FRISCO, Texas – The first Saturday in September is always the busiest day around the league as teams are trimming its rosters down, putting over a thousand names onto the waiver wire.
Because of that, and the NFL’s 24-hour waiver rule, it can create quite a busy Sunday as well.
That was definitely the case for the Cowboys, who made a few more roster moves and could have some more before the team returns to the practice field Tuesday to prepare for the season opener with the Giants.
The most surprising transaction for the Cowboys Sunday centered on the release of veteran defensive tackle Cedric Thornton, who had spent just one season with the club after four years in Philly. Thornton never became the impact player the Cowboys had hoped last year and spent parts of this year’s training camp bothered by a hamstring injury.
The most shocking part of the move was that Thornton’s $3 million base salary was guaranteed for 2017. Still, the Cowboys decided to part ways after they claimed Brian Price off waivers from the Packers.
Price certainly gives the team some more bulk inside. He was cut by Green Bay on Saturday and was expected to join its practice squad before the Cowboys’ claim. Price is one of three defensive tackles on the Cowboys’ roster alongside Maliek Collins and Stephen Paea, although Tyrone Crawford could also play there, even though he spent most of the offseason at end. The Cowboys are still hoping he can return from an ankle injury that forced him to miss most of camp and the preseason.
Another player who didn’t survive the entire weekend of cuts was linebacker Mark Nzeocha, who was waived after the Cowboys traded for Jayrone Elliott, a three-year veteran who has been with the Packers as well. Elliott has played outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He could provide some pass-rush relief off the edge, although he has four sacks in his career.
As the Cowboys enter Monday, which is a day off for the players, the roster is full at 53. However, there have been reported speculation the Cowboys could move Rico Gathers to an injured list. Quarterback Kellen Moore remains a free agent and would be a candidate to return to the roster if the Cowboys aren’t comfortable with undrafted rookie Cooper Rush as the backup to Dak Prescott on opening day.
There is no timetable or deadline for that move, if that’s the direction the Cowboys take.
Beyond the 53-man roster, the Cowboys also signed 10 players to the practice squad as all of them were with the team in training camp, including drafted corner Marquez White. Don’t forget about Nzeocha, who could join the squad if he clears waivers.
Here’s a breakdown of the moves the Cowboys made on Sunday:
Claimed Off Waivers:
Brian Price, DT, Packers
Acquired By Trade:
LB Jayrone Elliott (Packers)
Cedric Thornton, DT
Mark Nzeocha, LB
Signed to Practice Squad:
CB Marquez White
WR Lance Lenoir
WR Brian Brown
TE Blake Jarwin
OT Dan Skipper
G Nate Theaker
OT Kadeem Edwards
DT Richard Ash
DT Lewis Neal
S Jamiell Showers