IRVING, Texas– The Cowboys met the NFL's roster-deduction deadline by trimming the roster down to 53 players Saturday afternoon.
But don't expect this to be anything close to the final roster. There could be as many as a handful of moves made before the Cowboys return to the practice field Monday to start preparations for the 49ers. The Cowboys have been known to claim a few players off waivers on Sunday after the cuts. They've already made one trade, acquiring defensive end Lavar Edwards (6-4, 280) from the Titans for an undisclosed draft pick in 2015.
Edwards, a fifth-round pick of the Titans in 2013, played in seven games for Tennessee last year as a rookie.
By adding Edwards, the Cowboys had to remove 23 players from their roster. Aside from a few small surprises here and there, these cuts lack a real surprising move. The most notable of the players cut include running back Ryan Williams, a former second-round pick of the Cardinals in 2011 who flashed some strong running ability in three preseason games before a groin injury kept him out of last Thursday's game. The Cowboys simply couldn't afford to go long at running back and Joseph Randle gives them more flexibility on special teams.
For now, the Cowboys kept fullback Tyler Clutts on the team, as did rookie quarterback Dustin Vaughan.
The Cowboys got some good news when Anthony Spencer passed his physical and was not placed on PUP. He likely won't play this week against the 49ers but clearly the Cowboys feel like he will be ready before the six-week period he would've been required to miss if placed on PUP.
The Cowboys also released a pair of vets – guard Uche Nwaneri and wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe. Neither player has to go through the waiver process because of their veteran status. [embedded_ad]
Other noteworthy cuts include a pair seventh-round picks – cornerback Terrance Mitchell and linebacker Will Smith. Mitchell had a solid training camp but struggled in coverage during the preseason games. If neither player is claimed, they will likely be candidates to return for the now 10-player practice squad.
Other cuts include wide receivers Jamar Newsome and LaRon Byrd, offensive linemen Stephen Goodin, Ronald Patrick and Josh Aladenoye. Tight end Asa Watson, linebackers Dontavis Sapp, Orie Lemon and Keith Smith, safety Ryan Smith, running backs D.J. Adams and Phillip Tanner and defensive linemen Dartwan Bush and Kenneth Boatwright were also cut. However, the Cowboys could put rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence on the IR-return list on Tuesday. That would sideline Lawrence for eight weeks but free up a roster spot.
Here's a look at the roster moves the Cowboys have made so far on Saturday:
Released:WR Desmon Briscoe (Kansas)
G Uche Nwaneri (Purdue)
Waived:RB D.J. Adams (Portland State)
T Josh Aladenoye (Illinois State)
DE Kenneth Boatright (Southern Illinois)
DT Dartwan Bush (Texas Tech)
WR LaRon Byrd (Miami)
G Stephen Goodin (Nebraska-Kearney)
CB Terrance Mitchell (Oregon)
WR Jamar Newsome (Central Florida)
C Ronald Patrick (South Carolina)
DE Caesar Rayford (Washington)
LB Dontavis Sapp (Tennessee)
LB Keith Smith (San Jose State)
S Ryan Smith (Auburn)
LB Will Smith (Texas Tech)
RB Phillip Tanner (Middle Tennessee)
TE Asa Watson (North Carolina State)
RB Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech)
LB Orie Lemon (Oklahoma State)
DT Zach Minter (Montana State)
S Jakar Hamilton (South Carolina State)
CB Orlando Scandrick (Boise State)
Acquired in a trade with Tennessee:
Lavar Edwards (Louisiana State) for an undisclosed 2015 Draft pick
DE Anthony Spencer (Purdue)