The Dallas Cowboys cut their roster down to 53 players today, making a dream come true for some young men while crushing the hopes of others. With just a couple hours to go, the Cowboys made their final two cuts. Both players waived were running backs.
Lance Dunbar obviously made it a very difficult decision for the Cowboys’ coaching staff to cut him. In this week’s final preseason game, Dunbar recorded 105 rushing yards and a touchdown. He also through in a nifty 27 yard punt return. But Dunbar struggled with a hamstring injury which ultimately cost him his chance to make the team. It’s believed the Cowboys will sign Dunbar to the practice squad if he passes waivers tomorrow. The North Texas alum was the Mean Green’s all-time leading rusher and scorer last year.
The final player the Cowboys cut on Friday was Jamize Olawale. Also a North Texas alum, the big bruising running/full back was actually a converted receiver in college. And Olawale made the most of his opportunities in the preseason. He recorded 122 rushing yards and a touchdown in the four games, impressing coaches, players, and fans alike. Unfortunately for the big man, the roster numbers just weren’t on his side in Dallas.
Now that the final cuts have been made, here’s is the full list of cuts from the past two days: RB Lance Dunbar, RB Jamize Olawale, DB Eddie Whitley, G Ronald Leary, T Pat McQuistan, T Jeff Adams, DB Teddy Williams, C Harland Gunn, G Daniel Loper, DE Clifton Geathers, DB Lionel Smith, DE Baraka Atkins, DB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, TE Andrew Szczerba, DE Ben Bass, WR Saalim Hakim, WR Danny Coale, CB Josh Thomas, FB Shaun Chapas, LB Adrian Hamilton, QB Rudy Carpenter, LB Orie Lemon and WR Tim Benford.
Now the 24 hour process of evaluating waived players from other teams, and praying that some of their own waived players make it through the waiver wire, begins. The Cowboys can place eight players on their practice squad if those players pass through waivers without getting claimed.
QB Stephen McGee and DE Marcus Spears both appear to be safe for now. Obviously, the next 24 hours could change that if Dallas decides to dip into the waiver wire. The Cowboys are still looking for offensive line help and may not be totally satisfied with their current wide receiver core. Players like veteran safety O.J. Atogwe, wideout Deion Branch, and former all-pro Dallas punter Mat McBriar are just a few of the bigger names that hit the waiver wire today. Just because Dallas has a 53 man roster now, doesn’t exactly mean the cuts are over.
But for young players like safeties Mana Silva and Matt Johnson or wideout Cole Beasley, it’s time to celebrate. They can now officially call themselves members of America’s team.