FRISCO, Texas – While there's been some unexpected success from a fourth-round pick so far this season, Dak Prescott wasn't the only player the Cowboys took in that round last April.
He's just the only one who will contribute.
The Cowboys have placed rookie defensive end Charles Tapper on injured reserve with a back injury that plagued him throughout training camp and the preseason. Tapper never suited up for an exhibition game and was inactive for the first three weeks of the regular season.
A fourth-round pick from Oklahoma, Tapper flashed some of his speed and athletic ability during a couple of early training camp practices in Oxnard. But it wasn't long before his back issues were revealed. It turned out Tapper had a broken bone in his book that has existed since his childhood days. While the Cowboys were hopeful to get Tapper rehabbed enough to play this year, he suffered another setback last week, forcing the club to shut him down before his rookie season ever got going.
The Cowboys used the spot on the 53-man roster to sign offensive lineman Emmett Cleary, who spent this past offseason and training camp with the Giants. Cleary (6-7, 313) has had several stops with different teams over the last three years, including the Colts, Bucs, Raiders and Bengals.
Cleary should be able to provide some depth on the offensive line, which has taken quite a few injury hits in the last few weeks. Tyron Smith missed last week's game with a back injury and didn't practice on Wednesday, replaced by Chaz Green. The Cowboys will be without La'el Collins for a while with a toe injury, forcing Ron Leary into the starting lineup. Even right tackle Doug Free (quad) has been limited in practice over the last two weeks.