The Cowboys have made their cuts to get down to 53 players. Nothing too surprising on this list, although there is at least one interesting takeaway. The Cowboys cut three running backs, leaving Alfred Morris and Tony Pollard as the only two currently with the team. That’s a strong indicator that the team is expecting Ezekiel Elliott back before Week 1.
Receiver Devin Smith also made the roster as their final receiver, which is a nice feel-good story. Drafted by the Jets 37th overall back in 2015, multiple ACL tears derailed his promising career. Smith has had brutal injury luck and hasn’t appeared in a game since 2016, so this is nice to see.
OL Jake Campos
RB Jordan Chunn
WR Reggie Davis
WR Jalen Guyton
LB Nate Hall
OL Mitch Hyatt
TE Marcus Lucas
CB Donovan Olumba
LB Kyle Quiero
LS Drew Scott
DT Shakir Soto
DE Ricky Walker
RB Mike Weber
QB Mike White
DE Daniel Wise
WR Noah Brown
DE Jalen Jelks
WR Jon’Vea Johnson
DT Daniel Ross
CB Chris Westry
Here are Monday’s reserve/futures contract decisions:
- T Jake Campos
- RB Jordan Chunn
- CB Treston DeCoud
- CB Donovan Olumba
- LB Kyle Queiro
- DT Aziz Shittu
- G Cody Wichmann
Los Angeles Chargers
- K/P Ty Long
New England Patriots
- OL Ryker Mathews
New York Giants
- LB Asantay Brown
- C Anthony Fabiano
- G Kaleb Johnson
- CB Jeremiah McKinnon
- WR Braxton Miller
- WR Dorren Miller
- DE Joe Ostman
- RB Donnel Pumphrey
- CB Chandon Sullivan
- TE Will Tye
- DT Jamie Meder
Deonte Thompson‘s eight-game Cowboys run will come to an end. The team will cut the veteran wide receiver and return man in order to make room on the 53-man roster for fellow wideout Noah Brown‘s activation, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic tweets.
Dallas designated Brown — a 2017 seventh-round pick — as an IR-return player last week. An Ohio State product, Brown caught four passes for 33 yards last season.
Thompson signed a one-year, $1.8MM contract with the Cowboys after drawing interest from other teams in free agency. He’ll head to the waiver wire. A 2017 fifth-round Texans pick, Decoud played in one game with the Cowboys.
The Cowboys deployed Thompson as a backup wide receiver and used him on kick returns this season. The former Ravens, Bears and Bills pass-catcher snared 14 passes for 124 yards this season. Thompson initially didn’t make Dallas’ roster but was re-signed shortly after that post-preseason release, setting up what may well turn out to be a brief run with the Cowboys.
Here are Tuesday’s practice squad moves.
- Signed: OL Brad Seaton
- Cut: OL Christian DiLauro
- Signed: TE MyCole Pruitt
Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers
- Signed: RB Justin Jackson
Los Angeles Rams
- Signed: OL Evan Boehm
New York Giants
- Signed: DL Josh Banks
- Signed: DE Branden Jackson
With cuts due this afternoon, the Texans made theirs official. This includes all-time punter great Shane Lechler, which surfaced on Friday.
Houston will begin its season without the services of backup running back D’Onta Foreman as well. Still recovering from his season-ending injury sustained in November of last year, Foreman will begin the season on the Texans’ Reserve/PUP list. He won’t be eligible to play until after Week 6.
As for the rest of Houston’s Saturday roster decisions, here’s who will not appear on the 53-man group to start the season:
- OLB Davin Bellamy
- WR Quan Bray
- S Ibraheim Campbell
- CB Andre Chachere
- RB Lavon Coleman
- OL Anthony Coyle
- S Treston Decoud
- G Mason Gentry
- ILB Kennan Gilchrist
- T Roderick Johnson
- CB Bryce Jones
- T Jaryd Jones-Smith
- OLB Ufomba Kamalu
- ILB Josh Keyes
- NT Darius Kilgo
- TE Matt Lengel
- WR Braxton Miller
- S Corey Moore
- NT Kingsley Opara
- G David Quissenberry
- K Nick Rose
- OL Chad Slade
- RB Terry Swanson
- DE Nick Thurman
- CB Dee Virgin
- WR Jester Weah
Waived with an injury designation:
Released with injury settlements
Placed on Reserve/Non-Football Illness list
The Texans cut a boatload of players on Friday, allowing them to inch closer to the 53-man max. Here’s the rundown, with all links going to Twitter unless noted otherwise:
- TE Stephen Anderson (Twitter link via Mark Berman of FOX 26)
- WR Braxton Miller (Twitter link via Berman)
- WR Quan Bray (Twitter link via Berman)
- CB Andre Chachere (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)
- RB Lavon Coleman (Twitter link via Wilson)
- OT Anthony Coyle (Twitter link via Berman)
- S Treston Decoud (Twitter link via Berman)
- CB Bryce Jones (via Wilson)
- OT Jaryd Jones-Smith (Twitter link via Wilson)
- DL Darius Kilgo (Twitter link via Wilson)
- S Corey Moore (Twitter link via Berman)
- DT Kingsley Opara (Twitter link via Berman)
- K Nick Rose (via Wilson)
- OL David Quessenberry (via Berman)
- RB Terry Swanson (Twitter link via Berman)
- WR Jester Weah (Twitter link via Berman)
Miller is the biggest name of the bunch, but his release does not come as a huge surprise. The former third-round pick out of Ohio State has posted a grand total of 34 catches for 261 yards and two scores over the last two years, and he failed to really stand out in the preseason.
