IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys bolstered both their special teams units and their safety depth Thursday by bringing back free agent safety Danny McCray, a productive player on their coverage units from 2010-13.
McCray made the Cowboys’ roster as an undrafted free agent in 2010 and quickly became one of their core special teams contributors. He finished in the top two in special teams tackles his first three seasons, and from 2010-11 he became the first Cowboys player since Bill Bates (1989-90) to lead the team in consecutive years.
McCray signed with the Chicago Bears last offseason and reunited with former Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis. He appeared in 15 games for the Bears, recording 19 tackles on defense and 10 special teams stops.
In Dallas, McCray will work under current special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia and help ease the free agent departure of Dwayne Harris, who had a team-high 18 special teams tackles last season.
He also adds safety depth behind 2014 starters Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox and fellow core special-teamer Jeff Heath. McCray filled in at strong safety for 10 games in 2012 after Church suffered a season-ending Achilles injury.
The Cowboys expect to get special teams contributions from a pair of drafted linebackers, fourth-rounder Damien Wilson and seventh-round Mark Nzeocha, as well as seventh-round tight end Geoff Swaim.
Swaim on Thursday became the third draft pick to sign his rookie contract, joining Nzeocha and fifth-round defensive end Ryan Russell.
The Cowboys also waived linebackers Keith Smith and Will Smith and signed rookie free agent linebacker Donnie Baggs (Texas A&M), a weekend workout at the rookie minicamp.