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Take Heart: Cowboys Have Gus Johnson And Efe Obada On The Practice Squad

In a week of big moves, a couple of smaller ones will make many fans happy.

The Bus is back.
The Bus is back.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

DISCLAIMER: This article is in no way about "domesticated felines" or any related animal or concept. I know nothing about such things. They do not exist in my reality. Any allusions to the contrary would be the most scurrilous kind of rumor-mongering and slander, and could result in repercussions including a stiff talking to and possibly noogies. So there.

While the news about the Dallas Cowboys has been dominated by the injury to Tony Romo and the trade to acquire Matt Cassel to back up the current starter, Brandon Weeden, there were a couple of very welcome moves made under the radar. The Cowboys re-signed running back Gus Johnson to the practice squad and then added defensive end Efe Obada. Both were players who attracted some very favorable reviews during preseason. There was some disappointment when Obada was not signed after clearing waivers, and more when Johnson was released to make room. Now both will be back in practice for at least a while, where the coaches can watch their development and see if there might be a larger role for one or both down the road.

Given the depressingly frequent injury news for Dallas, the old adage that you can never have too much depth is clearly applicable. The running back situation, while showing improvement over the first two games, is still one that may require further work. Johnson gives the team a player that will be schooled in the playbook and who seems to have something worth bringing to the table. While it will be far better if the four backs currently on the roster turn out to be a good solution, having Johnson in the hip pocket is just a little more low-cost insurance.

Obada is a player who might have much more upside. He is incredibly raw, coming from Europe with negligible playing experience. But he showed remarkable progression during the preseason. He was noticeable, in a good way, several times, albeit playing against third- and fourth-stringers who mostly did not make rosters themselves. What he does have is unquestionable athletic ability. The team certainly does not want to have to call on him this season as part of the 53-man roster, but a year on the practice squad may make him a very intriguing player to bring back next offseason to take another run at making the team. He is another product of the excellent Cowboys scouting organization. If he develops the skills to one day make the team, he will be a fantastic return on investment.

For the two young players, being on the practice squad means that their NFL dreams are not yet over. For the fans that grew to like them (whatever they chose to call them in their own minds, which I do not want to know), they are welcome additions to the organization.

Small moves, but you never know where these things might lead one day. Be glad for them, and keep hoping for good things for them in the future.

Follow me @TomRyleBTB


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