IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have signed defensive tackle David Carter to the 53-man roster, replacing the spot of Landon Cohen, who was waived Tuesday. Cohen was active for both games this year, registering one tackle.
Carter (6-5, 300) has played in 32 games for the Cardinals, all 16 in each of his two seasons after being a sixth-round pick in 2012 out of UCLA.
Carter is expected to play both end and tackle in the 4-3 scheme. He’s played in hybrid defenses in the past.
In his career, he has four starts, 18 tackles and one sack, with two pressures and a forced fumble.
The Cowboys also signed wide receiver Jamar Newsome to the practice squad. He replaces Danny Coale, who was waived. Coale, a fifth-round pick in 2012, never played in a regular-season game.
Newsome, a standout at Central Florida, was on the Chiefs’ practice squad in 2012 for most of the year, but did play in eight games with two starts in 2011 with Jacksonville. He has five career catches for 73 yards.
Newsome and Carter were two of six players the Cowboys worked out on Tuesday. The team also looked at cornerbacks Ryan Steed, Junior Mertile and Peyton Thompson, along with wide receiver Dwight Jones.
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.
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.
When the Cowboys’ season ended, they had 11 players on injured reserve and rookie safety Matt Johnson on the reserve/injured returnable list.
Rookie wide receiver Danny Coale was on the practice squad reserve/injured list.
It was a busy year for the Cowboys’ medical staff.
One of the lasting images of the season was strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik trying to loosen up the back of wide receiver Dez Bryant, who suffered severe back spasms in the regular season finale at Washington. Bryant had to leave the stadium in a wheelchair.
Quarterback Tony Romo walked out of Washington with a fractured rib. Several other players left the stadium needing crutches to get to the team bus.
Woicik and his staff stretched out some players individually before the team stretching period. The staff did everything they could to get players ready to play. Austin seems to always be battling hamstring problems, and Johnson was only able to practice a handful of times because of his hamstring and ended up hurting his back while rehabbing.
"You have to evaluate what the injuries are and if there is any correlation to your strength and conditioning program," coach Jason Garrett said.
Woicik is considered one of the best in the NFL. He’s been a part of six Super Bowl-winning teams, including three with the Cowboys in the 1990s.
"I think you have evaluate them one by one and see if there is anything we could have done differently in terms of practicing, offseason program, anything like that," Garrett said. "A lot of that just seemed to be those kinds of injuries that happens over the course of a season in the NFL."
IRVING, Texas – The wide receiver position had plenty of question marks at the beginning of the year. After 16 regular season games, the group became a MASH unit. Had the Cowboys won in Washington Sunday night, it would’ve been very interesting to see how they would’ve played the game against Seattle this week.
Dez Bryant could barely walk on his own power for two days with a back injury. While the X-rays were negative showing no structural damage, it’s hard to think Bryant would’ve been able to be close to 100 percent, if he’d even play at all.
Miles Austin and Dwayne Harris both suffered high-ankle sprains. Austin couldn’t return in the game and Harris’ injury occurred late and he didn’t come back either. It’s unlikely they would’ve played. And Cole Beasley suffered a shoulder injury that would’ve probably had him limited, if not out.
It’s kind of ironic the player who has taking the most ‘beatings’ from fans and media this year, is the only receiver still standing at the end of the year. Kevin Ogletree started the season with two touchdown catches against the Giants and had another one in the finale against Washington.
Now in between, Ogletree’s production was hit or miss, and mainly miss. He ranked fourth on the team in both catches (32) and receiving yards (436) and third in touchdowns with four.
As an unrestricted free agent once again, Ogletree might not return in 2013. But then again, it could come down to the same thing as last year when the Cowboys didn’t have a lot of players with experience and Ogletree’s presence in the offseason was needed. And then in training camp, the group of Andre Holmes, Harris, Beasley, Danny Coale and anyone else, never did enough to unseat him.
But this time, with Harris and Beasley showing some promise, coupled with Coale’s return, Ogletree might not get re-signed at the start of free agency.
But let’s shift the focus back to the top.
Dez Bryant’s consistency has been in question since he arrived in 2010. And in the second half of the season, Bryant was arguably the team’s most consistent player. He caught a touchdown in seven straight games, which tied a franchise record, but was dominating in the second half of games. He finally reached the potential the Cowboys saw in him to draft him despite some of the off-season risks.
But injuries have been a concern for him all along. Toughness shouldn’t be questioned, considering he played through a fractured left index finger towards the end of the season, and still continued his touchdown streak, including a career game of 224 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints.
Where the Cowboys might have some decisions to make involves Austin, who should be healthy for the start of the offseason conditioning program despite the ankle injury. Overall, it was a quiet 66-catch, 943-yard season that included six touchdowns. His numbers were solid, considering he ranked third in catches and yards, but the “wow-factor” wasn’t always there.
And with a contract that averages $9 million per season, Austin needed more of the big plays, especially in big games. Austin had a catch in every game this season except the two Redskins games, where he suffered a hip injury and then ankle injury last week.
The Cowboys might look to restructure Austin’s deal, but outright releasing him, or even trading him, would take a hit on the salary cap – one they can’t really afford considering they may attempt to re-sign Anthony Spencer and/or Tony Romo this offseason.
