Anthony Armstrong’s stint with the Cowboys this past season lasted 26 days. But the receiver from Carrollton will get another chance to make the team. He played in one game for the Dallas Cowboys, failing to record any statistics in Dallas’ 27-24 overtime victory over Pittsburgh on Dec. 16.
Armstrong was signed to Dallas’ reserve/future list along with a group of eight other players, including tight end Colin Cochart, guard Ray Dominguez, receiver Jared Green, long snapper Charley Hughlett, receiver Carlton Mitchell, linebacker Cameron Sheffield, tackle Aderious Simmons and cornerback Brandon Underwood.
Cochart was on the Cowboys’ active roster for 10 days in September. Hughlett had been a member of the team through training camp until being cut Aug. 27.
The Cowboys had previously signed the following players to the reserve/future list: Cornerback Vince Agnew, receiver Tim Benford, receiver Danny Coale, defensive end Ikponmwosa Igbinosun, cornerback Micah Pellerin, defensive tackle Brian Price, linebacker Brashton Satele, tight end Andre Smith, quarterback Nick Stephens and linebacker Monte Taylor.
The Dallas Cowboys released long snapper Charley Hughlett, tackle Levy Adcock, punter Delbert Alvarado, tight end Harry Flaherty, receiver David Little, tackle Tyrone Novikoff, receiver Raymond Radway, running back Javarris Williams and cornerback C.J. Wilson. They also waived/injured receiver Donavon Kemp and linebacker Caleb McSurdy.
Kevin Kowalski, a guard/center who hasn’t been able to go at all since the start of training camp, has been placed on the physically unable to perform list.
Dan Bailey has had a perfect preseason – 3-for-3 on field goals, 2-for-2 on extra points – and he drilled a 49-yard field goal Saturday night against the Chargers.
So he’s ready for the regular season, right? Surely he doesn’t need to kick any more in preseason.
“I just enjoy playing,” he said. “So any opportunity I can get out there, it’s fun for me. It’s also good to get the game experience. I like it. … You can always get better, so I don’t know if there’s really a benchmark that I’m hoping to achieve, necessarily, to get myself ready for the season. My idea is to just improve each game throughout the whole year. It’s good to get some attempts now, early on, especially a long one like the kind I had tonight.”
Bailey said the long kick was into the part of the stadium where the wind was pushing the ball, and the kick drew back left on him. But he said he struck it well, and it felt good off his foot.
Bailey also credited the work of long snappers Charley Hughlett and L.P. Ladouceur and holder Chris Jones. Hughlett, a rookie, was the snapper for the field goals, and he and the veteran Ladouceur each had one of the PAT snaps.
“The operation’s been great,” Bailey said. “Everybody worked really hard in the offseason. I think it’s just really been a smooth process. Everybody’s locked in and focused. It’s been a pretty easy transition coming back into this year.”
Now it’s time to go back to turf. The next two games are at Cowboys Stadium, then the Cowboys go to MetLife Stadium (Giants) and CenturyLink Field (Seahawks) before coming home for two more home games.
“I don’t think about it too much,” Bailey said. “Especially Cowboys Stadium. That’s like a kicker’s paradise there. We’ve been fortunate enough. We’ve had pretty good grass in Oxnard, and the grass was good here tonight.”
How much does Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones like Ronald Leary? Enough to guarantee the undrafted free agent guard $214,000 in signing bonus and base salary in 2012, according to NFL Players Association figures.
It’s a staggering amount of money for a player with a knee condition that worried the Cowboys – and other teams – so much that he wasn’t selected. The Cowboys liked what Leary was able to do in the organized team activities and minicamp and gave him some snaps with the first-team offense at times.
The Cowboys paid Leary a $9,000 signing bonus and guaranteed $205,000 of his $390,000 rookie base salary. If Leary does not make the team, then he would still get his money. The Cowboys had to fend off at least one other team from signing Leary, who was projected as a mid- to late-round pick if not for the injury.
The guaranteed money falls in line with what Indianapolis’ Josh Chapman received as the top pick of the fifth round with a signing bonus of $215,512. Danny Coale, the Cowboys’ fifth rounder and No. 152 overall, received a signing bonus of $190,052.
Leary wasn’t the only undrafted free agent to receive a guaranteed portion of his base salary. The Cowboys will pay wide receiver Tim Benford $20,000 and long snapper Charley Hughlett $10,000. Wide receiver Saleem Hakim received the highest signing bonus among the college free agents at $10,000 and will also receive $7,500 in base salary.
Teams were limited in how much signing bonus they could give their undrafted free agents, which meant a number of teams also offered portions of guaranteed salary to entice players to sign.