Last year, Cowboys fifth-round pick CB Josh Thomas was cut during the final cuts for the 53-man roster. A hamstring injury limited him in camp and ultimately cost him a chance to make the roster. Thomas was immediately picked up by the Panthers, where he appeared in nine games last season.
Thomas was one of only five fifth-round picks to who didn't make the team during final roster cuts at this time last year. Thomas and the Patriots' TE Lee Smith were the only two players to be picked up off the waiver wire (Smith went to Buffalo where he appeared in ten games last season). Safeties Shiloh Keo (Texans) and Ahmad Black (Buccaneers) cleared waivers and landed on the practice squad of their teams. Safety Mark Legree has bounced around with four teams since and is currently a free agent.
That brings us to the Cowboys' 2012 fifth round pick Danny Coale. By my count, Coale is one of only three 2012 fifth-rounders released this year. So what are the chances he'll get picked up off the waiver wire?
If the Josh Thomas experience is anything to go by, then there's a two out of five chance that Coale will be claimed off waivers. This year, there were only three 2012 fifth-rounders waived during the final roster cuts prior to the start of the season: Danny Coale, ILB Tank Carder from the Bills and ILB Korey Toomer from the Seahawks. Chances are, at least one of them will get claimed by 12:00 noon ET today.
Obviously, there's no way to quantify the chances of Coale being the claimed by another team. But initially, it looks like the Cowboys took a big risk with this move. Fifth-rounders don't get released often, and this fact alone will have other teams' interest piqued.
Then again, there were 103 wide receivers released yesterday, many with more experience, many with a better draft pedigree, some with better measurables and certainly a lot who showed more in camp than Coale did.
The table below shows a tally of the 2012 draft picks released yesterday, sorted by the order in which they were drafted in April. Teams across the league are going to be comparing a similar list to their own draft grades. They have until 12:00 ET to make a decision on whether they want to give a spot on the 53-man roster to one of these players or one of the othe 670+ players released yesterday.
The table is based on the list of roster cuts as published on the NFL Transaction Report, and crossreferenced with the Pro Football Reference draft data. Any misses are obviously due to software issues, and therefore the fault of Microsoft.
Thirty 2012 draft picks were waived, and an additional four were placed on IR yesterday (if the data in the table above is correct). Danny Coale sits at the very top of this list, and as a result he'll attract some interest at the very least. Keep your fingers crossed that he makes it back to the Cowboys.
The other thing about this list is that it also contains some names that were popular among Cowboys fans in the weeks and months leading up to the draft. And while all of these players were released for a reason (most of them because they simply weren't good enough), are there some players here that you would like the Cowboys to take a look at?