Editors note: The Dallas Cowboys will bring in Anthony Armstrong (if still available), Donavon Kemp (IR), and Tim Benford (Practice squad), drafted receivers, and any number of free agents in the offseason. Based on the performance of Harris (and Beasley to a lesser degree) late in the season, it seems unlikely that Ogletree will be back in 2013-2014. Bringing in another veteran is not out of the question. Anybody you like in San Diego? That worked nicely in 2011.
IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys returned from an extended holiday break with a lot of roster moves taking place here at Valley Ranch.
The biggest includes linebacker Bruce Carter, whose season has ended with an elbow injury. Carter is going to injured reserve and will likely require surgery.
The Cowboys have signed two players – veteran linebacker Brady Poppinga and wide receiver Anthony Armstrong to the 53-man roster.
They will take the place of Carter and recently-cut wide receiver Andre Holmes.
The Cowboys also made two moves on the practice squad, placing wide receiver Danny Coale (hamstring) on injured reserve and signing cornerback Reggie Evans. They still have an open spot on the practice squad and could retain Holmes if he clears waivers.
Carter becomes the fourth defensive starter to land on injured reserve, along with Barry Church, Kenyon Coleman and Sean Lee. Carter was blossoming into a defensive stalwart in the middle before the injury last Thursday, which occurred in the third quarter.
The Cowboys are now left with Dan Connor, Ernie Sims, Alex Albright, and now Poppinga, who played six years with the Packers (2005-10) and had 12 starts last year with the Rams.
As for Armstrong, he should be able to provide some deep speed to the receiver position. He was recently cut by the Dolphins but spent two years in Washington from 2009-10 where he caught 51 passes for a 19.1 yard average and five touchdowns.
Armstrong played with the Dallas Desperados, a now defunct Arena League team owned by Jerry Jones and operated by many members of the Cowboys’ organization. Armstrong was head coached in Dallas by Will McClay, who now serves in the pro scouting department for the Cowboys as director of football research.
RELATED: Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter broke bone in elbow
Bruce Carter did more than dislocate his elbow.
The Cowboys linebacker broke a bone in his elbow that will require surgery later this week.
The club initially hoped if the ligament damage wasn’t too extensive that Carter would be able to return in two weeks. But the broken bone prolongs his recovery period into the off-season, which is why he was placed on injured reserve.
No timetable has been established. But Carter should be cleared to participate when the team begins organized team activities in the spring.
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.
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.
SMU grad and undrafted free agent Cole Beasley’s impressive preseason campaign was rewarded on Friday with a spot on the 53-man roster. The 5-foot-8 Beasley impressed the coaching staff with his quickness out of the slot and is considered along with Kevin Ogletree a strong candidate for the No. 3 receiver when the Cowboys take the field against the Giants on Wednesday night.
“I’m willing to accept any role that they’ll give me,” Beasley said Saturday at Valley Ranch. “I’m glad to be here, and I want to do anything I can to get on the field and help the team win.”
Beasley has been working with the first team during three-wide sets in most practice scenarios. Despite the early success, Beasley remains humble.
“I’m just trying to get better every day and trying to move up the ladder,” said Beasley. “Trying to make my teammates better while I’m out there, and hopefully they help me get better too.”
RELATED: Bryant’s knee tendinitis hasn’t changed plans on punt returns
Jason Garrett said the Dallas Cowboys have not settled on their kickoff and punt returners yet, and that Dez Bryant’s knee injury has not affected their thinking about him returning punts.
“If he’s the best guy, and he’s healthy, we’ll give him a chance to do it,” Garrett said Saturday at Valley Ranch, where the Cowboys started their practice week for Wednesday’s season opener against the New York Giants. “Those guys have to be reliable, first and foremost, in taking care of the ball. And then you obviously want to evaluate their playmaking ability after that. Dez has shown that he’s capable of doing both, and if he’s healthy, we’ll give him a chance to do it.”
Bryant was found to have patellar tendinitis after an MRI exam in San Diego two weeks ago, when he came off the practice field with a knee injury.
The Cowboys kept him out of action after that until Saturday’s practice.
Garrett said Bryant has learned to “manage his energy better” and understand what kind of physical condition he needs to be in.
“He’s more consistent with how he approaches practice, and that’s carried over to the competitive situations that we’ve been in,” Garrett said.
RELATED: How to work Miles Austin up to speed
IRVING, Texas – Miles Austin will practice for just the second time in about a month today because of a hamstring suffered in Oxnard, Calif., and he will have to get used to a pitch count so to speak.
Because of his history of hamstring injuries, the Dallas Cowboys have established the number of snaps Austin will get in practice to make sure he will be good to go for Wednesday’s game against the New York Giants.
“The other thing with receivers is you have to get them warmed up prior to practice to get ready for those team reps and you have to monitor those as well,” coach Jason Garrett said, “and make sure they get enough to get warmed up and ready to go but not too many to where they leave it over in the individual period.”
Without playing in a preseason game and not practicing for such a long spell, can Austin play a full game against the Giants with limited practice snaps?
“You want to get him over the course of the week where you feel like he can go play,” Garrett said. “You want to monitor those reps in practice and you want to monitor them in the games, but you want to get to the point where you give him a thumbs up, ‘Hey, go play like you’ve always played.’”
Garrett said Austin and Dez Bryant, who missed the final two preseason games with knee tendonitis, “worked their way back into practice (on Saturday) and we’re hopeful they’ll continue to progress as the week goes on.”
