The Dallas Cowboys decided to go back to carrying only two quarterbacks on cut-down day Saturday.
At the same time, they were keeping their eyes on young running backs other teams were getting rid of.
News broke around lunchtime that the Cowboys were cutting quarterbacks Dustin Vaughan and Jameill Showers, which wasn’t much of a surprise. By keeping only starter Tony Romo and backup Brandon Weeden, the Cowboys gave themselves the luxury of being deeper at another position.
That happened to be defensive line, where they kept 11 players, including tackles Davon Coleman and Ken Bishop, who were considered roster bubble players. End Lavar Edwards also made the team after being on the bubble.
By keeping only starter Tony Romo and backup Brandon Weeden at quarterback, the Cowboys gave themselves the luxury of being deeper at another position.
Spots, though, are far from secure. More moves are likely going to happen should the Cowboys find a better option on the waiver wire or the open market.
They are likely looking at running backs, and would be open to bring in a young, promising back. Among those to watch is Jonas Gray, who was cut by the New Englad Patriots.
But, for the most part, it was a difficult day at Valley Ranch to send players packing.
The Cowboys would be open to bring in a young running back. Among those to watch is Jonas Gray, who was cut by the Patriots.
Among those released on cut-down day were wide receivers Nick Harwell, Clyde Gates and A.J. Jenkins; defensive backs Joel Ross, Tim Scott and Rod Sweeting; linebackers Dakorey Johnson, Donnie Baggs, Justin Anderson and Ka’Lial Glaud; running backs Gus Johnson and Ben Malena; fullback Ray Agnew; offensive linemen John Wetzel, Shane McDermott, Ronald Patrick and Laurence Gibson; and defensive linemen Ben Gardner and Efe Obada.
Linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive end Greg Hardy were placed on the reserve/suspended list, so they won’t count against the 53-man roster while they serve four-game suspensions.
The Cowboys will try to bring several of the released players back for their 10-man practice squad, should they get through waivers. Vaughan and Showers are probably players the Cowboys would like to keep in the organization.
Vaughan, the West Texas A&M product who made the 53-man roster last season, finished the preseason by going 35 of 67 passing for 343 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He had a 54.5 passer rating.
11 Defensive linemen the Cowboys kept, including three who were on the bubble — tackles Davon Coleman and Ken Bishop, and end Lavar Edwards.
Showers, meanwhile, has versatility as a special teams contributor and quarterback. At quarterback during the preseason, he was 15 of 32 passing for 125 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
For now, though, this is the way the Cowboys want their roster constructed, including keeping a fullback (Tyler Clutts), four tight ends (Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar, James Hanna and Geoff Swaim) and 11 defensive linemen.
Cowboys’ 53-man roster
Quarterbacks (2): Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden
Running backs (4): Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar, Tyler Clutts
Tight ends (4): Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar, James Hanna, Geoff Swaim
Wide receivers (5): Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Devin Street, Lucky Whitehead
Offensive line (8): Tyron Smith, Ronald Leary, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Doug Free, La’el Collins, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Darrion Weems
Defensive line (11): Jeremy Mincey, DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Randy Gregory, Nick Hayden, Jack Crawford, Terrell McClain, Ryan Russell, Davon Coleman, Ken Bishop, Lavar Edwards
Linebackers (7): Sean Lee, Anthony Hitchens, Andrew Gachkar, Kyle Wilber, Damien Wilson, Keith Smith, Jasper Brinkley
Defensive backs (9): Brandon Carr, J.J. Wilcox, Barry Church, Morris Claiborne, Byron Jones, Tyler Patmon, Corey White, Jeff Heath, Danny McCray
Specialists (3): Dan Bailey, Chris Jones, L.P. Ladouceur