IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys shuffled their secondary on Friday, ahead of next week's mandatory minicamp.
The club announced that it has released defensive back Terrance Mitchell, and that it has waived/injured cornerback Brandon McGee. Both players were on hand for the duration of the offseason program and the Cowboys' nine OTA practices to this point.
Mitchell comes as a bit more of a surprise than McGee, given his history here. The Cowboys drafted him in the seventh-round of the 2014 NFL Draft before ultimately cutting him at the conclusion of training camp. Mitchell spent a year with the Chicago Bears before the Cowboys ultimately re-signed him at the tail end of the 2015 season.
In a brief cameo with the Dallas defense, Mitchell showed some of the promise that made him a draft pick in the first place. He played in three games, logging 12 tackles a sack and two pass deflections. Most notably, he became the first Dallas cornerback to register an interception in more than a calendar year when he picked off Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick during the Cowboys' 19-16 loss to New York last December.
The Cowboys experimented with Mitchell in different positions during the offseason program, trying his abilities at both safety and nickel back – in addition to corner – during their nine OTA practices.
"He has a lot of physical traits that would make you think he could play safety," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett last week. "You saw some of that when he was playing nickel last year at the end of the year."
The two roster moves cut the Cowboys' numbers down to 14 defensive backs for the time being – eight cornerbacks and six safeties. The hierarchy at cornerback looks pretty established, with Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne topping the depth chart. The spots behind that are up for grabs, though, as sixth-round draft choice Anthony Brown is currently competing with fellow rookies and veterans such as Josh Thomas and Deji Olatoye for roster spots.
The Cowboys worked out veteran cornerback Brandon Boykin on Wednesday afternoon, but haven't given any indication that they intend to sign him at this time.