While they have until 4:00 pm EST to reach the 53-man roster limit, the Dallas Cowboys got to work Sunday with some early moves. Five players were waived or released yesterday and many more will suffer the same fate in the coming hours.
The most notable cut was QB Ben DiNucci, leaving Cooper Rush and Will Grier as the only in-house candidates to back up Dak Prescott in 2022. While the 2020 7th-round pick showed some good things in the preseason, DiNucci was still clearly bringing up the rear among the quarterbacks and wasn't expected to make the roster.
WR T.J. Vasher was an early hype magnet from training camp but failed to shine in any of the Cowboys' three preseason games. His 6'6″ height and wingspan remain intriguing physical attributes but it appears that Simi Fehoko, Dennis Houston, and other young prospects have passed him by for roster consideration.
Both DiNucci and Vasher remain strong candidates to be on Dallas' practice squad, which now allows up to 16 players after recent rule modifications.
The Cowboys will release QB Ben DiNucci, a 7th-round pick in 2020, according to sources. He started one game and appeared in three as a rookie. He spent last season on the practice squad. Backup QB job between Cooper Rush, Will Grier.
Cowboys have waived WR T.J. Vasher, person familiar with decision said. Vasher has rare length (84 3/8-inch wing span), which he applied to make arguably the catch of training camp in Oxnard. pic.twitter.com/C1ks9Tb2uS
Another potential practice squad member is DE Markaviest Bryant, who was also waived yesterday. Bryant showed some pass-rushing skills during the preseason with a sack against the Chargers and some good pressure at other times. But with Dallas already struggling to find space for a proven asset like Tarell Basham, there wasn't much hope for a raw prospect.
Also among yesterday's waivers were two offensive linemen, C/G James Empey and OT Amon Simon. Both were undrafted free agents this year who never stood out in the competition at their positions.
Cowboys have waived former UCF DE Markaviest "Big Kat" Bryant, a person familiar with decision said. Team has begun cutdown from 80 to 53 players. Process to be done in multiple waves before Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT. Bryant recorded a sack vs. Chargers in second preseason game. pic.twitter.com/OgFL8ziJXZ
Cowboys waived C/G James Empey, a person familiar with situation said. Undrafted rookie from BYU showed versatility in preseason, working at both RG and center. He helped clear path on RB Malik Davis' 6-yard run during a fourth-quarter touchdown drive vs. Broncos. pic.twitter.com/pBOYLODDuP
Cowboys have waived OT Amon Simon, person familiar with decision said. Undrafted rookie made the jump from Texas A&M-Commerce. He helped clear a path for RB Aaron Shampklin in Friday's preseason win vs. Seahawks. pic.twitter.com/9kn9EDibVT
We're only getting started today as the Cowboys whittle down to the roster limit. While most of the moves will be releases or waivers like these, we could also see trades or players moved to injured reserve to bring the count down.
We'll keep you up to speed on the impending flurry of activity as the Dallas Cowboys finalize their 2022 roster.