Bailey Not Only Surprise Cut As Cowboys Trim To 53


FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys reached the NFL's 53-man roster limit on Saturday afternoon, as they finalized 36 roster cuts to meet that quota.

Among those cuts are a number of notable names, as the team parted ways with several veterans and former draft picks.

Chief among those are Pro Bowl kicker Dan Bailey and veteran wide receiver Deonte Thompson. The decision to release Bailey is particularly stunning, as he has been one of the most accurate kickers in league history during his seven seasons in Dallas.

The Cowboys signed Thompson in the spring with the hope that he could bring a speed element to their offense. An Achilles injury limited him for part of training camp, but he worked back into practice last week and seemed likely to make the final cut.

Elsewhere, the Cowboys parted ways with five former draft picks, as they released Chaz Green, Charles Tapper, Darius Jackson, Marquez White and Bo Scarbrough.

Some of those names aren't a surprise. Green struggled to work his way up the depth chart this summer after a disastrous finish to the 2017 season, and White was stuck in a logjam at cornerback. Tapper was also caught in a numbers game after Randy Gregory returned to the roster this summer.

The decision to release both Jackson and Scarbrough is a bit of a surprise, though. The Cowboys drafted Scarbrough in the seventh round this past spring, and they re-signed Jackson – a sixth-round pick in 2016 – shortly after that. The duo appeared to be competing for the third running back spot, as they were splitting playing time throughout the preseason.

By releasing both players, it appears the Cowboys are prepared to go light at the running back position, with just Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith and Jamize Olawale on the final roster. Both Scarbrough and Jackson have practice squad eligibility, so it will be interesting to see if either player reverts to the practice squad if they clear waivers.

He isn't a draft pick, but it's also notable that the Cowboys opted to release Lance Lenoir. The second-year receiver put together a strong camp this summer, but it wasn't enough to secure a roster spot. Lenoir spent his rookie season on the team's practice squad, and that could be the case again this year.

On the defensive side of the ball, two veterans were released to make room for younger talent. Kony Ealy, who signed during the spring, was released on Friday afternoon. On Saturday, the Cowboys also released veteran defensive tackle Jihad  Ward, who they acquired in a trade during this year's draft. They also released veteran safety Jeron Johnson, who signed on last week following an injury to Xavier Woods.

Here is a full list of the cuts:

K Dan Bailey

WR Deonte Thompson
WR Lance Lenoir Jr.
WR Darren Carrington
WR MeKale McKay

WR K.D. Cannon
WR Dres Anderson
OL Kyle Bosch
OL Matt Diaz
OL Chaz Green
OL Damien Mama
OL Jacob Ohnesorge
OL Jake Campos
TE David Wells
RB Bo Scarbrough

RB Darius Jackson
RB Trey Williams
RB Jordan Chunn
CB Marquez White

CB Duke Thomas
CB Donovan Olumba
S Marqueston Huff
S Kam Kelly
S Jeron Johnson
S Dominick Sanders
LB Eric Pinkins
LB Tre'Von Johnson
LB Joel Lanning
LB Kyle Quiero
DL Kony Ealy
DL Lewis Neal
DL Austin Larkin
DL Charles Tapper

DL Jihad Ward
DL Caruan Reid
LS Scott Daly