Todd Archer | ESPN Dallas
RELATED: Dallas Cowboy Kevin Ogletree 2.0 playing with confidence
One of the main job openings on the Cowboys roster this summer was the No. 3 receiver position. There were many applicants, and after a few releases it appears Kevin Ogletree has secured the position.
It’s the second consecutive season that Ogletree has emerged as the No. 3 receiver, but he lost the gig to veteran Laurent Robinson last season.
"I feel good about how I’m playing right now," Ogletree said. "I don’t have any idea of what I look like this first practice back at Valley Ranch. Two years ago, I’m sure it was similar, it’s definitely a good feeling I have."
The offseason was troubling for Ogletree given how his brother, Calvin Ogletree, was shot in the head and is still recovering. Ogletree also dealt with being on the free-agent market but was brought back by the Dallas Cowboys.
On top of everything else, Ogletree battled past draft pick Danny Coale — who was released Friday and brought back to the practice squad — the rising Andre Holmes and Cole Beasley and of course Dwayne Harris, a draft pick a year ago.
Ogletree has built a good chemistry with quarterback Tony Romo. The Cowboys want receivers who are ‘quarterback friendly’ because it allows the quarterback to play with more confidence and it gives coach Jason Garrett, the offensive play caller, another option to call plays for.
"I’m practicing confidently, going to meetings confidently, coming to work confidently, it’s my approach," Ogletree said. "With confidence comes a lot of other things, that’s definitely for sure."
Calvin Watkins | ESPN Dallas
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.
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.
Every year is the same it seems. We go into this final preseason game with a handful of players right there on the verge of making the team.
It’s always around the same number of players, with only the names changing, this year’s group including the likes of Hamilton, Coale, Lemon, Bass, Dunbar and Olawale. Oh, there were a few more, but those were the main guys.
But this year, the differences include more than just a few name changes.
Because as soon as the final seconds ticked off the clock in Wednesday’s 30-13 win over the Dolphins, the regular season was upon us. Just like that, it’s on.
No longer do the Cowboys have about 10 days to get ready. With the Wednesday night game on Sept. 5, the team only has a full seven days before they face the defending champs.
And it certainly doesn’t help that the Cowboys are dealing with injuries to key players such as Jason Witten, Jay Ratliff and Miles Austin. Throw in Dez Bryant, Mike Jenkins and Danny McCray, and that puts quite a strain on the Cowboys trying to trim the roster down to 53 by Friday, at the same time they’re getting ready for a real game week.
Because of that, those injuries might have popped a few bubbles in the process.
We’ll see on Friday, but with the Giants game right around the corner, it might be too soon for some of these guys, particularly Witten and Ratliff. The Cowboys certainly won’t rule out either player. In fact, doctors checked out Witten’s lacerated spleen injury on Tuesday and it appears it will be a game-time decision on next Wednesday.
As for Ratliff, who has a high ankle sprain and was still on crutches as of Tuesday, it’ll also likely go up until kickoff before the Cowboys figure out his status.
In the meantime, the team has to prepare for the worst. In doing so, you must go long at those positions.
We could see Josh Brent and Robert Calloway make this team, at least for Week 1.
At tight end, either the Cowboys go and claim a player who gets cut, sign a veteran tight end or maybe keep Andrew Sczcerba around. Perhaps fullback Shaun Chapas makes it, mainly for his special teams ability.
Either way, moves like that knock off luxury keeps. By that, I mean keeping players who aren’t really ready to play just yet, but possess a certain quality. Guys like Ben Bass who plays with a high-motor on the defensive line, or Adrian Hamilton, who hasn’t figured out the 3-4 defense and/or special teams just yet, but he can rush the passer. Those guys are hurt by these injuries.
At running back, a guy like Lance Dunbar might have made the team in the past – solely because of that dazzling 58-yard run. Who knows, maybe he still does. A play like that will get noticed around the league and getting a player like that through waivers will be tough. Still, that’s one of those “luxury keeps” that might not happen because you’ll have a hard time getting him active each week. Personally, after that run, I think I’d make an exception. He’s got some wiggle to him and might be a decent kickoff returner, too.
The Cowboys like Andre Holmes and Danny Coale, who would be the sixth and seventh receivers. They’ll probably like a receiver or two that gets cut over the next few days. But they won’t keep eight and probably not even seven. They’d like to go long at receiver, especially if it means hanging onto Coale, a fifth-round pick who has been injured most of the offseason.
Now if Austin and Bryant were bigger question marks to play, it’d be a different story. However, it seems like both players have been held out of action just to be ready for the Giants. Bryant and Austin will start, and it looks like Harris and Ogletree will be next, with possibly Cole Beasley or maybe Holmes going to the game as a special teamer.
Then you go to the secondary. Mike Jenkins is not going to Florida after all to get an update on his shoulder. He passed his physical on Wednesday and will come off PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) to practice as early as Saturday.
Still, you wonder how quickly he can get back into the mix. Yes, he’s a veteran and yes he knows the Giants and yes he plays a cornerback position that doesn’t always need the strongest continuity with his teammates. But football shape is a different thing. I still have hard time thinking Jenkins can get back to Dallas and start practicing Saturday and Sunday and be ready to play. It’s certainly a possibility, but if you remember last year’s game in New York against the Jets, Jenkins also battled a stinger/shoulder injury all preseason but played in the game. He went in and out about four times, battling all sorts of injuries.
The Cowboys likely have to go long at cornerback, not only on the roster, but the 46-man game-day roster as well. Expect Mario Butler to be active either way.
