Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys cut Showers to clear spot for Sanchez; Romo stays off IR

Jameill Showers was cut on Sunday to clear a spot for Mark Sanchez.
Jameill Showers was cut on Sunday to clear a spot for Mark Sanchez. rrodriguez@star-telegram.com

Jameill Showers didn’t last long on the Dallas Cowboys’ initial 53-man roster.

Showers was cut on Sunday in order to clear a spot for newly signed quarterback Mark Sanchez. The Cowboys opted to cut Showers instead of placing Tony Romo on short-term injured reserve for now.

Showers, who is going into his second NFL season, is a candidate to join the Cowboys’ practice squad. The Cowboys liked Showers’ versatility a season ago, and then gave him an opportunity to work exclusively as a quarterback this offseason and training camp.

Showers, who played college ball at UTEP and Texas A&M, flashed some potential but showed his inexperience as well. He finished the preseason 21-of-62 passing for 318 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

In the preseason finale Thursday against Houston, Showers went 10-of-25 passing for 91 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also lost a fumble deep in Cowboys’ territory.

But, given the Cowboys’ quarterback situation, there had been some thought that Showers could have justified a spot on the 53-man roster with Romo out eight to 10 weeks with a compression fracture in his lower back.

The Cowboys could have placed Romo on short-term injured reserve for the first time Sunday, which would have meant he couldn’t have returned until the Nov. 6 game at Cleveland. The Cowboys could still pursue that at some point, but for now Romo will be eligible to return whenever he is ready.

The eight-week mark since Romo sustained the injury on Aug. 25 at Seattle would be Oct. 20, and he could possibly be ready by the Oct. 30 game against Philadelphia.

Sanchez, meanwhile, gives the Cowboys a veteran option behind rookie Dak Prescott, who will assume the starting role in Romo’s absence. Sanchez, the former fifth overall pick, has started 72 games in a six-year career, going 37-35 in those games.

Along with the Showers news, the Cowboys announced the following players have been added to the practice squad: tight ends Rico Gathers and Austin Traylor; defensive end Ryan Russell; wide receivers Andy Jones and Vince Mayle; center Jake Brendel; and linebacker Deon King.

That leaves three openings on the practice squad, and Showers is certainly a candidate to become a part of it if another team doesn’t claim him on waivers.

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