John Stephens

Cowboys Set 53-Man Roster

The Cowboys were busy today, with the organization announcing 36 roster moves as they reduced their team to 53 players:



Placed on IR:

  • OT Josh Ball
  • WR David Durden
  • LB DeMarvion Overshown
  • TE John Stephens Jr.

According to Nick Harris of the team website, both long snapper Trent Sieg and cornerback C.J. Goodwin are expected to rejoin the active roster once the dust settles from this initial round of cuts.

Quinton Bohanna spent the past two years in Dallas after being selected in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. He got into 27 games (10 starts) over the past two years, collecting 29 tackles while playing both on defense and special teams. The Cowboys added first-round defensive tackle Mazi Smith this offseason, making Bohanna expendable.

Cowboys LB DeMarvion Overshown Suffers Torn ACL

3:10pm: Gehlken reports that Overshown has indeed torn his ACL (Twitter link). The news confirms the worst-case scenario, and that he will miss his entire rookie campaign. Overshown will now turn his attention to rehab ahead of an attempt to replicate his impressive showings next offseason, while the Cowboys may now find themselves on the market for a depth LB addition in the near future. Undrafted rookie tight end John Stephens also tore his ACL last night, per Gehlken.

8:28am: The Cowboys fear that third-round rookie linebacker DeMarvion Overshown tore his ACL during last night’s preseason loss to the Seahawks, per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). The club will know the full extent of the damage after an MRI.

Overshown suffered the injury while making an open-field tackle of Seattle running back Zach Charbonnet during the first quarter of the game. An ACL tear, of course, would force him to miss the entirety of his first professional season, which would be an especially difficult blow given that he appeared ticketed for a significant role right out of the gate.

On paper, Dallas’ linebacking corps is the weakest part of its defense, so there was plenty of opportunity for Overshown to establish himself as at least a key rotational player and special teams contributor. He had put together an impressive training camp and was seen as an ascending talent.

“He was climbing. He was climbing the charts,” head coach Mike McCarthy said of Overshown after the game (Twitter link via Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). “He showed up right away in the offseason program, just his ability to fly around. Really has excellent command. So just hopeful. See how tomorrow goes.”

Leighton Vander Esch, who re-upped with the Cowboys on a two-year, $11MM contract in March, will likely operate as Dallas’ starter at middle linebacker (despite some recent run as an edge defender). Lining up next to him will be recent Day 3 draft choices Damone Clark (fifth round, 2022), Devin Harper (sixth round, 2022), and Jabril Cox (fourth round, 2021), all of whom will see an uptick in playing time if Overshown is indeed out for the year.

“You never want to see any of your guys get hurt, that’s what’s so tough about these preseason games,” McCarthy added (via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News). “We had a couple of young guys go down, you say your prayers and hopefully the imaging points in the right direction. He’s had an incredible camp, we’ve talked about him almost every other day. I just hope he’s OK.”

Overshown, a Texas product, received First Team All-Big 12 acclaim following his final season with the Longhorns, a season in which he compiled 96 tackles (10 TFL), four sacks, and five passes defensed.

Cowboys Sign 13 UDFAs

The Cowboys didn’t release a statement on their undrafted free agent signings like most teams, but they did release a list of 29 rookie minicamp participants and their statuses with the organization. Removing their eight draft picks, two UDFA tryouts, and previously acquired youngsters, we were able to determine this list of undrafted signees:

Dallas addressed the tight end position in the second round this year with a bit of project in Michigan’s Luke Schoonmaker. They decided to bring in a couple more options in Fant and Stephens. Fant provides a unique versatility as a potential H-back. In addition to his career 579 receiving yards and five touchdowns, Fant rushed for five more scores and threw one as a sixth-year senior. Stephens was rostered as a receiver for the Ragin’ Cajuns, but his 6-foot-6, 232-pound frame should assist him in converting to tight end at the next level.

The Cowboys barely addressed wide receiver in the draft, so they’ve nabbed a few here, as well. Durden was a monster during his time with the Argonauts. A former draft pick for the Boston Red Sox, Durden left baseball for West Florida and dominated, catching 88 passes for 1,915 yards and 23 touchdowns with only three drops in his final two years of school. Over his entire college career, he averaged nearly 20 yards per catch. He’ll need to adjust to the NFL-caliber of opponents, but his raw athleticism and special teams ability could help cement him a spot on the roster.

Moreno-Cropper had a strong final two season with the Bulldogs, as well, with 1,985 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. He’s had a bit of trouble with surehandedness and he’s a bit undersized, but the Cowboys haven’t minded smaller receivers like Brandin Cooks and KaVontae Turpin in recent history.

The team also added two strong depth pieces at defensive end. Johnson had a down 2021 but combined for 17.5 sacks and 38.0 tackles for loss in his 2020 and 2022 seasons. Wheat finished his three-year career with the Bulldogs with 17.0 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss. They have some strong competition for potential snaps, but they provide solid depth at the position regardless.