Blake Jarwin

Cowboys Notes: Collins, Jones, Swaim, WRs

The Cowboys boast more defensive line depth than they have in the recent past, and they are expecting to have one of their starters back in time for the regular season. Executive VP Stephen Jones expects Maliek Collins to be ready to go by Week 1. Jones indicated during a Saturday radio interview with 105.3 KRLD-FM (via the Dallas Morning News) that Collins, who suffered another foot injury this offseason but was activated from the PUP list last week, may well be on a pitch count upon returning. He may no longer be a starter, however, with Tyrone Crawford having moved to defensive tackle. Crawford and Antwaun Woods are currently Dallas’ inside starters. Collins has started 30 of the 32 games he’s played since arriving as a third-round pick, so this would create some depth — something Jones said isn’t as prevalent at defensive tackle as it is at end — inside.

Here’s the latest out of Dallas:

  • Stephen Jones dismissed the prospect of Byron Jones returning to safety due to the team’s situation there. Byron Jones is now a cornerback, with new secondary coach Kris Richard preferring taller corners who can press, and Stephen Jones has praised the development the former first-round safety’s made at his new position.
  • Kavon Frazier is now working as Dallas’ starting strong safety, replacing the injured Xavier Woods for the time being, and that’s resulted in Jeff Heath moving to free safety, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The Cowboys do not view the recently signed Jeron Johnson as a starter but instead more of a depth piece behind the current first-stringers. Watkins writes the Cowboys discussed George Iloka, who opted for the Vikings on a league-minimum agreement, but liked Johnson because of his positional flexibility. Stephen Jones hinted at (Twitter link, via the Morning News’ Jon Machota) another safety potentially being added after preseason cuts commence.
  • While the Cowboys discussed Earl Thomas with the Seahawks, they did not replace Jason Witten with a high- or medium-profile player. Geoff Swaim, a 2015 seventh-round pick with nine career catches, will replace the future Hall of Famer in the starting lineup, per Watkins, who adds 2017 UDFA Blake Jarwin is the No. 2 tight end. Rico Gathers may not have a way onto the roster, with Watkins expecting Dallas to carry three tight ends. The Cowboys drafted Dalton Schultz in the fourth round, and he almost certainly will be the No. 3 player here.
  • Stephen Jones dropped an interesting hint about what the Cowboys may be planning with their reconfigured wide receiver corps. The team may choose to carry more than six at this spot. “Traditionally we’ve kept five or six receivers. But if I’m a betting man, I think that ends up being more than five or six,” Jones said (Twitter link, via Machota) of how the Cowboys plan to handle their Week 1 roster. Watkins views Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, Tavon Austin, Terrance Williams and third-round rookie Michael Gallup as locks. UFA addition Deonte Thompson and second-year man Noah Brown are currently dealing with injuries, but it doesn’t look like they’re out of the running as a result.

NFC Notes: Redskins, Cowboys, Eagles

The Redskins placed linebacker Mason Foster on the injured reserve yesterday, and the veteran certainly isn’t happy with the move. In a series of tweets earlier this morning, Foster noted that he had been “done dirty” by the organization.

“All I know is [former GM] Scot [McCloughan] wouldn’t have done me like that,” Foster wrote (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). “I have played 3 weeks with a completely torn labrum. Lay everything on the line for someone just to have that same person slap you in the face. Business is business tho right. They don’t care about us.”

As the writer notes, Foster is set to be a free agent following the season, and it sounds like the veteran could be looking for a new home. In five games this season, the former third-rounder compiled 31 tackles. 0.5 sacks, and one interception.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • The Cowboys promoted tight end Blake Jarwin from the practice squad earlier this week. ESPN.com’s Todd Archer writes that part of the organization’s motivation for making the move had to do with the interest Jarwin was garnering from around the NFL, particularly from the Eagles.
  • The Eagles may be in the hunt for some offensive line help, but Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com warns (via Twitter) that the team might not want to acquire an expensive player. After all, the writer believes the team is focused on rolling their current cap space over to the offseason, and trading for a pricey lineman could compromise that future financial flexibility.
  • Dan Bailey may be out for a while. Cowboys Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones told Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram that the veteran kicker is expected to miss at least four games (Twitter link). The 29-year-old was perfect on field goal and extra point attempts this season.
  • Speaking of kickers, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has details on Matt Prater‘s three-year extension with the Lions. The deal includes a $3.6MM signing bonus and $5MM in guaranteed money, raising his 2017 cap hit to $5.225MM. The contract hits a $2.7MM base salary in 2020.

Cowboys Release Kellen Moore

Kellen Moore hasn’t played in a game since the 2015 season, but he’s been with the Cowboys during each regular-season week since — be it on IR or as a backup. However, the Cowboys notified him of his release on Thursday, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (on Twitter).

The Cowboys cut Moore to make room for tight end Blake Jarwin from their practice squad, Hill reports. Moore was serving as a reserve in Dak Prescott-fronted signal-caller group, but Dallas cut the veteran previously and had prioritized undrafted rookie Cooper Rush.

Hill reports (via Twitter) the Cowboys promoted Rush because they worried another team was going to sign him off their practice squad. The Eagles were interested in poaching Jarwin, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.

Rush is now the only backup passer on Dallas’ roster. Rush played in one Cowboys game this season, Sunday against the 49ers, and threw two passes. Moore has not played since being one of the Tony Romo replacement options the team deployed in 2015.

The Cowboys cut Moore after the preseason but brought him back a few days later. He still has practice squad eligibility if the Cowboys choose to retain him as they did in September.

Jarwin joined the Cowboys in the same UDFA class Rush did, signing with the team in May out of Oklahoma State. He’s spent the season on Dallas’ practice squad. He caught 19 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns last season with the Stillwater, Okla.-based Cowboys.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: NFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC East teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, and Redskins are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins

Cowboys Trim Roster To 53

The Cowboys navigated the busy cut week and moved down to the 53-man limit. Here are the players Dallas removed from its roster to reach the regular-season standard.

Released:

Waived:

Placed on Reserved/Suspended list:

Placed on IR:

Cowboys Sign 2 Quarterbacks

The Cowboys have added a host of undrafted free agents, including two quarterbacks. Here’s the full list plus some details on the team’s newest signal callers:

Appleby started out at Purdue but transferred to Florida for his final collegiate season. In 2016, he threw for ten touchdowns against seven interceptions with a 60.8% completion percentage in his nine games. It probably wasn’t as strong of a showing as he would have liked before shifting his focus to the NFL. Rush, meanwhile, started in all four seasons at Central Michigan and received high praise for his football IQ during the draft process.

Both players will compete for a spot behind Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore. It’s not clear whether the Cowboys want to carry three QBs on the roster, but it helps that the team did not select any QBs in the draft.

Jarwin will received a higher-than-average bonus of $15K, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today (on Twitter).