Dallas Cowboys

Cut by Browns, Jonathan Cooper now “blessed” to be playoff-bound

The Cleveland Browns waived Jonathan Cooper three days after their only victory of the season. Some guys have all the luck.

Cooper signed with the Cowboys on Tuesday.

“Oh, man, I’m very fortunate,” Cooper said. “I’m very blessed for this opportunity, and I’m grateful. I’m very grateful and humbled by the opportunity. To come to a place where they have the No. 1 offensive line and join a great rank of guys and just have an opportunity to learn and improve my game and just possibly be part of something very special.”

The Cowboys will kick the tires on the 2013 first-round pick of the Cardinals who joins his fourth team in four years. They signed him only through the playoffs.

“My expectation is to help any way possible and continue to improve,” Cooper said. “I can’t predict the future. But any way that I can fit in and I can help this group, I’m going to do my best to do it.”

Cooper, who has played both left guard and right guard in the NFL, will work at guard and center with the Cowboys. They hope he can develop into a swing inside lineman capable of playing in their packages that utilize an extra lineman. That role belongs to Joe Looney now.

“They say how much versatility you have can really help you,” Cooper said. “I’m going to do my best. I was just working some center snaps and working on my center sets, so I’m going to do as much as I can.”

Guard Ron Leary (back) returned to practice Thursday after missing last week’s game. The Cowboys started guard La’el Collins’ 21-day clock Thursday when he dressed for the first time since injuring his right big toe in Week 3.

“We just started this practice window and see how everything goes from there before they make a decision,” Collins said.

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