IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have signed Kenneth Boatright to their active roster, as expected.
Team executive vice president Stephen Jones first told reporters at a league meeting Wednesday that the Cowboys would be calling up Boatright, who has been a member of the team's practice squad since the start of the regular season. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett confirmed the move Thursday morning.
"Boat's been just doing a really good job for us. He's one of those guys that's good for our team, because he kind of came from nowhere and proved that he deserved to belong and deserved an opportunity," Garrett said.
The second-year defensive end signed with Dallas in August, after second-round draft pick DeMarcus Lawrence was lost for 12 weeks with a broken foot.
The Cowboys had a vacancy on their 53-man roster after waiving cornerback Micah Pellerin on Tuesday afternoon. Pellerin spent roughly three weeks on the active roster while injured rookie Tyler Patmon recovered from multiple injuries.
With Patmon returning to practice this week, the extra defensive back is no longer necessary. Instead, the Cowboys have opted to add to their pass rush. The decision to sign Boatright gives them 10 defensive linemen on the active roster – which is one or two more than they typically make active for a game.
"I think he loves to play football, and I think the improvement he's made as a defensive player has really kind of indicated that – the approach that he takes every day, he embraces it," Garrett said. "I think he's worthy of the opportunity."
The decision to sign Boatright could be an insurance policy for Lawrence, who missed last week's win against Chicago with a rib injury. The rookie sustained the injury in the Thanksgiving Day loss to the Eagles, and he re-aggravated it in practice last week. Lawrence was at practice on Wednesday, but his participation was designated as "limited" on the team's injury report.
Garrett also said that Josh Brent tweaked his calf during the Cowboys' Wednesday practice, which could create a need for another defensive lineman.
Boatright signed with Seattle in 2013 as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Illinois. He spent last season on the Seahawks' practice squad, though he was eventually let go in June. The Cowboys flew him to Oxnard, Calif., for a workout after Lawrence broke his foot in practice and eventually signed him.