Will Fuller, Bruce Ellington and fourth-round pick Keke Coutee seem likely to make the cut behind star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and it remains to be seen whether Houston will carry five or six receivers in total.
As we heard Sunday, Browns VP of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith indicated Sam Darnold was his preferred quarterback until late in the draft process. Baker Mayfield then became the consensus choice. However, the first-year Browns exec had one interesting reason for being less interested in Josh Rosen, whom the Browns worked out at UCLA and hosted on a visit.
“I was at an airport. UCLA’s volleyball team was in front of me. You heard so much about Rosen. He’s this or that,” Highsmith said, via cleveland.com. “We all know how people talk. So I asked one of the volleyball coaches, ‘What’s Rosen like?’ He said, ‘Aaaaa, you should probably ask his girlfriend. She’s one of the players. She’s over there. I’m like, ‘All right, coach. That’s good enough.’
“I don’t know what all this means, but there was something about him that bothered me.”
The Browns were not connected closely to Rosen, the least mobile of this year’s top QB contingent but also the player who could well be the readiest to start in Week 1, and they preferred a more mobile passer. But this candor is rather interesting and may not age well if Rosen has a strong rookie year for the Cardinals. It’s not the first time a key Browns exec’s made a comment on a quarterback they bypassed.
As for Allen, Highsmith wasn’t interested in hearing excuses for why the Wyoming player couldn’t complete 57 percent of his passes in either of his two years as a starter.
“Josh Allen … big arm … he could throw the ball from here to the moon,” Highsmith said. “When they have to make excuses … why are they not completing passes? That’s a problem. Baker Mayfield lost two receivers (from the 2016 team) and he was the same quarterback.”
- In addition to Matt Ryan‘s five-year, $150MM Falcons extension being a per-year record, it contains the most Year 1 money in NFL history. The 11th-year quarterback will take home $52.5MM in 2018, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reports. However, Matthew Stafford still holds the signing bonus record. Ryan will see a $46.5MM bonus, per Graziano. That’s just shy of Stafford’s record $50MM signing bonus agreed to last year.
- Elvis Dumervil is currently without a team after the 49ers did not pick up his option. The 49ers did not draft an edge defender this year, and John Lynch indicated Dumervil — his teammate for two seasons with the Broncos — could be brought back and may not need a full offseason in what would be his 13th year. “Yeah, I think it could be,” Lynch said (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle) of a possible reunion with the 34-year-old pass rusher. “I’m sure a lot of (teams) are looking at it as such. Elvis isn’t a guy who at this stage of his career really needs to be around in an offseason. He’s a professional. He takes tremendous pride in how he trains, how he eats and all those things. So he’ll be ready.” Lynch mentioned the 49ers plan to evaluate some younger players for pass-rushing roles, though, so it could be a while before a possible reunion commences. Dumervil made $4.5MM with San Francisco last season and registered a team-high 6.5 sacks.
- The Texans are moving second-year cornerback Treston Decoud to safety, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets. A 2017 fifth-round pick, Decoud played in 10 games for the Texans as a rookie. Decoud played cornerback in both of his seasons at Oregon State. He’s the younger brother of former longtime Falcons safety Thomas Decoud. Houston signed Tyrann Mathieu in free agency and drafted Justin Reid with its first 2018 pick, a third-rounder, so Treston Decoud could stay a depth piece at his new position.
- Houston’s revamp of its scouting department will see the franchise hire nine-year Patriots staffer James Liipfert as the new director of college scouting, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Liipfert will succeed Jon Carr in this role. Having been with the Patriots during each year Bill O’Brien was, Liipfert served the past three seasons with the Patriots as a national scout after previously being an area scout.
The Texans have signed the bulk of their 2017 draft class. Only third round running back D’Onta Foreman remains unsigned. Here’s the full list of every Houston draft pick who is now under contract:
- 1-12: Deshaun Watson, QB (Clemson)
- 2-57: Zach Cunningham, LB (Vanderbilt)
- 4-130: Julien Davenport, OL (Bucknell)
- 4-142: Carlos Watkins, DL (Clemson)
- 5-169: Treston Decoud, S (Oregon State)
- 7-243: Kyle Fuller, C (Baylor)
The Texans were said to be targeting Watson for several weeks and we learned on draft night that it wasn’t just a smokescreen. Houston traded this year’s No. 25 overall pick and its 2018 first round choice to get the No. 12 selection from the Browns in order to take the Clemson QB. Watson was universally regarded as one of the top QBs in this year’s class and some might argue that the athletic signal caller has more upside than any of his peers. Now, the rookie might have a chance at wrestling the starting job away from Tom Savage.
Cunningham was projected by some as a first round pick and he almost went No. 23 overall when the Giants were on the clock. Luckily for Houston, the Giants wound up taking Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram at No. 23 and passed on him again at No. 55, allowing them to grab the Vanderbilt product all the way down at No. 57.
Photo via Pro Football Rumors on Instagram.