Did second-year TE play last snap with Cowboys after latest roster shuffle?

Dec 18, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Peyton Hendershot (89) celebrates
Dec 18, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Peyton Hendershot (89) celebrates / Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys got their teeth kicked in by the San Francisco 49ers. To add injury to insult, multiple important players suffered injuries in the game, including linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, kick returner and receiver KaVontae Turpin and special teams star C.J. Goodwin.

In light of these injuries, Dallas has been busy shuffling its roster. This has included signing veteran linebacker Rashaan Evans to the practice squad. With that move, Vander Esch is headed to injured reserve with a neck strain.

Additionally, veteran TE Sean McKeon was signed from the practice squad to the active roster, and the 21-day practice window was opened for cornerback Nahshon Wright, who's been out with an ankle injury suffered in preseason.

It was a busy day of shuffling for the Cowboys, so it could have easily been missed that Peyton Hendershot went on IR with an ankle injury. With Hendershot out a minimum of four games, we can't help but wonder if he's played his last snap for Dallas.

Has Peyton Hendershot played his last snap for the Cowboys?

In a make-or-break year, this injury couldn't come at a worse time for Hendershot. While Jake Ferguson has distanced himself from the rest of the Cowboys tight end pack, Hendershot had a window to assert himself as the No. 2 with 2023 second-round pick Luke Schoonmaker still being eased in.

Now that McKeon is on the active roster after one too many practice squad elevations, Hendershot's roster spot might not be waiting for him when he's healthy. Ferguson obviously isn't going anywhere and neither is Schoonmaker.

McKeon is the most expendable of that trio, but he reportedly was extremely close to making the 53-man roster out of preseason. He's also more versatile than Hendershot as far as blocking and his ability to contribute on special teams.

Very quietly, McKeon was the Cowboys' second highest graded pass blocker against the 49ers behind left tackle Tyron Smith, per PFF.

There seemingly isn't enough separating McKeon and Hendershot to the point where Dallas would axe the former to get the latter back on the active roster. Plagued by drops as a rookie, Hendershot dropped a touchdown in the season opener against the NY Giants.

In three games this year, Hendershot has one catch for three yards on two targets. He was playing 46% of the offensive snaps, so he was very much second in the tight end pecking order behind Ferguson.

A lot can change in four weeks, however, and it's widely understood that undrafted free agent John Stephens Jr. would have made the team over Hendershot if he didn't suffer a torn ACL in preseason.

Happy to be wrong, but it's not crazy to think it's a wrap in for Hendershot in Dallas.

More Cowboys news and analysis: