for eight games in his career but has yet to play a single snap, which gives him practice-squad eligibility despite this being his third season with the club.

The Cowboys cut Arkin to make room for rookie safety Jakar Hamilton, who played because of an injury to J.J. Wilcox. Hamilton will likely stay up on the roster with Wilcox’s status uncertain and now Barry Church has a hamstring injury.

“We got to the point where we needed a safety based on our safety situation,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “And that was the one we felt we could make that move on the 11th hour and hopefully he can get past through and we can bring him back and put him on our practice roster and we’ve invested in him and we do like him.”

Garrett was asked if he was disappointed in Arkin’s progress, considering he was a fourth-round pick in 2011 and has yet to contribute in the regular season.

“There’s probably nobody on our football team who works harder and is more committed than David Arkin,” Garrett said. “He’s the right kind of guy and he’s working at it and he’s getting better. I think he has improved over the last couple of years and that’s why we’re happy to get him back and put him back on the practice roster and continue that development.”

During the last two training camps and preseasons, Arkin received more practice reps than any other linemen the last two years. With an abundance of injuries on the line, Arkin has played both at guard and center. This past summer, he was mostly at guard. He started the first preseason game at right guard, then started the third and fifth games at left guard.

The year before, he started the first three preseason games at center.

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas releases David Arkin and adds safety Jakar Hamilton today

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER - Dallas releases David Arkin and adds safety Jakar Hamilton today - Dallas Cowboys roster 2013-2014

IRVING, Texas – A fourth-round pick in 2011, David Arkin never played an offensive snap for the Dallas Cowboys.

Now it seems as if they never will. The Cowboys officially waived Arkin on Saturday to make room for rookie safety Jakar Hamilton, who was signed off the practice squad. Hamilton will travel to Detroit and likely make his NFL debut with starter J.J. Wilcox (knee) ruled out for Sunday’s game with the Lions. Jeff Heath is expected to make his first career start while Hamilton and veteran Danny McCray will serve as the backups.

The Cowboys are high on Hamilton, who even had a fifth-round grade on their draft board. When he went undrafted, they immediately signed him as a priority rookie free agent. He has spent the first seven weeks of the season on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

If it works out of the Cowboys, Arkin could likely take Hamilton’s place there. Arkin has practice-squad eligibility and could get re-signed if he’s not claimed off waivers.

The Cowboys have been patient with the development of Arkin, who played various positions in college at Missouri State. Arkin came to Dallas and has played both guard and center.

During training camp last year, he started three preseason games at center. He started two games at guard this year.

But when it came to playing in the game, the Cowboys have not put him out there on offense. Through the first seven games this year, he was inactive in all but one week.

Without Arkin, the Cowboys are down to just nine offensive linemen. They’ve usually been keeping only seven active for the games with Mackenzy Bernadeau serving as the backup at guard and center and Jermey Parnell as the backup tackle. Last week, Phil Costa was active in Philly but has typically spent game days on the sidelines with Arkin and reserve tackle Darrion Weems.

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas practice squad full again; Speedy WR added

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER - Dallas practice squad full again; Speedy WR added

The Dallas Cowboys are back to a full eight-man practice squad on Tuesday, signing three in the last 48 hours.

On Tuesday, the club signed former Baylor wide receiver Lanear Sampson, who spent all summer and preseason with the Colts before being cut just prior to the regular season. Sampson played in all four exhibition games with Indy, catching two passes for nine yards.

Sampson joins college teammate Terrance Williams on the Cowboys’ receiving corps. Like Williams, Sampson is also a Dallas native (Mesquite) who spent five seasons in Waco, including a redshirt in 2008.

At Baylor, Sampson started opposite of Williams last year and had his best season of his career, catching 52 passes for 646 yards and six touchdowns, earning All-Big 12 honorable mention honors. Sampson not only finished his career with a 43-game reception streak, but ranked fifth in school history with 165 catches.

While the Cowboys sent wide receiver coach Derek Dooley and assistant receiver coach Keith O’Quinn down to Waco for the Baylor Pro Day mainly to scout both Williams, they were also impressed by Sampson, who ran a 4.35 time in the 40. He went undrafted but signed with Indy after the draft.

