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Watkins' Release Is Biggest Of Five Moves

After four years with the team, the Cowboys are expected to officially release safety Pat Watkins either Monday or Tuesday.

Watkins has apparently already been notified of the move. League rules mandate the team trim its roster from 80 to 75 players by Tuesday afternoon. They will reach the number with four more moves, which should be finalized by the team's 1:15 p.m. practice on Tuesday.

Tight end John Phillips (torn ACL) will be placed on the season-ending Injured Reserve and linebacker Stephen Hodge will be moved to the reserve Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list as he continues to recover from microfracture knee surgery in 2009.

Two undrafted rookies have been officially released, wide receiver Terrell Hudgins and tight end Scott Sicko.

A fifth-round pick from Florida State in 2006, Watkins started 10 games for the Cowboys and contributed as one of the team's best special teams players. Due $1.176 million as a restricted free agent this year, Watkins seemingly came at too high a price for the Cowboys. He had missed the San Diego preseason game with a knee injury before returning on Saturday at Houston.

The Cowboys started second-year safety Mike Hamlin in place of injured starter Gerald Sensabaugh against the Texans. They have two more safeties all but assured of a roster spot, starter Alan Ball and fourth-round pick Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. Undrafted free agents Barry Church and Danny McCray have made a solid case as well, with McCray shining on special teams just like Watkins.

The roster must be cut to 53 players by Sept. 4.

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