At safety, Matt Johnson (hamstring) will likely make the team although he’s barely played. McCray will obviously make it because he’s the special teams ace, but he’s battling a shoulder/stinger injury. So Mana Silva probably makes this team to start the season – and who knows, maybe he’ll stick around. He’s played pretty well this preseason. He’s a solid tackler and good on special teams. But still, that’s five safeties to keep.
This probably happens every year – injuries that cloud roster decisions. But it’s different when the guys injured are Pro Bowlers like Witten, Ratliff, Jenkins and Austin, who says he will play, but you probably have to make sure there is plenty of backup because of the nature of the injury and his history with hamstrings.
We’ll find it all out on Friday. But with so many guys playing for roster spots Wednesday night, it’s unfortunate for them that their fate was probably already sealed with a few of these preexisting injuries.
Kevin Ogletree and Dwayne Harris were on the field Monday. The two receivers ran routes and worked to get open. But they didn’t have anything left to prove. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said so Tuesday on KRLD-FM (105.3).
“I’d say as I look at them right now, they both have a place on the field for us against the Giants,” Jones said, referring to the team’s opponent for the regular-season opener next Wednesday.
But what about the other five wideouts who were competing for jobs? Where did Danny Coale, Saalim Hakim, Cole Beasley, Tim Benford and Andre Holmes stand? And could they make a great enough impact in the final preseason game against Miami to claim a spot on the team?
PHOTO: Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Andre Holmes (15) catches a deep ball vs. Miami Dolphins – STAR-TELEGRAM/RON JENKINS
On Wednesday, in the Cowboys’ 30-13 victory over Miami in their final preseason game, few answers were provided. Beasley, identified as the most promising of the bunch during training camp, didn’t make a catch. Then again, he didn’t play that much, which seemed to be a good sign he could be sticking around.
“Hopefully,” Beasley said. “But if some of the other guys might have stepped up, they might forget about me.”
That’s now not a concern for Beasley because while Hakim, Coale, Benford and Holmes recorded at least one reception, they didn’t do anything especially noteworthy Wednesday. Together they made just six catches for 107 yards and no touchdowns.
“I put everything out there,” said Holmes, who had one reception for 32 yards and felt tightness in his right knee. “I just went as hard as I could.”
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys wrapped up the preseason with a 30-13 win over the Miami Dolphins at Cowboys Stadium on Wednesday night. Unlike last season when wide receiver Raymond Radway was injured in the closing seconds of the preseason at Miami, there were no such major health issues coming from this game. This was the last chance for several players to make an impact on the coaches and scouts and join the 53-man roster.
What it means: The Dallas Cowboys finish the preseason 3-1 and have to make some hard decisions regarding the No. 3 quarterback spot, whether or not to keep a fourth running back or which running back to keep, whether Orie Lemon and Mario Butler make the team and should Danny Coale and Matt Johnson earn paychecks in September.
McGee vs. Carpenter: There is this battle for the No. 3 quarterback position. Stephen McGee played the first half and led one touchdown drive and converted 13 first downs. He completed 9-of-18 passes for 124 yards. The Cowboys led 20-6 at the break. Rudy Carpenter also led the Cowboys on a touchdown drive — capped by a a 58-yard run by Lance Dunbar — and finished 4-of-10 for 48 yards. Carpenter also had a 21 yard scramble. But it would appear neither quarterback did enough to secure a shot on the roster.
Only one starter plays: Between both units, only center Phil Costa played. Costa missed the first three preseason games with a strained lower back and the Cowboys wanted to give him some snaps before putting him in a regular season game. Costa didn’t have any bad snaps and it’s unknown if he had any blown assignments. David Arkin replaced Costa.
The running game is strong: There are no questions regarding the status of DeMarco Murray as the starter. Felix Jones has been guaranteed a roster spot by owner/general manager Jerry Jones. We thought the No. 3 running back gig was going to Phillip Tanner, but Lance Dunbar came on strong Wednesday night. Dunbar ran with a burst, scoring on a 58-yard run. Let’s not forget about Tanner, who burst up the middle for a 1-yard score. Dunbar rushed 15 times for 105 yards and Tanner rushed for 48 yards on nine carries.
Orie Lemon made his case: If linebacker Orie Lemon was a bubble player, he should make the roster. He returned an interception 26 yards to give the Cowboys a 10-6 lead in the second quarter. Lemon was also active on defense and, given what he does on special teams, should make the 53-man roster. Adrian Hamilton was also fighting for a roster spot, but he hasn’t shown his pass rush abilities on a consistent basis with the Cowboys.
Cowboys lose three players: Guard Derrick Dockery left the game for personal reasons and fellow guard Daniel Loper suffered a hamstring injury. Cornerback Lionel Smith departed the game with a concussion. None of the three returned.
Who played well: Tyrone Crawford, Orie Lemon, Phillip Tanner, Lance Dunbar and Dan Bailey.
Who didn’t: Teddy Williams, David Arkin, Stephen McGee.
Bailey is perfect: Kicker Dan Bailey finished the preseason 8-for-8 on field goal attempts. Bailey made kicks of 25, 30 and 26 yards Wednesday night. The Cowboys didn’t have any concerns about him heading into the preseason but unlike last season when the team had a kicking competition, nothing was going on here. It was all Bailey. The longest kick of the preseason by Bailey was 49 yards.