Sampson becomes the fourth Baylor wide receiver in the last three seasons to be on an NFL roster or practice squad, along with Williams, Josh Gordon (Cleveland) and Kendall Wright (Tennessee).

And the Cowboys now have eight players on the practice squad roster. Over the weekend, they had to waive receiver Jamar Newsome and guard Ray Dominguez because of an NFL rule that doesn’t allow teams to keep three-year practice squad veterans if the 53-man roster is not full. Since the Cowboys had only 52 players on the roster going to Philly, those two players had to be released to prevent from losing the ability to sign them back in the future.

After they cleared waivers, Jamar Newsome and Ray Dominguez were officially retained Monday. And along with Sampson, they join wide receiver Tim Benford, running back Davin Meggett, cornerback Micah Pellerin, safety Jakar Hamilton and quarterback Alex Tanney.

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas releases two players from practice squad

Ray Dominguez - Dallas Cowboys practice squad

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys released guard Ray Dominguez and wide receiver Jamar Newsome from their practice squad on Saturday.

The move is the latest in a flurry of activity on the team roster in the last week. The Cowboys moved defensive end Edgar Jones to the IR/designated for return list and signed Jason Vega to the active roster from the practice squad, both on Friday afternoon. Earlier in the week, the team released former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jay Ratliff.

All of that activity will give the Cowboys 52 players on their active roster as they make the trip to Philadelphia for Sunday’s game against the Eagles.

Former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jamar Newsome now on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster

That simple fact creates a curious case for Dominguez and Newsome. Both players are in their third year in the league, which puts them in an unusual situation under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Article 33, section 4 of CBA reads: “An otherwise eligible player may be a Practice Squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment.”

Essentially, that rule would make both players ineligible for the remainder of the season if the Cowboys were to play the Eagles while maintaining an open roster spot.

It’s likely the team will re-sign the pair next week. For now, the two cuts combined with Vega’s move to the active roster gives the Dallas Cowboys just five players on the practice squad.

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas practice squad linebacker Cameron Lawrence promoted today

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER - Dallas practice squad linebacker Cameron Lawrence promoted today - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have filled the empty roster spot with rookie linebacker Cameron Lawrence, who was signed off the practice squad today (Friday).

Lawrence, an undrafted rookie from Mississippi State, nearly made the active roster coming out of training camp and the preseason. The Cowboys decided to sign veterans Edgar Jones and Kyle Bosworth for special teams purposes. But Lawrence has remained on the practice squad and will likely play Sunday in his NFL debut.

“Hard work has paid off,” a smiling Lawrence said today, just minutes after he called his agent to inform him the news. “I was glad to be on practice squad but this is just a whole another level.”

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER - Dallas practice squad linebacker Cameron Lawrence promoted today - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster - Oakland Raiders

After the Cowboys waived veteran safety Will Allen, Lawrence said the practice squad players were told one of them would likely be added to the roster this week. Early speculation centered on Jakar Hamilton, a safety would seemingly would take Allen’s spot. And last week the Cowboys nearly signed defensive end Jason Vega from the squad.

2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER - Dallas practice squad linebacker Cameron Lawrence promoted today - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys roster - NFL

But Lawrence said hearing of that possibility got his attention.

“Automatically my eyes lit up,” Lawrence said. “I had a good week of practice. I guess they liked what they saw. I fit the need that they needed. They told me today after practice.”

With Justin Durant (groin) questionable for Sunday’s game, adding Lawrence is a natural fit. But he also said he expects to be a full participant on special teams. In college, Lawrence contributed on defense for four years at Mississippi State, where he was a two-time All-SEC standout.

In the preseason games with the Cowboys, Lawrence finished second on the team with 16 tackles with one quarterback pressure and one pass deflection.

BISACCIA’S BOYS: Recent roster moves show emphasis on Special Teams

BOLSTERING BISACCIA’S BOYS - Recent roster moves show emphasis on Special Teams

IRVING, Texas – This time of year is always a tough time to make judgments on the roster. And it’s not for a lack of news, but only because we should know by now the roster is far from fluid.

We’ve already seen a few changes since Saturday’s 22 roster moves to get down to 53 players.

But if we’ve seen any kind of theme here in the last few days pertaining to the roster, it’s a rare emphasis on improving the special teams units.

