Cowboys churn bottom of roster, add Ryan Williams to practice squad

Posted Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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The Dallas Cowboys continue to churn the bottom of their roster.

They claimed one player off waivers Sunday and expect to sign two others — and possibly another — in the coming days.

The Cowboys claimed offensive guard Donald Hawkins off waivers from the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. They released offensive tackle John Wetzel to make room for Hawkins on the 53-player roster.

The 6-foot-4, 301-pound Hawkins is an undrafted rookie from Texas, where he started 24 of 25 games as a two-year contributor. He has been released twice already after beginning the preseason with the Eagles. The Eagles released Hawkins after he played three preseason games. He was claimed by the Browns last week before being released Saturday.

The Cowboys also agreed to terms with linebacker Korey Toomer and safety C.J. Spillman, according to sources. The Cowboys will have to make roster moves to get Toomer and Spillman on the 53-player roster. Rookie safety Ahmad Dixon could be one of the team’s moves since the Cowboys won’t carry six safeties.

The Cowboys also could add defensive lineman Jack Crawford on Tuesday when they move defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to short-term injured reserve, according to a source.

The 6-foot-2, 234-pound Toomer was a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2012 out of Idaho. He spent 2012 on injured reserve after having shoulder surgery and spent last season on the non-football injury list with a knee issue.

He spent time working with the Seahawks’ top kickoff team.

Spillman played 59 games for the 49ers the past four seasons after beginning his career with the Chargers, where he played for Cowboys special teams coach Rich Bisaccia. He has 73 career tackles on defense but is a core special teams player, having led the 49ers with 19 last season.

Crawford was a 2012 fifth-round pick of the Raiders out of Penn State. The 6-foot-5, 275-pounder appeared in 19 games his first two seasons, with 18 tackles. The Raiders’ depth chart listed him as their third-string left defensive end before his release.

Practice squad

Running back Ryan Williams cleared waivers and has been placed on the Cowboys’ practice squad. He led the team in rushing during the preseason, but was among those cut Saturday when rosters were trimmed to 53.

Other final cut players added to the squad include receiver Tim Benford, defensive end Kenneth Boatright, linebackers Will Smith and Keith Smith, and center Ronald Patrick.

The Cowboys also signed cornerback Micah Pellerin to the practice squad. Pellerin played in two games with the Cowboys last season and was recently cut by the Tennessee Titans.

The Cowboys have three spots left for their 10-man practice squad but hope to sign Wetzel. Wetzel has to clear waivers first after the Cowboys used his roster spot to claim Hawkins.

The Cowboys would have added receiver LaRon Byrd, but he was claimed off waivers by the Browns.

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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