It is unlikely that all 11 of the team’s draftees are in fact on the team when the regular season begins, but obviously Dallas drafted the players that they did for a reason. As it is often said football is a business and therefore the organization is always considering a number of factors when working out and ultimately decisions have to be made.
Wednesday morning brought with it the news that the team is moving on from two veterans on the squad. With new players in clearly the team’s brain trust feels like they now have some flexibility at certain positions and are making moves that reflect that.
The Dallas Cowboys have waived DT Antwaun Woods, released CB Saivion Smith
It wasn’t that long ago that the Cowboys brought Antwaun Woods back on a tender as a restricted free agent. As noted though it was just last weekend that the team drafted defensive tackles Osa Odighizuwa and Quinton Bohanna which was a bit of a sign that change could be coming.
Dallas also drafted three defensive backs in Kelvin Joseph, Nahshon Wright, and Israel Mukuamu. Ultimately all of this means that some people had to go and on Wednesday it was noted that Antwaun Woods and Saivion Smith are the first two.
Cowboys are waiving starting defensive tackle Antwaun Woods, per source. They drafted two defensive tackles last weekend, and now Woods is a salary-cap casualty.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 5, 2021
Cowboys could use that cap space to re-sign Joe Looney for the interior of the offensive line. https://t.co/nOnh0sTB1d— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) May 5, 2021
Cornerback Saivion Smith has also been released, per source. Cowboys have to release four more players to reach the 90-man limit. https://t.co/CR9mIqslJd— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) May 5, 2021
As ESPN’s Todd Archer notes the Cowboys still have work to do in order to reach the 90-man roster limit. It is certainly strange that the Cowboys even gave consideration to bringing Antwaun back only to move on from him so shortly after, but perhaps they didn’t necessarily know how many defensive tackles that they would walk away from the draft with.
For what it’s worth it seems that Antwaun may have bene the first domino to fall based on not meeting the physical requirements that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is looking for in a defensive tackle.
Cowboys waived NT Antwaun Woods, source confirmed. Woods sparked defense’s midseason improvement in 2020 when moved to starting lineup. Team has added six D-linemen since March (three free agents, three draft picks). All six with at least 34-inch arms. Length a Dan Quinn emphasis— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) May 5, 2021
Woods has carved out a nice role for himself since first joining the Cowboys in 2018, but every year since then has seen the Cowboys add at least one defensive tackle in the draft (Trysten Hill in 2019, Neville Gallimore in 2020, and obviously the most recent two). Hopefully he lands elsewhere soon.
To reference the point made by The Dallas Morning News’ David Moore, bringing back Joe Looney with the suddenly-available cap space would not be a bad idea. The Cowboys did draft a guard in Matt Farniok, but the position could certainly use a bit more depth. Looney offers it both there and at center. Maybe Dallas will give consideration to the idea.
Update: 1:30pm ET
The Dallas Cowboys began their roster purge on Wednesday morning in an effort to get down to a 90-man roster. Around lunchtime they announced six total players that they are parting ways with, including Woods and Smith.
- Antwaun Woods
- Saivion Smith
- Adam Redmond
- Walter Palmore
- Ladarius Hamilton
- Kemon Hall
Things should be somewhat stable for now. We will see what happens, though.