For starters, the Cowboys decided to keep both Danny McCray and Eric Frampton as backup safeties, along with Jeff Heath and J.J. Wilcox. McCray and Frampton have lead the team in special teams tackles over the last three years.

McCray has been the special teams captain the last two years. He showed last year that he struggles as a safety, especially in coverage. But when it comes to covering kickoffs and punts, few have been as good or consistent as McCray in recent history.

The one decision the Cowboys didn’t make regarding the kicking game centered on wide receiver. They chose to keep just five receivers, including Cole Beasley, who is a better route-runner and slot player than Anthony Armstrong. However, Armstrong played with every special teams unit and had more speed than arguably any other player on the squad. 

After the cuts, the Cowboys started making more special-teams related moves. A few hours after trimming the roster to 53, the club put Nate Livings on IR and traded a seventh-round pick to Kansas City for linebacker Edgar Jones, a six-year veteran who thrives on special teams. He is a hybrid linebacker/defensive end as a position, but special teams is his forte.

On Sunday, after the Cowboys sent Sean Lissemore to San Diego for 2015 seventh-round pick, they filled his spot by claiming linebacker Kyle Bosworth from the Giants. Yes, it’s that Bosworth – he’s the nephew of former Seattle Seahawk first-rounder Brian Bosworth. And Kyle is another local product, having starred at Plano West before attending UCLA. He played the last two years for the Jaguars, playing 25 games, including five starts last season.

Again, Bosworth is a special-teams player. That will be his role here with the Cowboys.

They tried to fill Alex Albright’s (lost during the preseason, placed on waived/injured list) spot from within. Rookies Brandon Magee, Cam Lawrence and Taylor Reed, along with first-year pro Caleb McSurdy all made it to the final preseason game. But the Cowboys chose to put all of them on waivers on Saturday.

The goal was to bring Magee back to the practice squad, but he was claimed off waivers by the Browns. Lawrence, an undrafted rookie from Mississippi State, has been added to the Cowboys’ practice squad.

But the Cowboys weren’t confident in any of them being ready to play Sept. 8 against the Giants. That’s why Bosworth has been signed. The same goes for Jones. And ditto for having both McCray and Frampton on the team.

I’m sure new special teams coach Rich Bisaccia is appreciative. After watching five games in the preseason, it was clear the kicking game had its issues. Although sometimes those tend to show up more because the players are being shuffled more than a deck of a cards in Vegas.

Who knows if the special teams miscues will carry over into the regular season. But if they do, it’s not likely they can blame personnel on this one.

DUST SETTLING ON ROSTER: 2013 Dallas Cowboys practice squad set

dallas cowboys wide receiver danny coale - the boys are back blog

IRVING, Texas – For those upset the Dallas Cowboys cut quarterback Alex Tanney because they feared he would be claimed by another team, breathe a sigh of relief. Tanney cleared waivers and was signed to the Cowboys’ practice squad.

Wide receivers Danny Coale and Tim Benford will be on the practice squad for the second straight season. The Cowboys also added guard Ray Dominguez, defensive end Jason Vega, cornerback Micah Pellerin, safety Jakar Hamilton and linebacker Cameron Lawrence to the practice squad.

The Cowboys had hoped to re-sign Brandon Magee to the practice squad, but the linebacker was claimed by Cleveland. The Dallas Cowboys are no longer on the hook for the $70,000 guarantee they had on his contract.

TWENTY-TWO BUSTED BUBBLES: Cutdown leaves a few players vying for practice squad positions

Jerry Lewis - Labor Day Weekend MDA Telethon host - Comedian Jerry Lewis - The original Nutty Professor

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys are finally back to 53 players on the roster. And that’s the part that likely won’t change.

The actual guys that make up the entire roster – top to bottom – will certainly be shuffled around here over the Labor Day weekend, probably starting as early as Sunday or Monday.

But for now, the Cowboys have turned in their 22 roster moves to get down to 53 players before Saturday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

One of the more notable roster moves includes safety Matt Johnson, who was placed on injured reserve Saturday afternoon and will be lost for the season.

Other notable cuts Saturday include wide receivers Anthony Armstrong and Danny Coale, quarterback Alex Tanney and cornerbacks Sterling Moore and Micah Pellerin.

