IRVING, Texas –According to a source, the Cowboys have already informed rookie wide receiver Danny Coale that he will be released, marking a second-straight year the team's fifth-round pick has failed to make the 53-man roster out of the preseason.
Last year, University of Buffalo cornerback Josh Thomas was the fifth-rounder, No. 143 overall. After being let go, he was claimed off waivers by the Panthers and went on to play in nine games for Carolina.
The Cowboys had hopes of Coale developing into a versatile receiver and special teams player for them this year, but he broke his foot on the first day of Organized Team Activities, and didn't return to practice until halfway into training camp. He caught only two passes for 21 yards in the preseason. After his release is finalized, he will have to pass through waivers.
The Cowboys didn't have a fifth-round pick in 2010, having traded it to Denver two years prior for Montrae Holland, but their two fifths in the 2009 draft did not pan out. Cornerback DeAngelo Smith, best known for losing a foot race with kicker David Buehler, was released out of camp in 2009, while safety Mike Hamlin stuck around for over a year, appearing in eight games with the team.
In the meantime, a number of undrafted rookies have made the roster, including four last season. A handful of college free agents appear poised to make this year's roster as well, and some of the Cowboys' best players were undrafted, including quarterback Tony Romo and receiver Miles Austin.
"I just think if you have an attitude that it doesn't matter where players come from, it matters what they do when they get here, I think you're more susceptible or more able to find some of those guys," head coach Jason Garrett said. "That's been our approach. We preach that to our players from Day One. So, we certainly want to draft well, we want to make sure we give our draft picks every opportunity. There's a reason we drafted them, we want to give them a chance to show us what they can do, but at the same time, there's other guys that we sign, whether they're college free agents or pro free agents, that are worthy of opportunities, too.
"Our goal is really to try to evaluate as cleanly as possible, and make sure we're keeping the right guys, the best guys. It's not always the best 53 players. It's the 53 players that give you a chance to be the best team."
Orlando Scandrick was the last fifth-rounder to make a significant impact for the club, coming in as the 143rd overall pick in 2008.