The Dallas Cowboys made some difficult decisions leading up to the 53-man roster deadline. Perhaps the biggest surprise cut was linebacker Jabril Cox, who finally had a pathway to first-team snaps after DeMarvion Overshown's season-ending knee injury.
The Cowboys ultimately kept four linebackers: Leighton Vander Esch, Damone Clark, converted safety Markquese Bell and Devin Harper.
There was hope that Cox would re-sign to the Cowboys practice squad and continue his development as an insurance option.
That won't happen, as the 2021 fourth-round pick opted for a fresh start and signed to the Commanders practice squad. More thin at linebacker than Dallas, Washington had a high grade on Cox before the 2021 draft.
Cowboys News: Jabril Cox joins Commanders, Dallas steals OL from Giants for practice squad
This is a tough pill to swallow for Cowboys fans, but it speaks volumes about how low the coaching staff was on Cox that the team is razor thin at linebacker and still risked losing him. Perhaps Cox took that personal. The LSU product went unclaimed on waivers, meaning he opted for the Commies over returning to Dallas.
It'll be interesting to monitor Cox's development in Washington.
Incredibly, another released Cowboy signed with an NFC East rival, as wideout Dennis Houston landed with the Giants.
Like Cox, Houston went unclaimed and sought a fresh start after he appeared in two games last season while Michael Gallup finished his ACL rehab. Houston made some eye-opening plays in camp and preseason, but he was at best the seventh receiver on the depth chart.
With two waived players staying in the division, Dallas punched back by claiming offensive guard/center Sean Harlow from the Giants. Harlow had an invite to New York's practice squad, but now lands with the Cowboys to potentially compete for the backup center job behind Tyler Biadasz.
Cowboys 2023 Practice Squad
In addition to Cox and Houston, Dallas lost Isaiah land to waivers. They were, however, able to sign more of their waived players to the practice squad. Here's an updated look at the roster, though it's worth noting C.J. Goodwin and Malik Jefferson could be called up to the active roster for Week 1.
CB C.J. Goodwin
LB Malik Jefferson
S Sheldrick Redwine
OT Earl Bostick
LB/DE Tyrus Wheat
DE Durrell Johnson
WR Jalen Cropper
WR Tyron Johnson
CB Josh Butler
RB Malik Davis
C Brock Hoffman
OT Earl Bostick
TE Sean McKeon
TE Princeton Fant
OG/C Sean Harlow