Ryan Tannehill makes the start: The eighth-pick of the NFL draft, quarterback Ryan Tannehill made the start for the Dolphins. He completed 6-of-8 passes for 41 yards. The former Aggie played with a presence and threw some strong passes, but he still has a ways to go to help the Dolphins.
What’s next?: The Cowboys must cut their roster to 53 players by Friday night and then finalize their practice squad roster with as many as eight players. The team will practice over the weekend at Valley Ranch and prepare for the regular season opener at the New York Giants.
It’s finally coming to an end.
The Miami Dolphins visit the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium tonight to close it out.
Here’s a preview.
Stephen McGee vs. Rudy Carpenter: The Cowboys are thinking about going with two quarterbacks. Tony Romo and Kyle Orton have guaranteed roster spots. After that, McGee, the third quarterback since 2009, and Carpenter, who is trying to make the active roster, will get a shot Wednesday night. McGee has been inconsistent this summer in camp practices and in three preseason games. Carpenter has led the third unit on a touchdown drive. McGee is the better talent, but roster issues could force the Cowboys to go with just two quarterbacks, unless someone emerges.
Claiborne and Spears should play: First-round pick Morris Claiborne and veteran defensive end Marcus Spears should play a little on Wednesday. Here’s why. Claiborne, who missed the first preseason game with a knee sprain, needs to get more snaps before getting ready for the New York Giants on opening night. Spears is getting snaps with the second team and will most likely get a few snaps just to either keep him sharp or see if the Cowboys still want him on the team.
What’s uncertain?: The third quarterback for one thing. And in reality, it doesn’t matter who the No. 3 receiver is. Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley will make the team, but who gets the sixth receiver spot is the question. Andre Holmes? Danny Coale? Tim Benford? The swing tackle is Jermey Parnell, but who out of Pat McQuistan, Daniel Loper, Derrick Dockery and Ronald Leary make the team? Orie Lemon, Shaun Chapas, Jamize Olawale, Adrian Hamilton, Lance Dunbar and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah are competing for a some of the final three or four roster spots.
The series with the Dolphins: The Cowboys lead the preseason series 4-2 and lost the last meeting 17-3 in South Florida. In that game, Sept. 1, 2011, receiver Raymond Radway fractured his leg on a pass in the end zone at the end of the game. Radway missed the regular season. He was cut this week by the Cowboys.
Connections: Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland was a former executive with the Cowboys, and Brian Gaine, the Dolphins’ assistant general manager, worked in the personnel department with the Cowboys. At one point the Dolphins had many former Cowboys. Now, there are only a few. Linebacker Kevin Burnett, for one, plays for the Fins.
Parking, parking, parking: For the second consecutive time, the Cowboys and Texas Rangers are playing at nearly the same time. Rangers first pitch is around 6:05 p.m. CT. Kickoff is scheduled for around 7:30 p.m. CT. Cowboys Stadium parking lots open at 2:30 p.m. East Plaza is open at 3:30 p.m. and stadium gates to all plazas open at 5:30 p.m. Fans who have pre-purchased parking in the Ranger Lots A-B and M will have their passes honored. Stadium officials ask fans to get their early due to the Rangers game.
By the way: Regular season starters like Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, Brandon Carr and Sean Lee won’t play. Just telling you.
Local TV and radio: The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m., on KTVT/Ch. 11 (CBS).
In many markets, you can listen to ‘The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys”, Brad Sham on The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network for pregame, play-by-play action, and post game interviews and analysis.
In the Dallas area, tune to 105.3 FM. In all other cities, click HERE for more information.
Tony Romo’s mind will be 1,500 miles away tonight. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback and most of the team’s other starters already are thinking ahead to next week when they open the season against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
But for many other players, including third-string quarterback Stephen McGee, this is a last chance to make a good impression. The Cowboys, who have 75 players on their roster, must pare down to a final 53 by Friday night. So jobs are on the line tonight at Cowboys Stadium when they take on the Miami Dolphins:
Stephen McGee has started the final preseason game against the Dolphins each of the past two years, completing 48 of 67 passes for 537 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He needs another good outing against Miami to convince the Cowboys he has potential to be something other than a career third-string quarterback. The Cowboys could choose to keep only two quarterbacks, with Rudy Carpenter going to the practice squad. But McGee gets one last shot to try to change the Cowboys’ minds.
Most of the team’s 22 starters won’t play, but center Phil Costa is expected to be an exception. Costa returned to the practice field Monday and, because he hasn’t played this preseason, should get at least a few snaps against the Dolphins. Costa had been out with a lower back strain since Aug. 10. David Arkin had started in Costa’s place in the first three preseason games, but Costa is in line to start the season opener against the Giants.
The Cowboys like what they have seen from Kevin Ogletree, Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley this preseason. They need to see more from Andre Holmes and Danny Coale. Holmes, a favorite of Jerry Jones, did himself no favors when he reported to camp out of shape. A back injury and inconsistency might have done in his bid to make the 53-player roster, as he has six catches for 58 yards this preseason. Coale was drafted in the fifth round with high hopes for his special teams work as much as for his receiving ability. But injuries have prevented him from doing much until now. He made his preseason debut last week and had one catch for 8 yards and one run for 9 yards, but he did not play special teams. Coale, who played 82 snaps on special teams last year at Virginia Tech, is expected to play on kickoff coverage and kickoff return units and possibly on punt returns against Miami.
