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.
John Phillips suddenly finds himself atop the Dallas Cowboys’ depth chart at tight end, based on the spleen injury suffered by Pro Bowler Jason Witten.
But Phillips, who returned to drills Wednesday and projects to start the remainder of the team’s pre-season games while Witten recuperates, said he realizes he is just holding a spot until the seven-time Pro Bowler’s return, hopefully for the Sept. 5 opener against the New York Giants.
“You can’t replace a guy like Jason Witten. He’s a leader of this team, a leader of this offense,” said Phillips, who was sidelined last week with an ankle injury. “I’m not trying to replace him. He’ll be a leader from the sidelines and help us out in the film room … I’m sure he’ll be ready when the season comes around.”
Witten has missed only regular-season game because of injury in his Cowboys’ career. Phillips vowed to join others in helping take up the slack for as long as necessary.
“You’ve just got to step in,” Phillips said. “Next man up. That’s how we’re going to deal with it. Receivers, tight ends, fullbacks, whatever we’re going to do to make up for it. Obviously, him and Tony (Romo) have a good feel for each other and do a lot of things that can’t be taught.”
James Hanna, a rookie sixth-round pick from Oklahoma, harkened back to his sophomore year with the Sooners when standout Jermaine Gresham suffered a season-ending knee injury late in camp.
“I was thinking I was going to get a minimal opportunity and it turned out to be different than that,” said Hanna, who caught two passes for 15 yards against the Raiders and drew praise from coach Jason Garrett.
Witten’s injury created a “whirlwind” of activity Tuesday for tight end Harry Flaherty, who joined the roster Wednesday. Flaherty, a former Princeton player who is the nephew of coach Jason Garrett, said he got the word to join the Cowboys while eating lunch at his home in New Jersey. He was told he had 90 minutes to catch a flight to Oxnard, Calif.
“It was crazy,” said Flaherty, who arrived around midnight and missed the morning walkthrough.
Did he pack anything?
“Very little,” Flaherty said. “It was a whirlwind.”
RELATED: Jerry Jones said Witten obviously stayed in one play too long
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn’t even want to consider possibility of injured tight end Jason Witten not being ready for the season opener.
Witten is out for the rest of the preseason with a lacerated spleen and could be sidelined for the Sept. 5 season opener against the Giants.
Jones, who said he held his breath when Witten took the blindside hit in the game, said his focus is on getting him healthy, not how long he will be out.
“I haven’t thought about it at all. We’re basically more interested in him resting this week and getting that thing healed back.I really don’t have any timeline. All I know is he’s going to be out here for a few days while that thing actually heals and we don’t know how fast that will be. We don’t know at all. I’ve heard timeframes all over the map. All I can go is by what I’m told. We’ll see how it heals."
Jones also refused to second guess the decision to have Witten go three series in a meaningless preseason opener against the Raiders when the offense was already challenged to play behind a patch work offensive line.
"That’s second guessing," Jones said. "He certainly went one play too long, from that standpoint, if you looked at it that way. But I don’t at all second guess that."