A day after he was let go to make room for offensive lineman Daniel Loper, the Cowboys were pleased to find out that sixth-round rookie wide receiver Dwayne Harris passed through waivers without being claimed.
He is expected to join the Cowboys' practice squad, which already has an open spot after tight end Martin Rucker signed with Jacksonville this week. After an impressive preseason opener, he had leveled off offensively, but served as the Cowboys' primary return man.
"He's done a nice job for us," Jason Garrett said. "He made some plays in the preseason as a receiver. And he's done a nice job as a punt returner and as a kickoff returner, just catching the ball and making some positive, north-south runs. What happened was we got banged up on the offensive line. We've been a little light on the offensive line, really for the past three or four weeks. So we wanted to shore up that area, and we felt like we had some alternatives to him as a returner. One of those things that you'd like to continue to develop him, because he's done some positive things, but at the same time you have to address the needs on your team at the moment."
Harris joins a pair of other Cowboys draft picks on their practice squad, fullback Shaun Chapas and safety Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. Together, they are three of 14 picks from the last three drafts who are no longer on the 53-man roster, or on Injured Reserve with the team.
Already this season the Cowboys have released three of their eight draftees.
"I think it's important that you try to make the right decisions for your football team on draft day," Garrett said. "And then, once draft day is over I think the worst mistake that an organization can make is to say 'We drafted these guys, we're keeping these guys,' so you can say publicly, 'Look, we have eight draft picks on our team.' I think that's a bad decision.
"We try to create a competitive environment. We've been very happy with all of our draft picks so far and the role that they're going to have for our football team now and in the future. When you draft some of those guys in the later rounds, hopefully your team is good enough where it's hard for them to make your football team. And then in other cases we've had some free agent-type guys step up and have a little role on our team so far at this point. So I think when you look at our rookie class, I think we feel good about the guys that we've drafted or signed competing for spots on our roster and roles on our roster."