Third running back
Phillip Tanner earned a roster spot in 2011, as the fourth running back, off his preseason work. He had 24 carries for a team-leading 128 yards in the 2011 preseason. But injuries have slowed Tanner since. A hamstring injury landed him on injured reserve midway through last season, and a broken right hand Aug. 3 has not helped his bid to keep his job this season. He had two carries for 2 yards in his preseason debut last week. He is battling a pair of former North Texas players, Jamize Olawale and Lance Dunbar.
The Cowboys haven’t ruled Jay Ratliff out of the season opener yet, but the starting nose tackle has only 11 days in which to come back from a high-ankle sprain if he is to play against the Giants. More than likely, Sean Lissemore and Josh Brent will split the job on opening day. This could be the dress rehearsal for Lissemore, who is expected to play in the substitution packages, and Brent, who is expected to play in the base package
IRVING, Texas — Go ahead and put most of these names in ink.
There are a handful of roster spots up for grabs entering Wednesday’s preseason finale, but the vast majority of the decisions will have already been made. The toughest calls come at the last spots for receiver, offensive line, defensive end and how to handle Matt Johnson’s situation (great potential, but can’t count on him this season).
Tony Romo Kyle Orton
If Stephen McGee wants to stick around for a fourth season, he needs to give the front office and coaches good reason to keep him with a strong performance in the preseason finale. At this point, it makes more sense to try to put Rudy Carpenter on the practice squad.
RUNNING BACKS (3)
DeMarco Murray Felix Jones Phillip Tanner
Tanner didn’t help his cause with a blown assignment in pass protection that almost got Orton killed against the Rams, but he’s a solid No. 3 back and core special teams player. North Texas alums Lance Dunbar and Jamize Olawale are good practice squad candidates.
Lawrence Vickers Shaun Chapas
Chapas, a fixture on first-team special teams units Saturday, is likely to last only one week on the roster. An extra fullback can help mask the lack of depth at tight end in case Jason Witten misses the season opener.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
Jason Witten John Phillips James Hanna
The Cowboys could opt to go with rookie Andrew Szczerba as temporary insurance instead of Chapas.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
Miles Austin Dez Bryant
Kevin Ogletree Dwayne Harris Cole Beasley Danny Coale
It comes down to Coale vs. Andre Holmes, the Jerry Jones pet cat who reported to camp in poor shape and has shown no consistency. Holmes has more upside. Coale, who has hardly been on the field due to injuries, is more likely to contribute this season. The Cowboys envisioned Coale as a Sam Hurd-type No. 4 receiver/special teams stud (without the felonious side business, of course) when they invested a fifth-round pick in him.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
Tyron Smith Doug Free Nate Livings Mackenzy Bernadeau Phil Costa
David Arkin Jermey Parnell Ronald Leary Pat McQuistan
Is being a third guard good enough reason to keep Derrick Dockery? He probably wouldn’t be active on game days due to his lack of position versatility. McQuistan has experience at tackle, guard, blocking tight end and has even worked some at center. Addressing the lack of depth at center would be a wise move after Week 1.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (7)
Jay Ratliff Jason Hatcher Kenyon Coleman Sean Lissemore Marcus Spears
Tyrone Crawford Josh Brent
Clifton Geathers (6-foot-7, 325 pounds) looks the part, but he hasn’t done enough to push Coleman or Spears off the roster. The Cowboys can save a little money by cutting (or perhaps trading) one of the veterans, but keeping both gives them quality depth in the defensive end rotation.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (4)
Sean Lee Bruce Carter Dan Connor Orie Lemon
Lemon is a guy you notice a lot in practices and preseason games. He has developmental potential and can contribute now on special teams.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (5)
DeMarcus Ware Anthony Spencer
Victor Butler Kyle Wilber Alex Albright
Can the Cowboys get pass rusher Adrian Hamilton through waivers onto the practice squad? It appears that they will try. He’s not getting reps with the first-team special teams units, a strong sign that they don’t see him as a fit for the 53-man roster this season.
Brandon Carr Morris Claiborne
Orlando Scandrick Mike Jenkins Mario Butler
Jerry Jones has said there is a roster spot for Jenkins, meaning the Cowboys don’t plan for him to start the season on the physically unable to perform list. That doesn’t mean he’ll be ready for the season opener.
Gerald Sensabaugh Barry Church Danny McCray Mana Silva
What to do with fourth-round pick Matt Johnson? He has hardly practiced because of a hamstring injury and he strained the other hamstring in his preseason debut Saturday night. The Cowboys could try to get him through waivers to the practice squad or put him on injured reserve, essentially making this a redshirt season. With such limited practice time, putting him on the 53 would be a waste of a roster spot.
Dan Bailey Chris Jones L.P. Ladouceur
No drama here after rookie deep snapper Charley Hughlett’s release Monday. The Cowboys were willing to pay more for the proven commodity.
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Cowboys are finally home after nearly a month on the road for training camp and two preseason games which saw them go 1-1. Dallas takes on the St. Louis Rams (1-1) tonight at Cowboys Stadium.
Here’s a preview.
Get there early: The Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers are playing in Arlington on the same day for the first time this season. Parking lots for the Cowboys game open at 2 p.m. East Plaza is open at 3 p.m. and stadium gates open at 5 p.m. The Rangers start at 3:05 p.m. Cowboys officials are asking fans to leave early to help prevent possible traffic delays.
