OXNARD, Calif. – The Cowboys made a few roster moves before Thursday's practice, cutting two players, signing two and reaching an injury settlement with another recently-waived player. Needing some help on the offensive line, the Cowboys have signed guard Jeff Olson, who played at TCU. The club also added offensive tackle James Nelson, from UTEP.
To make room on the roster, the Cowboys waived cornerback Devin Smith, an undrafted rookie from Wisconsin who played at Coppell High School, just minutes away from the Cowboys' headquarters. The Cowboys also cut defensive end Cameron Sheffield, who suffered a groin injury earlier this week. It's likely Sheffield will receive an injury settlement in the next few days.
That's exactly what the Cowboys did with defensive end Ikponmwosa Igbinosun, who was cut this week. Igbinosun had a foot injury since the start of camp and has been in a walking boot.
Sheffield's release is unfortunate for him considering he was playing well in place of injured ends Anthony Spencer and Tyrone Crawford. Sheffield filled in nicely and had some nice battles with Tyron Smith in the blocking drills.
As for the new signees, Olson could legitimately play this week in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, considering how banged up the Cowboys are at the guard spot. Both projected starters – Mackenzy Bernadeau (hamstring) and Nate Livings (knee soreness) are both injured. Ryan Cook and Ray Dominguez have both been bothered by injuries as well. Kevin Kowalski is now out two weeks with a knee injury.
For Thursday's practice, the Cowboys are expected to have Ron Leary, who just got back from a calf injury, David Arkin and perhaps Edawn Coughman, who has played some at tackle, to work inside.
As for Nelson, he likely benefitted from the Cowboys' training camp location, having played at Ventura Community College and currently resides in Ventura, just a few minutes from Oxnard.