IRVING, Texas - The Cowboys have signed a pair of players from the "futures list" in defensive tackle Nick Hayden and guard Charlie Bryant.
Until the free-agent signing period, which begins March 12, NFL teams can only sign "futures" players who were not on an active roster at the end of the season.
Hayden has four years of NFL experience, including 28 career games played and 13 starts, all occurring with the Panthers, who drafted him in the sixth round out of Wisconsin in 2008. He played three seasons in Carolina before spending a year with the Bengals in 2011. Hayden went to camp with Cincinnati last year but was cut just before the season.
The Cowboys likely need plenty of help inside, considering the uncertainty that surrounds Jay Ratliff and Josh Brent. The club still has Sean Lissemore and Robert Calloway and Jason Hatcher could end up playing tackle in the 4-3 scheme. After the season the Cowboys also signed tackles Brian Price, Monte Taylor and Ikponmwosa Igbinosun, who was on the practice squad at the end of the year.
As for Bryant, a former teammate of current Cowboys guard Ron Leary at Memphis, he spent two years with the Chargers, on and off the practice squad. He's been listed as both a tackle and [embedded_ad] guard but the Cowboys are signing him as a guard, although his 6-6, 320-pound frame could allow him the versatility to play both spots.
Bryant is the third offensive linemen to sign after the season, joining guard Ray Dominguez and tackle Aderious Simmons.