The Dallas Cowboys have completed their mandated cutdown to 53 players yesterday, and today will go about establishing their practice squad for the 2017 season. They will be adding up to ten players that will serve as a scout team for the regular season and serve as depth in case of injury.
The Cowboys had plenty of players they waived yesterday that they should be interested in retaining on the practice squad. Players like CB Marquez White, DT Joey Ivie, DT Jordan Carrell, DT Lewis Neal, WR Lance Lenoir, WR Uzoma Nwachukwu, LB Joseph Jones, and perhaps even offensive linemen like Dan Skipper or Nate Theaker. But the Cowboys could just as likely look beyond their own players as they build their practice squad.
We'll follow signings, rumors and other stories as they happen in this space. Here are the players known to join the Cowboys practice squad.
- TE Blake Jarwin
- DT Lewis Neal
- WR Brian Brown
- S Jameill Showers
- DT Richard Ash
- G Kadeem Edwards
- WR Lance Lenoir
- G Dan Skipper
- G Nate Theaker
- CB Marquez White
CUTS, WAIVER CLAIMS, PRACTICE SQUAD NEWS, UPDATES
[3:28 pm ET] Per Brandon George, here is the full PS list.
This is the Cowboys' 10-player practice squad: pic.twitter.com/6B0bEKWURP— Brandon George (@DMN_George) September 3, 2017
[2:52 pm ET] To make room for LB Jayrone Elliott, Todd Archer of ESPN is reporting that Mark Nzeocha has been cut.
[2:30 pm ET] S Jameill Showers has also made it back to the PS.
Cowboys have re-signed S Jameill Showers and TE Blake Jarwin to their practice squad, sources said.— Brandon George (@DMN_George) September 3, 2017
25 pm ET] WR Brian Brown has also signed with PS.
Brian Brown has agreed to sign with the #Cowboys practice squad.— IconSportsConsulting (@iconsports360) September 3, 2017
[2:05 pm ET] It looks like DT Lewis Neal, a fan favorite, has made it to the practice squad.
[2:00 pm ET] Details on Jayrone Elliott trade.
In the trade for linebacker Jayrone Elliott, the Cowboys gave up a conditional seventh round pick in 2018. https://t.co/P1zFyt38Zy— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) September 3, 2017
[1:55 pm ET] A surprising move to make room for one of the acquisitions. Cowboys willing to eat some dead money in parting with Cedric Thornton, who has been somewhat disappointing on the field.
The Cowboys cut defensive tackle Cedric Thornton, whose $3 million base salary was guaranteed this year,... https://t.co/CrCkoUPXe6— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) September 3, 2017
[1:50 pm ET] Looks like the Cowboys traded for a linebacker, per Todd Archer:
The Cowboys traded for Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott, according to a source. Attempting to find out the details.
[1:32 pm ET] The Cowboys sign their first practice squad player, and it's a familiar face in TE Blake Jarwin.
#Cowboys are signing back rookie TE Blake Jarwin, who cleared waivers, to their practice squad, source said.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 3, 2017
[1:05 pm ET] Per Adam Shefter, Dallas claimed DT Brian Price on waivers from the Packers. Price is automatically elevated to the 53-man roster, and the Cowboys will have to make a corresponding move cut one of the players currently on the 53.
[11:08 am ET] More details of the Benwikere trade. Per Todd Archer of ESPN, the Cowboys sixth-round pick in 2019 is conditional on Benwikere being on the Cowboys' 46-man gameday roster four times.
[10:35 am ET] - While we wait for real updates, make sure to check out these links:
- Dallas Cowboys roster 2017: 53-man roster finalized
- 16 players that could make the Cowboys’ practice squad
- Eight players that could be of interest for Cowboys
What is the practice squad?
Each team is allowed one group of players who do not count against the 53-man roster. The practice squad is used, typically, to develop a younger player, while also giving the team a group of players who are used to replicate the offense or defense of the upcoming opponent.
How big is the practice squad?
Each team is allowed to carry 10 players on the practice squad throughout the season.
The standard eligibility for a player to be added to the practice squad is he is a free agent and has less than two years of NFL service. A player can only be on a practice squad for three seasons total in his career (six weeks on a practice squad in a seasons counts as a season for these purposes).
The league does allow for exceptions to the less than two-year rule. Teams may keep up to four players on their practice squad who have accrued two seasons of NFL experience, which allows a fringe player the chance to stay with the team, even if he already has been in the league, while also allowing the teams to keep more veteran players.
Accrued seasons are earned by being on the active (53-man) roster for a team for six games in a single regular season.
Practice squad players receive a weekly salary, though there are no guarantees so they can be cut at any time. The practice squad minimum salary is $7,200 a week. Teams can choose to pay a practice squad player more, which teams will do when they like a player and are trying to keep him with the squad. Otherwise, he could be poached by another team.
What is poaching?
The NFL allows a practice squad player to be signed by another team, but only if they are going to put him on their 53-man roster. When this happens, the player is given a guaranteed three-week salary, even if a team decides to release him before those three weeks are up.
What if a team promotes their own practice squad player?
A team can choose to sign their own practice squad player to the 53-man roster as well. Often, a team will use the practice squad to keep depth in case of injuries, so they will call up players if an injury occurs. Teams will also call a player up to the 53-man roster if they feel another team is trying to poach a player the original teams wants to keep.
When can teams start signing practice squad players?
When it comes to the final round of roster cuts - which happened on Saturday - teams can start signing an hour after the waiver period ends. That means teams can start signing players to the practice squad as of 1pm ET Sunday.
Any notable players who started their career on the Cowboys practice squad?
Here are some recent examples:
2007: CB/S Alan Ball
2008: WR Danny Amendola
2010: OT Jermey Parnell (though he was signed from New Orleans’ practice squad)
2011: WR Andre Holmes
2012: RB Lance Dunbar, OG Ronald Leary, FB Jamize Olawale
2016: TE Rico Gathers