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Report: Cowboys sign defensive lineman Breeland Speaks to practice squad

A new defensive lineman for the Cowboys roster.

Baltimore Ravens v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys were off last week, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t busy working. As Stephen Jones likes to say, roster construction is a 24/7/365 business in the NFL.

With the team getting ready to take on the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday they are looking to get back some players that have been out due to injury. Guys like Chidobe Awuzie immediately jump to mind, but unfortunately there are a lot of players who won’t return this year as they have been lost for the season.

Dallas lost a few defensive lineman for the season (Gerald McCoy, Trysten Hill) and is currently dealing with defensive end Tyrone Crawford being on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. They have seen some solid returns on guys like Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith this season, so a few of their investments are paying off.

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed defensive lineman Breeland Speaks to the practice squad

As noted, there are spots on the defensive line these days, especially in the aftermath of the Everson Griffen trade and with the season looking a bit lost, where it doesn’t hurt to see a rotation of guys and experiment a little. We have known the Cowboys to kick the tires on players that were once viewed as prominent but were out of the game (see Aldon Smith as an example) and it appears that they are doing that again as they have reportedly signed Breeland Speaks to their practice squad.

Speaks was a second-round pick in 2018 and was taken just four selections before the Cowboys nabbed Connor Williams. He was heralded by the Kansas City Chiefs at the time, but things just ultimately never worked out for him as he suffered an injury during the preseason last year.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach is regarded as one of the best in the NFL so seeing him dismiss Speaks was a bit shocking. He attributed it to Kansas City being deep at the position if you are wondering why they ultimately said goodbye.

Almost two and a half years later, Veach cut his inaugural draft pick, along with 24 other players — five days before the season opener. When asked about it during his Sunday press conference, Veach cited the level of competition Speaks faced.

“Of all the positions, that defensive line position is probably our deepest position,” Veach acknowledged. “With Breeland [Speaks], it was a different scheme when he got here, and our staff really thought his rookie year he did some things you can lay a foundation on. We all know he came in a little out of shape the next year, and then he had the injury. When you get behind the eight-ball in professional football, it’s tough. When you get behind the eight-ball on a roster with a deep defensive line, it’s even tougher.”

Speaks is reportedly joining the Cowboys practice squad and not the actual roster so it’s unknown when, or if, he will see legitimate time with the team. If he does hopefully he is able to show something for the future.