While Johnson was placed on IR, he’s one of three more 2012 draft picks not on the 53-man roster, along with Coale and Caleb McSurdy, a seventh-round pick who missed all of last year with a torn Achilles.

Here are the official roster moves from Saturday:
 
Placed on IR:
Matt Johnson, S
 
Waived:
Jakar Hamilton, S
Tim Benford, WR
Danny Coale, WR
Anthony Armstrong, WR
Kendial Lawrence, RB
Alex Tanney, QB
Kevin Kowalski, G/C
Edawn Coughman, OT
Jabari Fletcher, DE
Thaddeus Gibson, DE
Taylor Reed, LB
Micah Pellerin, CB
Sterling Moore, CB
Xaiver Brewer, CB
Ray Dominguez, G
Jerome Long, DT
Demetress Bell, OT
Jason Vega, DE
Caleb McSurdy, LB
Cameron Lawrence, LB
Brandon Magee, LB

NFL ROSTER CUTDOWN DAY: Meet your 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys

Your 53 Dallas Cowboys Roster 2013-2014 - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – While the focus on this day is typically the players who are released, here’s a look at the guys who actually made the team – for now.

Quarterback (2): Tony Romo, Kyle Orton – The Cowboys decided once again to keep just one backup for Romo. Alex Tanney had promise and will likely get back to the practice squad if he’s not claimed off waivers. For now, the team had too many needs at other positions to keep a luxury third quarterback.

Running Back (4): DeMarco Murray, Lance Dunbar, Joseph Randle, Phillip Tanner  –  Four running backs is not uncommon, but it’s usually three tailbacks and a fullback. With no fullback on the roster, the Cowboys will stick with four runners, especially with Lance Dunbar (foot) banged up. Randle and Tanner will provide some depth and special teams ability.

Wide Receiver (5) – Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Dwayne Harris, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley – The Cowboys decided to cut veteran Anthony Armstrong, who had a good camp and preseason and is likely the fastest player on the team. Armstrong could get resigned in Week 2 when his roster would not be guaranteed. Beasley’s ability to work the middle of the field proved to be too valuable.

Tight Ends (5): – Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar, James Hanna, Dante Rosario, Andre Smith -The Cowboys have shown they will use more tight ends this year. Jason Witten will get most of the touches, but there will be plenty of packages that featured both James Hanna and Gavin Escobar. This spot might see some changes before the start of the season. Rosario is really the only fullback-type player on the roster, but Smith did enough things to keep him around.

Offensive Line (10): Tyron Smith, Ron Leary, Travis Frederick, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Nate Livings, Doug Free, Phil Costa, Darrion Weems, David Arkin, Jermey Parnell – This position was tough to cut because of the injury situations to Leary and Livings. Don’t be surprised if there are more moves to make on Sunday.

Defensive Line (9) – DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Jason Hatcher, Nick  Hayden, George Selvie, Kyle Wilber, Ben Bass, Landon Cohen, Sean Lissemore – The Cowboys might be in the process of making moves here. Keeping Cohen and Lissemore was somewhat surprising. Cohen is probably the closest thing to a one-technique the Cowboys have as backups. Lissemore’s concussion could play a role in keeping more tackles.

Linebacker (5) – Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Justin Durant, Ernie Sims, DeVonte Holloman: Like the others, expect some changes here. The Cowboys decided not to keep a sixth linebacker, releasing Brandon Magee, Cam Lawrence and Caleb McSurdy. Holloman was so impressive in the preseason, he likely jumped several players on the projected depth chart. Don’t be surprised if Sims works his way into the starting lineup at some point.

Defensive Backs (10): Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr, Barry Church, Will Allen, Orlando Scandrick, B.W. Webb, J.J. Wilcox, Danny McCray, Eric Frampton, Jeff Heath: Six safeties made the club. It’s somewhat surprising that both McCray and Frampton made the team. McCray had to take a considerable pay cut but the Cowboys will need his special teams experience. Cutting both Sterling Moore and Micah Pellerin was a surprise as well. The Cowboys currently have just four cornerbacks.

Specialists (3) – Dan Bailey, Chris Jones, L.P. Ladouceur – No surprises here. These three were the expected group last January and nothing has changed.

