The claiming period for players waived during final cuts on Tuesday is fairly short: Players placed on waivers during the final roster cuts can only be claimed until 12:00 noon ET on Wednesday. About an hour later, the 32 teams receive a Personnel Notice from the league office with all the waiver wire claims and can then begin signing up to 16 players to their practice squad. The hope for the Cowboys of course is that they’ll be able to sign all the players they have earmarked for a slot on their practice squad.
Vested veterans (with four years of pension credit) are are not waived but are released. They immediately become free agents, are not subject to the waiver system, and can sign with any team as soon as they want.
Some players the Cowboys waived or released during final cuts might be claimed or signed by another team, or will they? Here is a non-exhaustive list of recently cut players who could garner some interest:
- K Brett Maher was released in a procedural move; he’s expected to be re-signed immediately once some other players are moved to IR and roster spots are freed up. As a vested veteran, he’s not subject to the waiver wire system, so he can be re-signed the minute some other players are moved to IR, which is why I’m excluding him from the poll below. The same is true for QB Cooper Rush, LS Jake McQuaid, and ST ace C.J. Goodwin, who aren’t poll options either.
- RB Malik Davis was a bit of a fan favorite, but the Cowboys opted to keep the more experienced Rico Dowdle. Could there be interest in Davis from another team, or are running backs really a dime a dozen?
- S Tyler Coyle lost out in a numbers game in a very strong safety room, possibly the strongest the Cowboys have seen in years. He plays safety, corner, and special teams; is he good enough to be scooped up by a safety-needy team?
- QB Will Grier was hampered by a groin injury this summer but impressed with his aggressiveness and downfield throws. In a league where even backup QBs are in short supply, is that enough to find a new team?
- TE Sean McKeon looks like a candidate to be brought back to the practice squad, but could he also be a candidate for the 53-man roster somewhere else?
- C Alex Lindstrom showed some promise, and the Cowboys would like to bring him back to their practice squad. Will they be able to?
But is the imagined interest in these players just a figment of our fan imagination? Do we as Cowboys fans significantly overrate the attractiveness of our own roster cuts? The evidence suggests we do.
We have previously asked readers here on Blogging The Boys the same question we’re asking today, which players our readers thought are most likely to be claimed by another team.
- In 2015, DE Ben Gardner (seventh-round pick) won the poll in a landslide, garnering 79% of the 4,539 votes, but nobody signed him off the waiver wire. The Chargers picked him up in November of that year, but he never made it beyond their practice squad.
- In 2017, the same question led to a slightly more balanced poll result. CB Marquez White (sixth-round pick) led the poll with 36% of the 4,648 votes cast. Nobody claimed White, and the Cowboys were able to sign him to their practice squad without issue. He was eventually released and hasn’t been signed by an NFL team since.
- In 2018, DE Charles Tapper (fourth-round pick in 2016) led the poll with 35% of the 6,247 votes cast. Tapper was signed to the Cowboys practice squad a day after being cut, only to be released two days later. He signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets in January 2019, but was waived with a non-football injury designation in May 2020 and announced his retirement shortly thereafter.
- In 2019, WR Cedric Wilson (sixth-round pick in 2018) won the poll with 40% of the 5.061 fan votes. Wilson signed a three-year, $22.8 million contract with the Miami Dolphins this offseason, but in 2019 he was signed to the Cowboys practice squad without incident a day after final roster cuts.
ESPN’s Todd Archer summarizes succinctly:
I'm sure there are others but the only cut-down date move that bit the Cowboys in recent (or not-so recent) memory that I can remember right now is QB Matt Moore. We gnash are teeth over a lot of these moves and ultimately the guy clears waivers and is back on PS.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 30, 2022
Take the poll and let us know who you think is the player most likely to get picked up by another team tomorrow.
Which players are most likely to be claimed by another team?
This poll is closed
RB Malik Davis
S Tyler Coyle
QB Will Grier
TE Sean McKeon
C Alex Lindstrom