Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett attempted to put to rest any conspiracy theories as to why they parted ways with pass rusher Damontre Moore on Wednesday.
It came down to football reasons, Garrett said, not anything to do with Moore raising his fist or saluting at the end of the national anthem or any other off-field conduct.
Garrett responded “no” to two questions asking if Moore’s release had anything to do with the anthem or off-field issues.
The topic came up because owner Jerry Jones publicly announced the organization’s policy requiring players to stand for the national anthem and “respect the flag” earlier this month. Jones said players who do not abide by those rules would be benched.
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Moore’s actions, though, were not deemed disrespectful to the flag.
The Cowboys had to clear a roster spot for newly signed kicker Mike Nugent, and Moore was simply the odd man out when the moves were made Tuesday.
The Cowboys like the depth they have at defensive end right now, and are going to give rookie Taco Charlton more opportunities going forward. Moore and Benson Mayowa were inactive for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, and the Cowboys have more invested in Mayowa than Moore.
Plus, Moore did not offer position flexibility to also play on the interior such as David Irving or Tyrone Crawford are able to do.
Moore, a former Texas A&M standout, played only three games in his tenure with the Cowboys. He was suspended the first two games this season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, and was inactive Sunday.
A 2013 third-round pick by the New York Giants, Moore did not register a sack for his hometown team. The coaches credited him with seven tackles and four quarterback pressures in three games.
“Definitely a hard loss for us,” Crawford said. “Hopefully he bounces back strong.”
Moore, 25, has 10 career sacks in five seasons. His best season came in 2014 when he had 5.5 sacks for the Giants.