It looks like there are some huge roster changes in Dallas nowadays! The Cowboys recently made a total of 39 moves in order to prepare their squad for the upcoming season and cut down their number of players to mandatory 53. Let’s take a closer look at the list.
There is no doubt that Cooper Rush replacing Kellen Moore is what everyone’s talking about these days. The undrafted rookie free agent will become Dak Prescott’s replacement for the upcoming season. As you may know, the Cowboys had a policy of buying and investing in veteran players such as Jon Kitna, Brad Johnson and Kyle Orton as replacements for Tony Romo. It seems like that policy is changing because now they opted for Rush who is set to receive a $5,000 signing bonus since he didn’t get drafted.
Moore, on the other hand, was released on Saturday but he could be back in the team on Sunday should the team move Rico Gathers to injured reserve spot. Gathers who is in the concussion protocol was supposed to be moved to injured reserve on Saturday, but the team decided not to do it because he wouldn’t have become eligible to play in 2017. This way the Cowboys could simply replace Gathers with Moore or they could sign him to the practice squad. Cooper Rush, however, had a pretty decent preseason with his pass completion standing at 38 (out of 51) passes for 398 yards and 6 touchdowns in 4 games.
Because of various suspensions, the Cowboys decided to keep eight defensive linemen. Damontre Moore is gone for two games, and David Irving is set to be back after four matches. Considering these facts going with 8 defensive men is not a usual thing. It is highly probable that every single one of those eight guys will be active on game day. Rod Marinelli, the defensive coordinator, is likely to use a deep rotation of players up front too. And why not, Tyrone Crawford will soon be back from the ankle injury. Charles Tapper now occupies the final spot. Charles is a fourth-round pick from last year’s draft, and he played zero minutes because of his back injury. He shares that spot with Lewis Neal who proved to be a decent addition to the squad during the preseason. However, Charles Tapper won out since the team needs defensive ends in first two weeks, but we are sure that they will look forward to getting Neal back on the practice squad.
Dallas Cowboys also signed some players to ensure that they have a good depth of the team should some of the regulars get injured or suspended. Luke McCown signed in camp after Zac Dysert got injured. Zac needed a back surgery, so the team opted for Luke to be his replacement. Unfortunately, McCown only played once in preseason because he also struggles with an injury (shoulder).
Considering how well Rush performed Luke never stood a chance of getting into the mix, but at the end of the day, his performance was not so bad. At least he was guaranteed $250,000 for his one-year deal. Of course, should something happen to Prescott, Moore or Rush he will be the quarterback that the Cowboys will look to play instead. That way they would avoid Matt Cassel-type trades. We all saw how it went in 2015 and we are sure that they will be looking to avoid repeating the same type of deal.
Waived (29): K/P Sam Irwin-Hill, WR Karel Hamilton, WR Lance Lenoir, WR Uzoma Nwachukwu, WR Brian Brown, RB Brandon Brown-Dukes, TE M.J. McFarland, LS Zach Wood, OT Dan Skipper, C Ross Burbank, OG Nate Theaker, OL Kadeem Edwards, WR Andy Jones, TE Blake Jarwin, S Jameill Showers, CB Sammy Seamster, CB Dejaun Butler, CB Marquez White, LB Darnell Leslie, LB Joseph Jones, CB John Green, LB Lamar Louis, LB Kennan Gilchrist, DE Lenny Jones, DL Woody Baron, DT Jordan Carrell, DT Joey Ivie, DT Richard Ash, DL Lewis Neal
Released (5): QB Kellen Moore, QB Luke McCown, S Robert Blanton, OL Emmett Cleary, RB Ronnie Hillman
Suspended (2): DE Damontre Moore, DE David Irving
Injured reserve (1): Duke Thomas
Injury settlement (1): OT Clay DeBord
Acquired (1): CB Bene Benwikere