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Cowboys Roster Cuts 2015: Dallas Makes Roster Transactions To Get To 75 Players

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

All NFL teams had to get down to 75 players on the roster by the deadline of 4 PM EST today. Of course, all teams complied including the Dallas Cowboys who made their cuts known this afternoon, besides the five that were let go yesterday.

Players cut yesterday:

WR Phil Bates
P Tom Hornsey
CB Robert Steeples
LS Casey Kreiter
DT Carliff Taylor

Players cut or moved roster designation today: (courtesy DMN)

OL Chaz Green (Florida)

LB Mark Nzeocha (Wyoming)

CB Orlando Scandrick (Boise State)

DE Kenneth Boatright (Southern Illinois)
T R.J. Dill (Rutgers)
RB Michael Hill (Missouri Western)

TE Brandon Barden (Vanderbilt)
LB Jonathan Brown (Illinois)
WR Antwan Goodley (Baylor)
WR David Porter (Texas Christian)

I don't think any observers of the Cowboys would find any surprises in those cuts or those moves. Dallas had to move Orlando Scandrick to IR, and the guys that were let go were never going to make the team. The only one who might have had a possible future was Ken Boatright, but even that would have been a huge battle given the upgrade of talent along the defensive line this year. The injury put  an end on any hope he had of making the roster.

PUP and NFI explained:

Chaz Green was moved to Reserve/PUP, Mark Nzeocha was moved to Reserve/NFI. Here's what that means:

The Reserve/PUP: once a player is moved to Reserve/PUP, he is automatically excluded from practicing or playing with the team for the first six weeks of the season.

The benefit of placing a player on Reserve/PUP is that the player won't count against the 53-man roster limit. Teams have a six-week window (day after Week 6 to day after Week 11) during which the player can return to practice. If the player is not ready by then, the player either has to be released or moved to season-ending IR. Once a player returns to practice, teams have an extra three-week window before they have to activate the player to the 53-man roster (or release or IR him).

The Reserve/NFI designation is applied to players like Mark Nzeocha who enter the league with a pre-existing injury. But it could also be applied to players who suffer an injury while handling a gun in a nightclub or playing with fireworks, to use just two random examples. The rules for activation mirror those of the PUP list. The major difference, though one that is not commonly used, is that teams can choose not to pay players for regular-season weeks spent on NFI.

For both the PUP and the NFI lists, "Reserve" designates a player who doesn't count against a roster limit, be it the 90-man, 75-man, or the 53-man limit. However, regardless of active/reserve status, all players on PUP and NFI (and on injured reserve) count against a team's salary cap during the season.

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