Released Tuesday were cornerback Marquis Floyd and kicker Connor Hughes along with three undrafted rookies: Colorado State wide receiver Rashaun Greer and two California products, tight end Nick Tow-Arnett guard Chet Teofilo.
Dallas also brought in another tight end.
With Tow-Arnett out the Cowboys signed former Rutgers tight end Kevin Brock, who was part of Pittsburgh's practice squad last season and spent time on the offseason rosters of Carolina and Chicago, having signed with the Panthers after going undrafted in 2009.
Last year, OLB Brandon Williams was making the coaches take notice in the OTAs and early in training camp; then disaster struck with the ACL tear. He's working his way back into form, although the process is not complete yet. Still, he hopes to find some playing time, and Dallas will accommodate him if he can show the form he teased with last year.
If Williams continues to perform in training camp and preseason, rest assured Phillips will try to find a role for him as a situational pass rusher, like fellow second-year linebacker Victor Butler did last year. Phillips said backup defensive end Jason Hatcher is also versatile enough to play outside if needed.
By the way, that's an interesting note about Jason Hatcher.
Bryan Broaddus takes a shot at examining the Cowboys WR corps. His take on Miles Austin:
One of the most impressive things about Austin is his ability to run routes at the same speed. He puts defensive backs under huge pressure because he can do that. He never changes speed. Everything is run at one speed. It’s hard to cover a guy like that, because there’s no hesitation to break on. He knows how to get separation. His run-after-catch ability is among the best in the NFL. He’s a physical player that will go get the football -- good in traffic, good in the middle of the field. Teams will try to take him out of the game, and he’ll just create opportunities for somebody else. The only knock on him is that he hasn’t done it for a full season. You see all the talent and traits and believe, but is he capable of putting back-to-back seasons together? The great ones do. I believe he can.
Take note: Raf has a look at Miles Austin in the MSP Cowboys Annual that we're currently finishing up. In Raf's look, he'll present some historical data showing other WRs in NFL history who have burst onto the scene like Austin, and if they were able to follow that up. Pre-order your copy now, it will be delivered in early August.
Are you a Madden gamer? If so, the Cowboys are strongly represented.
Receiver Dez Bryant is rated as one of the highest rookies with an overall rating of 80 out of 100. That's tied with No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford. Bryant is still behind several defenders and a few offensive linemen. But Bryant is six points better than the Broncos' Demaryius Thomas, who was drafted two spots ahead of Bryant at No. 22.
The Cowboys overall were ranked as the No. 1 NFC East team (87/100) down from 88 in Madden 2010 and tied for fifth best in the NFL. The Washington Redskins (76) went up six points and the Philadelphia Eagles went down six points (80).
Jay Ratliff held a chat over at NFL.com and revelaed he's been playing hurt for years. Of course, the way he's played maybe he should always be hurt.
I played the last three years with bad elbows. It was kept quiet because I never talked to anybody about it. When I told the trainers, nobody knew how serious it was until I asked them to do an X-Ray and they saw the bone spurs. ... Today was the first day that I benched press in two years, and it felt good. No pain at all. So I am excited about that.
He also answered a question about areas of improvement for the team.
The areas that need to be improved upon... i think more than anything we need to be more consistent -- with our intensity. Once we start fast, we need to finish that way every game for the season. If we can focus on being consistent, we'll be right where we need to be. The biggest key is consistency.
Bradie James thinks that Dallas has the horses to make a run this year.
"It was tough because we didn't reach the ultimate goal, but we did some things that hadn't been done," he said. "We won our first playoff game. We won the division. We had back-to-back shutouts. That gives us confidence knowing we can play in the upcoming season."
Unfortunately, disaster struck a week later when the Minnesota Vikings thrashed Dallas 34-3, ending the club's postseason in the second round.
"The only thing we need to do is win more playoff games," James said. "We have I think 20 out of 22 returning starters back and ready to rock and roll. The team's really talented, but everybody's talented around the league, so we just want to compete and win at the right time."
Don't forget, SBN Dallas is up an running. Check it out for coverage of all the regional sports.