BLIP ON THE RADAR: The least sexy article you’ll read today; but one worth remembering

SOPHOMORE MAKES LEAP - Dallas Cowboys OG Ronald Leary catches Garrett's eye at minicamp - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Ronald Leary – He threw a couple of guys around this past weekend as if they were Pop Warners.

He looks strong as bull.

Built like one of those top-loading deep freezers.

He’s quiet, but seems quite serious about this game of football.

And to most out there, he’s a forgotten man, and understandably.

But around here, when so many want to throw jab after jab at the Cowboys for failing to do enough this offseason to improve their offensive line, they must snicker quietly to themselves. They know better. They know they’ve got a real shot at multiple upgrades to the interior of this offensive line.

Sure, the Cowboys went out of their way to select an offensive lineman in the first round, center/guard Travis Frederick, the real irony of this draft since one and all wanted the Cowboys to concentrate on offensive linemen, some suggesting to do so with the first three picks. And then when they made doubly sure to draft at least one high-quality offensive lineman, they were chastised for trading down to do so.

Can’t win sometimes.

Roster Rundown - Ron Leary Might Be Ready To Compete This Year - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

Ronald Leary.

Yep, him again. He’s still here, hasn’t gone anywhere.

You remember him, right? The rookie free-agent offensive lineman the Cowboys signed last year out of Memphis that owner Jerry Jones just couldn’t wait to tell everyone how excited he was over the acquisition. And I know what you are thinking, and probably were thinking: Why so excited about some rookie free agent? Why, the guy didn’t even get drafted.

Well, I’m sure back in the day there were similar reactions to the rather innocuous rookie free-agent signings of Tony Romo and Miles Austin. Sometimes these guys entering the league as rookie free agents do make it. Some big. (Also see Bill Bates, Mark Tuinei, Nate Newton, Everson Walls, to name a few, and those guys were passed over when the NFL Draft was 12 rounds.) Granted, the odds are long, understood.

Continue reading →

DALLAS COWBOYS ROSTER UPDATE: Ben Bass on IR, CB Sterling Moore signed

The Dallas Cowboys announced today that they have placed DL Ben Bass, a rookie from Texas A&M, on injured reserve and signed CB Sterling Moore, a former SMU player, from the New England Patriots’ practice squad.

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Moore (5-foot-10, 200 pounds) spent parts of the last two seasons with the Patriots. He had 12 tackles, one pass deflection, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery before he was cut in October. He started three games last year as an undrafted rookie. Perhaps his most notable play came in the AFC Championship game last season, when he denied Baltimore’s Lee Evans a touchdown catch that would have put the Ravens ahead in the late stages of a 23-20 loss to New England. The Cowboys will add a year to Moore’s deal, signing him through 2013. He will likely be available to play against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday night.

Moore has playing experience with the Patriots in their nickel defense for most of the games this season. For the Cowboys, he’ll likely be used on special teams, but could have a role in the nickel defense if he’s active.

Dallas needs reinforcements in the secondary. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick fractured his left hand Nov. 22 against Washington and could be out for the rest of the regular season. Safety Charlie Peprah, who is expected to need 2-3 weeks to recover from a foot injury.

Moore, a versatile player, has been deployed at safety and cornerback since joining the Patriots in 2011. In 14 NFL games, the second-year veteran has made 20 tackles, forced a fumble and collected two interceptions.

Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Ben Bass (79) gets some direction from DeMarcus Ware - The Boys Are Back blog

Ben Bass suffered a sprained ankle in practice this week and was seen in a walking boot afterward. In limited playing time, Bass was credited with two tackles on the season. He spent most of the season on the practice squad until Kenyon Coleman was lost for the season with a torn triceps. Bass was called up to the active roster on Nov. 14.

With Sean Lissemore returning to action this week after missing nearly seven full games with a high-ankle sprain, Bass’ playing time would’ve likely diminished with a chance he could’ve been inactive this week.

The season is over for Bass, who had quite a journey to just stick around with the Cowboys, who invited him to participate in rookie minicamp on a tryout basis only. Bass was impressive enough to get signed to the 90-man roster but stuck around and made it to the practice squad and then the 53-man roster.

ROSTER MOVES: Jenkins Hurt; Agnew Signed, LB Guyton Waived

Dallas Cowboys inside linebacker Bruce Carter (54) tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Dallas Clark - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys made some last-minute roster moves before heading to Philadelphia on Saturday.

