IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys continued their roster moves Monday with the addition of linebacker Korey Toomer to the roster and the release of defensive back Jemea Thomas.
The Seattle Seahawks made Toomer one of their final cuts on Saturday afternoon, concluding what had been a three-year run with the team. He was drafted out of Idaho in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft and spent his rookie season on Seattle's practice squad. He spent the 2013 season on the reserve/non-football injury list and therefore has yet to appear in a regular season game.
Thomas wasn't long for the roster, as he was claimed off waivers from New England last Wednesday and played in the preseason finale against Denver. The rookie survived the initial roster cuts before the Cowboys opted to add Toomer.
It's possible Thomas could return to the Cowboys' practice squad if he clears waivers, as the team still has two open spots on the 10-man list. The Cowboys acquired free agent safety C.J. Spillman on Monday morning, but the decision to waive Thomas leaves them with just eight defensive backs on the active roster.
At cornerback, the Cowboys have Sterling Moore and Tyler Patmon behind the starting duo of Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. Spillman and Jeff Heath would be the reserve safeties behind starters Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox.
Vaughan's TakeThe Cowboys turned plenty of heads Saturday with their decision to keep rookie quarterback Dustin Vaughan on the 53-man roster. It's the first time the Cowboys have kept three quarterbacks on their final roster since 2011.
"We had a lot of discussion about that. We feel Dustin has a lot of potential," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "We've already valued the quarterback position, and you want to have a guy on your roster who you are developing."
Vaughan played in all four preseason games for the Cowboys and went a combined 22-of-43 for 212 yards and a touchdown. He saw his most extensive playing time in the finale against Denver, and he went 11-of-17 for 86 yards.
"We thought coming from a smaller school environment we thought he made a really good transition and did a pretty good job in the preseason opportunities he got," Garrett said. It certainly wasn't perfect by any means but we feel like he has a lot of the traits we want to develop in a young quarterback."
It certainly was a transition, as Vaughan came out of West Texas A&M, a Division II program. Despite those odds, Vaughan said Monday he thought he'd be able to make the jump.
"I thought I could handle it, I thought I could make it – and I think everybody does," Vaughan said. "That's the attitude you need to have, you need to have that kind of confidence. But again I'm just thankful to have the opportunity."
With the continuing roster moves on the Cowboys' roster, it's probably not yet safe to assume Vaughan will hold the roster spot – especially if the team runs into its all-too-familiar problems with injuries. To that end, Vaughan pointed out that there's still work to do.
"The important thing for me is to find a role on this team, fit it and do the best job that I possibly can every single day to fit that role – whatever it is," he said.
Spillman's RoleOne week after being cut by San Francisco, C.J. Spillman will have a chance to line up against his old team. Spillman was a weekend acquisition by the Cowboys, and the expectation is he'll continue his special teams work in Dallas – regardless of who he lines up against.
"At the end of the day, I know I've got a job to do, and that's why I'm here," he said.
Interestingly enough, this isn't Spillman's first experience with a quirky turnaround. As a member of the San Diego Chargers in 2010, he was on [embedded_ad]
the roster for a game against Oakland. Two days later the Chargers cut him, and he was acquired by the 49ers – who were playing the Raiders that weekend.
"I don't think the transition process is going to be anything – just how fast can I get a grasp of the concepts," he said. "It's basically just the terminology, so I don't think it'll be too big of a challenge."
Spillman said he intends to spend some late hours at Valley Ranch this week to offset the change.
New EndLavar Edwards is back in a familiar role as he joins the Cowboys' 4-3 scheme from Tennessee. A 2013 draft pick, Edwards played in the Titans' 3-4 defense during the preseason, and he said the change is a welcome one.
"It helps me showcase my talent more, so I'm just excited and ready to contribute," Edwards said. "It's a comfort level. It's not too much different from what I did in school, so my aim is to get in here and learn the playbook and learn exactly what needs to be done."
It seems unlikely Edwards is going to replace Jeremy Mincey or George Selvie in the starting lineup, but Garrett said his skillset and his versatility are desirable for what the Cowboys are hoping to improve with their pass rush.
"Initially we'll probably play him over on our left, but we feel like he has some versatility across that front," Garrett said.