Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys promote CB Leon McFadden to play against his former team

Leon McFadden, right, was a third-round pick of the Browns in 2013 but lasted only one season in Cleveland.
Leon McFadden, right, was a third-round pick of the Browns in 2013 but lasted only one season in Cleveland. AP

The Dallas Cowboys promoted cornerback Leon McFadden just in time for him to play against the team that drafted him.

The Browns used a third-round pick on McFadden in 2013. He lasted only one season before bouncing around the league.

“I knew that was coming. Yeah, going back to Cleveland,” McFadden said Friday. “It’s a coincidence that I become active this week. It’s going to be good to go there and play and showcase my skills.”

The Cowboys signed McFadden to their practice squad Oct. 24. They waived fullback Rod Smith Thursday to elevate McFadden as starting cornerback Morris Claiborne is out for several weeks with a groin injury,

“Rod has done a good job being productive on special teams,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s made [four] tackles for us. Keith Smith is our starting fullback, so Rod’s primary role has been as a special teams guy. He’s done a nice job as our third back when Lance has been out. He’s had some responsibilities leading up to the ball game that he had to be ready for. It was more we have to make sure we shore up a couple of other positions on our team. That was the reason for the move.”

McFadden has spent time with the Browns, Jets, 49ers, Cardinals and Giants in addition to the Cowboys. He has played in 25 career games, with two starts as a rookie, making 26 tackles with two pass breakups.

“It’s been different,” McFadden said. “It’s been a rollercoaster obviously. Different teams, different people, different organizations. But I’ve had to adjust. That’s all part of the NFL. You’ve got to be comfortable being uncomfortable.”

McFadden worked on all phases of special teams this week, and has spent time in the defensive huddle as the slot corner and outside as insurance behind Orlando Scandrick, Brandon Carr and Anthony Brown.

 

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