Connections: St. Louis tackle Jason Smith attended W.T. White high school in Dallas. … Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola was on the Cowboys’ practice squad in 2007. … Wide receivers coach Ray Sherman was with the Cowboys for a few years.
$100 million corners: The Cowboys and Rams employ the two highest paid corners from this year’s free agency class. The Rams have Cortland Finnegan and the Cowboys have Brandon Carr. Combined, the two players’ total contracts hit a little over $100 million.
Dress rehearsal: The Cowboys will play their starters for nearly the first half. It will be a good test for the interior of the offensive line consisting of center David Arkin and guards Nate Livings (making his preseason debut) and Mackenzy Bernadeau. This trio could change again if starting center Phil Costa returns from a strained lower back. Kevin Ogletree and Dwayne Harris will start at wide receiver with Dez Bryant (knee) and Miles Austin (hamstring) out with injuries. DeMarcus Ware (hamstring) won’t play. Jay Ratliff, Anthony Spencer and Jason Hatcher are expected to play together for the first time this preseason after recovering from injuries. It’s another good test for rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne, who plays in his second preseason game. In his debut last week, the first-round pick had zero pass breakups but made two good tackles.
Who needs to play well: QB Stephen McGee, CB C.J. Wilson, LB Orie Lemon, WR Danny Coale, WR Andre Holmes, S Matt Johnson, DE Clifton Geathers and CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah.
Local TV and radio: The game kicks off at 7 p.m., on KTVT/Ch. 11 (CBS).
In many markets, you can listen to ‘The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys”, Brad Sham on The Dallas Cowboys Radio Network for pregame, play-by-play action, and post game interviews and analysis.
In the Dallas area, tune to 105.3 FM. In all other cities, click HERE for more information.
ARLINGTON, Texas – Preseason game No. 3 is usually about the starters, but for the Dallas Cowboys it’s still about finding players to fill roles, in part because of injuries.
That being said, here’s five players to watch after Tony Romo & Co. pack it up for the night.
Matt Johnson – The fourth-round pick has practiced only three more times than you or I in training camp because of a hamstring injury. He missed all but one day of the organized team activities and minicamp because of league rules. Now he gets to put those months of frustration to work against St. Louis. He never really had a chance to earn a starting safety spot because of the hamstring injury, but the Cowboys like his potential. He has to be considered a lock to make the roster even with the limited work but he can show tonight whether he can handle a special teams role.
Danny Coale – A stress fracture and quadriceps injury kept Coale in much the same boat as Johnson, but Coale’s roster spot just doesn’t seem as secure. Such is the price of seeing guys like Cole Beasley, Andre Holmes, Tim Benford and Kevin Ogletree get more snaps. Coale had some nice work in the two practices against the Chargers and showed some good hands and the ability to get open. He is still working on getting his speed and quickness back. He has not worked much on special teams but he was a holder for Delbert Alvarado on field goals.
Adrian Hamilton – The Cowboys like how he can get after the passer. That seems to be a natural trait, but there are some adjustments he is still making at outside linebacker in terms of run responsibilities and coverage. But teams just don’t let pass rushers go. What Hamilton has to do is show he can cover kicks. It’s been a little adventurous in that regard but if he wants to claim one of the final linebacker spots, he better do it tonight.
Phillip Tanner – The broken hand came at the wrong time, but Tanner has a lot of value as a special teamer and the third tailback. He runs with pretty good power. He is pretty good in pass protection, too. If there is a player pushing Tanner for a spot, I believe it’s Lance Dunbar, who might get in the return game mix, and not Jamize Olawale, who had a touchdown run last week. Tanner is a better all-around back and will get his chance to show his toughness. He will play with his right hand wrapped tight, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
Clifton Geathers – I had him in the five to watch for the San Diego game and I’m still waiting. He looks the part, but he just has not made enough plays at this point. Coaches and scouts do not want to give up on his size and potential, but sometimes potential can be a killer, too. I wondered if Geathers could push a veteran like Marcus Spears out of a spot, but he’s not done enough yet to warrant that. If he flashes tonight vs. the Rams then he could get in the mix again.
As if the Dallas Cowboys hadn’t been bitten enough by the injury bug, Wednesday was a big blow to the squad, as they learned not only that Jason Witten would be out for a few weeks with a lacerated spleen injury, but a rookie linebacker would be out for the year.
Seventh-round pick Caleb McSurdy tore his Achilles and will miss the entire season.
But the Dallas Cowboys did have some other notable injury news as well.
- Defensive end Jason Hatcher has been out a week with a hamstring injury but returned to practice Wednesday afternoon with full pads. He did participate in some of the drills and team work, but then went to the side field for extra conditioning during the 11-on-11 sessions.
- Jay Ratliff had his most extensive work during training camp. The Cowboys have been overly cautious with Ratliff, who is suffering from plantar fasciitis in his foot. Ratliff was able to get through the practice without seemingly any problems.
- Anthony Spencer (hamstring) and Miles Austin (hamstring) both participated in the morning walk-through. They were limited to just condition drills in the afternoon. Still, it seems likely they are getting close to practicing again. Their status for Saturday’s game in San Diego seems doubtful.
- Rookie cornerback Morris Claiborne (knee) was practicing for the second straight day in full pads. He has a good chance of playing Saturday against the Chargers.
