Linebacker Jasper Brinkley made the Cowboys’ initial 53-player roster, but he was waived Monday when Dallas claimed offensive tackle Jordan Mills.
The Cowboys guaranteed Brinkley $2 million when they signed him as a free agent, including $1.25 million to sign. Dallas still owes him $750,000 in guaranteed money, or the difference between what he receives from another team up to $750,000.
The Cowboys kept seven linebackers, not counting Rolando McClain, who is suspended, when they reduced the roster to 53 on Saturday. But Brinkley was the odd man out Monday, beat out by Keith Smith, who didn’t sign with the team until July 31.
The Cowboys sought depth at the tackle position after Darrion Weems struggled at left tackle in the preseason. Weems, who started three preseason games at left tackle and played 137 of 241 offensive snaps,, was expected to earn the swing tackle job after third-round pick Chaz Green required offseason hip surgery.
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Weems has never been active for a regular-season game. He spent last season, his third in the NFL, on injured reserve after shoulder surgery.
“He just needs to keep working hard,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday. “He has done a really good job in training camp. He has gotten a lot of opportunities in preseason games. He just needs to keep banging away.
“That’s all we ask of him. He has improved dramatically as a player. That comes from the experience he’s had. It’s disappointing for him last year to miss all that time. Young players missing time is critical. It really curbs their development. To have him back and get all the work he’s had, I think he’s made a lot of progress.”
Mills, 24, was a fifth-round pick of the Bears in 2013 out of Louisiana Tech. He started 29 games at right tackle his first two years, allowing seven sacks with one holding penalty, according to STATS, Inc.
The Cowboys also announced four additions to their practice squad, making the signings of linebacker Dakorey Johnson (Kansas State), safety Tim Scott (North Carolina), quarterback Jameill Showers (UTEP) and tackle John Wetzel (Boston College) official.