The Dallas Cowboys cut cornerback Tyler Patmon on Tuesday even though they could be without Morris Claiborne going into Saturday night’s game against the New York Jets.
Patmon, the second-year pro who went undrafted out of Oklahoma State, appeared in 11 of the Cowboys’ 13 games. He was targeted 31 times by opposing quarterbacks, giving up 13 receptions for 194 yards and one touchdown. He registered 15 tackles with six passes defended.
“We just felt like that was the best move for our team right now going forward,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s been a good player for us and he has a chance to be a good player in this league, but we just felt like it was the best move for our team right now.”
Patmon’s release was strictly performance related and nothing else, Garrett said.
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Terrance Mitchell, who is on the practice squad, is the leading candidate to replace Patmon in the slot. Garrett said Mitchell spent time working as the nickel corner in practice Tuesday, and also has the ability to play outside corner and some safety.
Another option is Deji Olatoye, who was signed to the 53-man roster off the practice squad last month but has been inactive the past two games.
The versatility of rookie Byron Jones to play safety and corner is another benefit for the Cowboys going into the Jets game.
“We’re going to work through what the substitution is going to be on the back end for this ballgame,” Garrett said.
In general, the Cowboys cornerbacks haven’t made the desired game-changing plays this season. None of the team’s six interceptions has been by a cornerback.
Claiborne, meanwhile, is questionable to play in Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury that flared up on Sunday in Green Bay. Claiborne missed two games last month with a hamstring injury, although this one is not believed to be as serious.
But Claiborne was not at the early portion of practice open to the media on Tuesday. His status, though, did not factor into the Patmon decision.
“We felt like it was the best move for our team right now,” Garrett said.
In other injury news, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is dealing with a chest injury and was not at the early portion of practice open to the media. Linebacker Rolando McClain (concussion) went through the walkthrough but has not passed concussion protocol to practice yet.