- Rookie wide receiver Danny Coale did not practice in full pads Wednesday, after going in full on Tuesday. It’s not likely a setback but the Cowboys’ way of monitoring a young player as he rehabs from a broken foot injury.
- Safety Matt Johnson has yet to practice here in the afternoon practices. His hamstring injury hasn’t allowed him to get cleared, but he was in full pads running wind sprints on Wednesday.
- Linebacker Orie Lemon did not practice Wednesday because of a neck strain.
The regular season starts for the Dallas Cowboys in just a few weeks. Here’s our first of weekly projections on how the 53-man roster will shake out.
Tony Romo Kyle Orton
Comment: Teams that keep three like the third to be a young quarterback that can one day develop into a starter. Does Stephen McGee still fit that profile? Cowboys could save a roster spot here and try to slip Rudy Carpenter by on the practice squad for protection.
Running backs (5)
DeMarco Murray Felix Jones
Phillip Tanner Lance Dunbar Lawrence Vickers
Comment: The Cowboys like Dunbar, but he picked a bad time to get injured. He needs to get on the field soon to earn a spot.
Wide receiver (5)
Dez Bryant Miles Austin
Andre Holmes Danny Coale Cole Beasley
Comment: Even though Kevin Ogletree is starting now that Austin is injured, it’s not a lock he makes the team. If the team adds a veteran here as the season nears, a distinct possibility, he could lose his spot to a younger player with more upside. If the Cowboys decide to keep six here it will likely be at the expense of a running back.
Tight end (3)
Jason Witten John Phillips James Hanna
Comment: No intrigue here.
Offensive line (10)
Tyron Smith Doug Free Phil Costa Mackenzy Bernadeau Nate Livings
Ronald Leary David Arkin Jeremy Parnell Pat McQuistan Derrick Dockery
Comment: There remains a lot to sort through here but injuries to Bill Nagy and Kevin Kowalski have thinned the field.
Defensive line (7)
Jay Ratliff Kenyon Coleman Jason Hatcher Tyrone Crawford Sean Lissemore
Josh Brent Clifton Geathers
Comment: One veteran is likely to go as the Cowboys try to get younger in the line. Marcus Spears is odd lineman out at this stage but it could be Coleman.
DeMarcus Ware Anthony Spencer Sean Lee Bruce Carter Dan Connor
Victor Butler Kyle Wilber Alex Albright Orie Lemon
Comment: Who excels on special teams will have an edge on the final couple of spots.
Morris Claiborne Brandon Carr Mike Jenkins Orlando Scandrick
Mario Butler Barry Church Gerald Sensabaugh Matt Johnson Danny McCray
Comment: Mana Silva is still in the running for a spot. He makes plays.
Dan Bailey Chris Jones LP Ladouceur
Comment: Jones is no Mat McBriar as a punter, but he’s the best the team has in camp. It wouldn’t hurt to watch the waiver wire here.
Courtesy: David Moore
Editors Note: RED indicates an injury concern going into the season.
Rookie receiver Danny Coale practiced for the first time in pads this Tuesday, and he was glad to listen to the play in the huddle, line up and make mistakes.
“You never want to go out there and make mistakes, but I personally think I learn best when I make mistakes and learn from them,” he said. “It was good to get out there mentally and get back into the pace of things.”
Coale was sideline with a broken foot for three months. He suffered the injury in the rookie minicamp in April, one week after the Cowboys took the Virginia Tech receiver in the fifth round of the draft.
So he missed all of the preseason work except two rookie minicamp practices. All that was left for him to do was his rehab and playbook study.
“You can study all you want, but nothing beats getting in the huddle and actually hearing the play call live, getting lined up, learning from your mistakes,” he said.
“I don’t know how open I got. But it’s nice just to be out there running around. You find that things sort of come back to you and you remember seeing coverages and making a route conversion versus a certain coverage – certain things you can’t do just watching film.”
Coale, the second-leading receiver in catches and yards at Virginia Tech, said his foot is healed. He just has to trust it now as practice intensity goes up and preseason games approach.
“Physically, I think everything’s fine,” he said. “It’s just the mechanics of getting back into it. Just trusting your foot. It’s fully healed and fully healthy. I just have to get back into running routes like I did 11, 12 weeks ago. There’s going to be a transition phase. You’re going against NFL-caliber guys. There’s going to be a learning curve here, but hopefully it doesn’t last too long.”
Courtesy: Carlos Mendez | FWST
Among the Dallas Cowboys’ injured players, coach Jason Garrett said today he anticipates having offensive lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau, defensive tackle Marcus Spears and cornerback Teddy Williams play in Monday’s game against Oakland.
Bernadeau is scheduled to take part today in his first padded practice since returning from off-season hip surgery and a knee ailment. Spears and Williams have been cleared from concussions.
Garrett said he has not ruled out cornerback Morris Claiborne (knee), although Claiborne said trainers were pointing him more toward the San Diego game on Aug. 18. Garrett also has not ruled out receiver Danny Coale (foot) or tight end John Phillips (ankle) for the contest.
Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (foot) and safety Matt Johnson (hamstring) are not expected to play, Garrett said.
Courtesy: Jimmy Burch | FWST
IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys will place cornerback Mike Jenkins on the physically unable to perform list as he continues his rehabilitation from offseason shoulder surgery.
He will be joined on PUP by guard Mackenzy Bernadeau (hip), wide receiver Danny Coale (foot), guard/center Kevin Kowalski (ankle) and safety Matt Johnson (hamstring).