Looks like the first cut is in. Mike Garafolo reports that Kony Ealy has been released.
Cowboys are releasing DE Kony Ealy, source says.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 31, 2018
The Cowboys signed Ealy on April 5, 2018, and hopes in Dallas were high for the former second-round pick. The Cowboys liked Ealy in the in the 2014 NFL draft, and they even put in an unsuccessful claim for him back in August last year.
The third time was supposed to be the charm for Ealy and the Cowboys, but it looks like it didn’t work out that way. The Cowboys tried him in a hybrid DE/DT role, but the competition at both spots was likely too much. And with the unexpected return of Randy Gregory, a strong showing by rookie Dorance Armstrong along with Tyrone Crawford moving back to DT, things started to get really crowded in that defensive line room.
Kony Ealy will be a nice piece of line of depth for the next team signing him.
Ealy’s release comes with a minor upside for the Cowboys:
By cutting Kony Ealy, the Cowboys free up a 6th round 2019 compensatory pick for Jonathan Cooper. https://t.co/MUWxhz9vTv— Nick Korte (@nickkorte) August 31, 2018
In addition to the 4th-round compensatory pick the Cowboys will get in 2019, Ealy’s release could free up a compensatory 6th-round pick for the Cowboys, which they would get as compensation for “losing” Jonathan Cooper in free agency. But that’s contingent on Cooper making the roster in San Francisco (and staying there until after Week 10) which so far doesn’t appear to be a done deal.
In related news, the Cowboys have decided to part ways with DT Lewis Neal.
In addition to Kony Ealy, the Cowboys have released DT Lewis Neal.— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) August 31, 2018
Both players should find work shortly.
That makes the defensive line room slightly less crowded, but there will likely be more cuts coming.
Both Ealy and Lewis got some extended playing time against the Texans last night, with Ealy notching 45 snaps on defense and Neal getting 25. Perhaps they put enough on film to quickly get some interest from other teams.