The Cowboys linebacker group has faced some heat this week after allowing a season-high 222 rushing yards at the Cardinals. On Thursday, the team shook things up on that side of the ball. The Cowboys announced second-year linebacker Devin Harper has been waived.
Harper has been mainly a special teams player under John Fassel, seeing just three snaps on defense all year compared to over half the team’s special teams snaps in each game. Still, the cohesion between Dan Quinn’s defense and Fassel’s special teams unit, paired with plenty of current examples on defense of players taking huge year two and three strides, make it a surprise that Dallas moved on from a 2022 sixth-round pick.
The #Cowboys have waived linebacker Devin Harper.— Patrik [No C] Walker (@VoiceOfTheStar) September 28, 2023
Harper could still be in the Cowboys plans as a potential follow-up move to the practice squad is in play. The Cowboys will need a roster spot for either Nahshon Wright or Matt Waletzko to come off injured reserve, with the cornerback and backup lineman eligible next week. The Cowboys obviously have a need at cornerback without Trevon Diggs for the rest of the season, and up front where injuries to Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith, Zack Martin, and Tyler Biadasz have tested the depth of that unit.
The Cowboys depth was touted all offseason as the team knew they’d have to make difficult decisions moving on from young and promising players. The immediate needs of the roster paired with the experience they have eligible to fill it seemingly trumps Harper’s spot on special teams for now.
The #DallasCowboys have waived LB Devin Harper.— Nick Harris (@NickHarrisDC) September 28, 2023
The second-year sixth-rounder out of Oklahoma State saw action in six career games for the Cowboys, but is now on the waivers.
Of note, a pair of players (Waletzko, Wright) are eligible to come off the IR on Monday.
Harper would be another strong addition to the practice squad, something the Cowboys have managed to build up with other additions like former first-round center Billy Price being added earlier in the week for further insurance behind Biadasz.