The Dallas Cowboys made several moves over the weekend. Here are the biggest surprises.
Of all their moves, which were the biggest surprises? Here’s our best guess for the top three …
The curious release of Francis Bernard
While an undrafted free agent not making the final cut to the active roster is nothing unusual, the hype surrounding rookie linebacker Francis Bernard in training camp was high. With many projecting he’d make the team’s final 53-man roster, Bernard was surprisingly waived on Saturday.
This was especially confusing considering that linebackers Sean Lee (pelvis) and Luke Gifford (hamstring) are dealing with injuries, with the former landing on Injured Reserve on Sunday. Fortunately for the Cowboys, Bernard passed through waivers unclaimed and agreed to sign on with the team’s expanded 16-man practice squad.
The Dallas Cowboys go heavy at skill positions
Roster predictions had the Cowboys going light at several of their skill positions. For example, going two-deep at both quarterback and running back was believed to be a strong consideration.
Instead, Dallas retained three quarterbacks, three running backs, six wide receivers, and four tight ends. Two of these players being undrafted rookie free agents running back Rico Dowdle and tight end Sean McKeon.
Correction: Quarterback Ben DiNucci was the Cowboys’ seventh-round draft pick and not undrafted.
Now, it could be a simple case of the team believing they were more talented on that side of the ball. Yet, with the questions surrounding the Cowboys’ defense, specifically along their secondary, it was a surprise to see the team go with just six cornerbacks, three safeties, and special teams ace C.J. Goodwin. Especially considering both safety Xavier Woods (groin) and corner Jourdan Lewis (ankle) are dealing with injuries.
Cowboys added Brandon Carr to practice squad
When the Cowboys signed Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50.1 million deal back in 2012, his arrival along with first-round cornerback Morris Claiborne was supposed to launch a new, exciting era in the secondary. Unfortunately, both Carr and Claiborne struggled to live up to lofty expectations.
Carr found some success after playing out his contract in Dallas as a 16-game starter for the Baltimore Ravens over the past three seasons. At age 34, the 12-year veteran returns to Dallas as a member of their practice squad. But there’s some speculation Carr could be played at safety, which might pave his way to the active roster.