With cornerback Mike Jenkins hurting with a back injury, the Cowboys called up Vincent Agnew from the practice squad. Agnew (5-10, 196) will travel to Philly and likely play Sunday against the Eagles, depending on Jenkins’ status, which was questionable on Friday’s injury report.

To make room on the roster, the Cowboys have waived newly-signed linebacker Gary Guyton, who joined the team Wednesday and practiced all week. The Cowboys were hoping Guyton’s experience – four years with the Patriots – and his background in the 3-4 defense would make him a valuable addition to a linebacker corps that has been decimated by injuries.

While Guyton’s release might suggest the Cowboys are confident Dan Connor (stinger) will be able to pay, he’s actually listed on the injury report as doubtful.

The Cowboys will likely start Bruce Carter and Ernie Sims at inside linebacker with Alex Albright, who is listed as an outside backer and former defensive end in college, will be the main backup inside.

As for Jenkins, he suffered the back injury on Wednesday and underwent an MRI after having spasms earlier in the day. Jenkins was on the practice field Friday but didn’t participate much.

Agnew spent training camp with the Dolphins before being released and signed to the Cowboys’ practice squad on Oct. 16.

PRACTICE SQUAD: Raymond Radway cut; OLB Jerry Brown signed

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Raymond Radway (86) during Dallas Cowboys training camp - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have cut wide receiver Raymond Radway from the practice squad two weeks after signing him.

With Danny Coale healthy again after a hamstring strain, the Cowboys did not need a third wide receiver on the practice squad. Radway was among the Cowboys’ final cuts in the preseason after he failed to make a catch. He struggled in his return from a fractured ankle suffered in the final preseason game of 2011.

Outside linebacker Jerry Brown replaced Radway on the practice squad. Brown floated between Indianapolis’ practice squad and active roster after signing with the team earlier this year. Brown, 25, played at Illinois and wasn’t drafted.

PRESIDENTIAL DECLARATION: Jerry Jones says Dallas Cowboys are still in the race, can win this year

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones speaks with the Ravens' Dick Cass before kickoff - The Boys Are Back blog

The Dallas Cowboys are 2-3 and have lost their past two games. But owner, PRESIDENT, and general manager Jerry Jones is more confident than ever that his team can make a title run this season because of how it played in Sunday’s 31-29 loss at Baltimore.

Jones said he is disappointed in the loss but he did see positive things that the Cowboys can build on.

"It’s terribly disappointing. But we played physically. We did things that we can win with in the future," Jones said on his radio show on KRLD/105.3 FM. "We’re 2-3, so that’s five games into a 16-game season. We don’t have time to have a bad time here. We’ve got to have some wins to make sure we’re in the hunt. We are fresh off, I keep pointing it out, a world champion that won nine of 16 ballgames last year.

"We know that you want your team as healthy and as in sync as it can be as we get on in to the end of the season. We know that we’ve played one division game and won it. We’ve got those guys, the Giants, coming back in here. We know that’s going to be a big game for us. All of those things give us a chance to take a team that is evolving into — if you look at the pluses yesterday — evolving into a team that can compete for the championship. Not next year, this year.

"Let me emphasize that," Jones said. "I’m not into everybody getting better, learning for years to come. It’s this year."

Murray out this week

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed on Tuesday that running back DeMarco Murray will miss at least Sunday’s game at Carolina with a sprained foot.

Jones said on his radio show that magnetic resonance imaging results showed ligament damage, but no fractures.

Murray will likely miss a few games, but the injury will not sideline him for the season.

"I think we were encouraged that his sprain was not any more serious than it is," Jones said. "He’s a tough guy. I regret that we’re not going to have him against Carolina."

Costa’s impact

The return of center Phil Costa and his impact on the record-setting rushing performance against the Ravens was more than just lip service from Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

According to Pro Football Focus, every Cowboys offense lineman played well in the game as the team rushed for 227 yards, the most ever against the Ravens. But the site rated Costa as the best lineman in the game for both teams, saying he was dominant in the middle and got the best of every Ravens defender they put in front of him.

It was Costa’s first game since suffering back injury on the first series of the season opener against the New York Giants.

