Before Monday night's preseason opener with the Oakland Raiders, the Dallas Cowboys were already a bit short at the tight end position. Due to an injury to backup John Phillip's ankle, the club was forced to give reps to linebacker Alex Albright behind starter Jason Witten, third-string rookie James Hanna and Andrew Szczerba. After Witten suffered a slightly lacerated spleen during the first quarter of the Oakland game, Dallas was in need of extra manpower. They went out and got it today, signing Harry Flaherty, formerly of Princeton.
At Jason Garrett's press conference, he indicated that Witten would need to be "still and idle" for the next 7-10 days. At that point, the doctors will check to see if the Grade 1 (mildest) laceration has ceased bleeding. At this time, that is the hope of the club and the doctors. If not, then surgery is a possibility. Phillips returned to the walkthrough today, but did not appear in pads for the practice.
Flaherty is the nephew of both Head Coach and Tight Ends Coach Jason and John Garrett. He has already been associated with three other franchises; starting with New Orleans in 2011 and working with Tampa in the spring. He worked out for New England as well as Dallas previously. He stands 6'2" and weighs 241 lbs. At his Princeton Pro Day in 2011, Flaherty ran the 40 yard dash in 4.81 seconds. His vertical jump was 31.5" and his broad jump was an even 10'.
To make room for the new tight end, Dallas waived/injured guard Bill Nagy as was hinted at last week. Nagy will have 24 hours to clear waivers before Dallas can place him on injured reserve. Owner Jerry Jones has hinted that Nagy is done for the year, but the new IR rules put in place for 2012 (but not yet approved by the NFLPA) should mean that Dallas has the option to look back at him midseason; pending the results of and recovery from his ankle surgery. Nagy was set to be waived/injured last week, but Dallas decided not to sign Jamaal Jackson after he showed up out of shape for a workout to add depth to the center position.