Cowboys Release DT Amobi Okoye After Stint On Non-Football Injury List

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have released defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, roughly a year after signing him to a two-year contract.

It's been an interesting couple of years for the former first-round pick, despite the fact that he never played a down for Dallas. He received national attention last summer when he revealed the "undisclosed medical condition" that had kept him out of football for roughly 18 months.

Prior to joining the Cowboys, Okoye was diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis – a rare brain disease -- in March 2013, and he was placed in a medically-induced coma for several months in an effort to stop recurring seizures.

Okoye awoke from that coma in July of 2013, and he recovered enough to sign a contract with the Cowboys just nine months later. The process of returning to the field was much lengthier, however. Okoye wasn't cleared for contact drills until training camp last summer, and even then he wasn't allowed into the fray.

After placing him on the reserve/non-football injury list to start last season, the team cleared him to participate in practice in October. From that point the Cowboys had three weeks to evaluate his progress, and they ultimately opted to leave him on the NFI list rather than activate him to the 53-man roster.

There was some hope that Okoye, who was selected No. 10 overall by Houston in the 2007 NFL Draft, would be far enough along in his recovery to compete for playing time in 2015. If he does manage to achieve that, it will come with another team.

Okoye has tallied 177 tackles and 16 sacks during his career, having spent four seasons with the Texans and two with the Bears before coming to Dallas. The last time he played football was December 2012 in Chicago, under then-Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.

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