Roster moves

The Dallas Cowboys signed cornerback Vince Agnew to the practice squad and released cornerback Mario Butler.

Agnew was one of 16 players the Cowboys worked out on Friday. Agnew originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Central Michigan on July 28, 2011. He was released on September 3 and immediately signed to their practice squad where he spent most of the 2011 season.

He was released by Miami on August 31, 2012.

ROSTER UPDATE: Dallas Cowboys promote Lance Dunbar, sign Raymond Radway to practice squad

Dallas Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar vs Miami Dolphins - The Boys Are Back blog

Lance Dunbar finally will get his chance to play. The Cowboys promoted him from the practice squad Monday to fill their 53-player roster. Dallas released cornerback LeQuan Lewis, a special teams standout who they brought in to help against returners Leon Washington and Devin Hester, last week.

"We’re going to bring Dunbar up and give him a chance just to contribute as a teams guy and also on offense when necessary," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday.

The Cowboys nearly called up Dunbar before the season opener against the Giants. Dunbar, North Texas’ all-time leading rusher, ran for 106 yards on 18 carries in the preseason and caught three passes for 11 yards.

Dunbar could be a possibility on kickoff returns. He had three punt returns in the preseason but did not handle any kickoff returns. Felix Jones has averaged 21.5 yards on kick returns this season, and the Cowboys rank next to last in average start after a kickoff (19.2 yard line).

"He’s a quick guy," Garrett said. "He’s shown that he can be a good gunner and make some plays. He’s very aggressive and active. So want to give him a chance to do that. He’s also done some returning for us as well. So just wherever he’s needed. We’ll give him some work in practice at the different spots and see how he responds."

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Raymond Radway (86) during Dallas Cowboys training camp - The Boys Are Back blog

The Dallas Cowboys also brought back receiver Raymond Radway, signing him to the practice squad. Radway spent last season on injured reserve and was among the team’s final cuts this year. Danny Coale has a hamstring injury, necessitating the move for practice purposes.

RELATED: Radway will help Cowboys get through practice while others not at full speed

Wide receiver Raymond Radway is “more healthy now,” one reason the Cowboys have brought him back.

The team announced today the signing of Radway to the practice squad and the promotion of running back Lance Dunbar from the practice squad to the active roster.

“He had a really good preseason two preseasons ago and got hurt and missed all of last year and came back this past training camp and really wasn’t himself, and was trying to fight through some things,” Garrett said. “But we feel like he’s more healthy now and we needed a receiver on the practice roster, just really to help us function in practice, and we thought he was a good one to give another chance to.”

Miles Austin, Kevin Ogletree and practice squad receiver Danny Coale worked with trainers in practice Monday.

In preseason two years ago, as an undrafted rookie, Radway caught six passes for 91 yards and averaged 25.4 yards on four kickoff returns. He was set to make the 53-man roster. But he suffered a broken leg with three seconds left in the final preseason game and spent the rest of the year on injured reserve.

He had one kickoff return for 26 yards.

ROSTER TWEAK: Dallas Cowboys work out former WR Raymond Radway

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Raymond Radway makes catch during Dallas Cowboys Training Camp (Star-Telegram Ron Jenkins) - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – While the players and coaches will be off most of the weekend here during the bye, the Cowboys are still trying to churn the bottom of the roster.

There is an open roster spot, and the Cowboys have worked out two players now this week after former receiver Raymond Radway had a workout Friday at Valley Ranch.

Radway has spent the last two training camps with the team and all of last year on injured reserve after he broke his leg on the final play of the 2011 preseason. Radway returned this season and just didn’t show the same burst during training camp and the four preseason games.

He worked out for the scouts and selected coaches on Friday. Radway does have practice-squad eligibility so there is a chance the Cowboys could sign him to the squad and call up another player to the active roster.

The current practice squad consists of receivers Danny Coale and Tim Benford, defensive tackles Robert Calloway and Ben Bass, guard Ron Leary, fullback Jamize Olawale and running back Lance Dunbar, who actually went on a road trip to New York to start the season with the plan he would be called up to the roster. That never materialized but Dunbar is someone with speed and quickness that could bolster the special teams.

Earlier this week, the Cowboys worked out former cornerback Bryan McCann, although it’s unlikely he will be re-signed at this point.

COWBOY DRAWS RAVE REVIEW: LB Adrian Hamilton joins Ravens practice squad

Dallas Cowboys LB Adrian Hamilton joins Baltimore Ravens practice squad - The Boys Are Back blog

One of the most intriguing developmental prospects of the Cowboys’ training camp has moved on to a new team after being cut on Friday.

Linebacker Adrian Hamilton, who had 20.5 sacks at Prairie View A&M in 2011, joined the Baltimore practice squad on Saturday, according to Ravens insider Aaron Wilson. The Cowboys did not attempt to sign Hamilton to their own eight-man practice roster, instead keeping only one linebacker, Orie Lemon. He had been on the Cowboys practice squad throughout 2011.

Hamilton had one sack for the Cowboys this preseason, also forcing a fumble against St. Louis.

He came up short in a battle for a 53-man roster spot. The Cowboys kept five outside linebackers, DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Victor Butler, fourth-round pick Kyle Wilber and second-year pro Alex Albright, who can also play inside.

ROSTER MOVES: TE Colin Cochart claimed off waivers; 8-man practice squad set

Dallas Cowboys have claimed tight end Collin Cochart off waivers from the Bengals - The Boys Are Back blog

IRVING, Texas – Nothing is ever final when it comes to the roster.

After cutting 23 players to get down to the 53-man limit Saturday night, the Dallas Cowboys made more moves Saturday, just before their first regular-season practice in preparation for the Giants.

The Cowboys have claimed tight end Colin Cochart (6-4, 260) off waivers from the Bengals. In doing so, they have officially waived quarterback Stephen McGee, who initially survived Friday night’s cuts.

Minutes earlier, coach Jason Garrett was asked in his Saturday morning press conference about keeping three quarterbacks on the roster. He said they valued the position and McGee, but Garrett also hinted that it’s the time of year to make tough decisions.

The addition of Cochart could be an indicator of Jason Witten’s availability for Wednesday’s game with the Giants. Witten is expected to practice Saturday for the first time since suffering the lacerated spleen injury.

Cochart played in 10 games last year as a rookie in Cincinnati, including three starts. Considered more of a blocker, Cochart caught five passes for 44 yards and one touchdown in 2011.

The Cowboys have also re-signed eight players to the practice squad, virtually getting everyone back they wanted. The squad includes:

  • RB Lance Dunbar
  • RB Jamize Olawale
  • DT Robert Calloway
  • WR Danny Coale
  • LB Orie Lemon
  • DE Ben Bass
  • WR Tim Benford
  • G Ronald Leary

Five of the eight players were undrafted rookies.

OFFICIAL ROSTER CUTS: Dallas Cowboys down to 53 players.

The Dallas Cowboys just officially announced their cuts today. There aren’t any surprises, but here’s the complete list from the team:

  • Jeff Adams OT
  • Baraka Atkins LB
  • Ben Bass DT
  • Tim Benford WR
  • Robert Callaway DT
  • Rudy Carpenter QB
  • Shaun Chapas FB
  • Danny Coale WR
  • Lance Dunbar RB
  • Clifton Geathers DT
  • Harland Gunn OG
  • Saalim Hakim WR
  • Adrian Hamilton LB
  • Ronald Leary OG
  • Orie Lemon LB
  • Jamize Olawale RB
  • Pat McQuistan OT
  • Akwasi Owusu-Ansah CB
  • Lionel Smith CB
  • Andrew Szczerba TE
  • Eddie Whitley S
  • Teddy Williams CB

Among those players cut, the Cowboys would probably want to bring back these players for their practice squad, which can’t be set until 11 a.m. Saturday:

  • QB Rudy Carpenter,
  • WR Danny Coale,
  • RB Lance Dunbar,
  • LB Orie Lemon,
  • RB Jamize Olawale,
  • LB Andrian Hamilton
  • OG Ronald Leary

The Cowboys waived/injured guard Daniel Loper on Friday night.

The Cowboys traded their 2013 seventh-round draft pick to Miami for center/guard Ryan Cook on Friday morning. Cook, a seven-year veteran out of New Mexico, was originally a second round pick (51st overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He played his first five years with the Vikings before signing with Miami as a free agent on September 5, 2011. Cook has started 40-of-77 career games, making starts at right tackle, right guard and at center.

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