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Cowboys Cut RB Darren McFadden; Other Roster Moves

Jess Haynie

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After being inactive for all but one game in 2017, running back Darren McFadden was finally released by the Dallas Cowboys today. The 30-year-old was buried under Alfred Morris and Rod Smith on the depth chart and clearly did not appeal to Dallas coaches as a potential spark for the offense.

Despite his successful turn as the starting RB in 2015, McFadden fell out of the Cowboys rotation. His elbow injury in 2016 cost him the backup job behind Ezekiel Elliott and his lack of special teams value kept him in street clothes most of this year. Even when Elliott was out on suspension, Dallas only activated two RBs and kept McFadden on the bench.

While the last year-and-a-half were no doubt frustrating for Darren, the veteran had only nice things to say today as the news of his release broke:

Darren McFadden on Twitter

Just want to say Thank You to the @dallascowboys. I grew up a Cowboys fan and it was awesome to wear the Star on my helmet. I wish my boys good luck.

Along with McFadden, Dallas also released kicker Mike Nugent. Now that Dan Bailey's back, Nugent was no longer needed. He went 7-of-9 over four games for the Cowboys. Both veterans may be able to find work with other teams for the remainder of the season.

Dallas filled one of the two open spots on the roster with defensive lineman Datone Jones. The 26th-overall pick in the 2013 draft, Jones played out his rookie contract with the Green Bay Packers but did not earn a new deal. He signed with the Vikings this past offseason but an injury hurt his chances of making the team. He has also had failed attempts to catch on in Detroit and San Francisco before now landing in Dallas.

Listed at 6'4" and over 280 lbs, Jones has the athleticism to play defensive end but the size to move inside. Datone even played some outside linebacker in the Packers' 3-4 scheme, so it will be interesting to see how Rod Marinelli uses him.

The other roster spot was used to sign RB Trey Williams from the practice squad. A former undrafted player in 2015, Williams has bounced around several teams. This will actually be his second stint in Dallas; he was signed in 2015 for about a month and sat on the 53-man roster but never active.

At just 5'7", Williams is not your typical RB and is more of a special teams option. The Cowboys may not even be dressing him considering the way things have gone for Darren McFadden.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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2 Comments
  • Fatfan

    I was hoping/expecting Rico Gathers to be signed to the active roster…guess they know more than me

  • Duncan

    I hate to repeat the obvious, but our coaches lack the ability to adjust to situations on the field. Going back several weeks, how long do you leave your left tackle in the game after he has given up 1,2,3,4,5,6 sacks.

    Why are we running away from the weakness when we should be attacking it, this way Dak can see the pressure. Let the DE come, run screens to that side or a back underneath. We simply have no imagination.

    Someone, please tell Anthony Brown that he can’t repeatedly and not get called for P/I or holding. I know our DB’s are young but their cover skills are terrible.
    I’m not a Jason Garrett fan, but that’s a conversation for another day.

    It simply pains me to watch how inept we are on both sides of the ball.

Player News

MRI Negative on Cowboys G Zack Martin’s Knee Injury

Jess Haynie

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Zack Martin

The Dallas Cowboys saw a few guys go down in last night's preseason game, but none scarier than All-Pro guard Zack Martin. Thankfully, they got some good news today on Martin's status.

An MRI of the knee showed no major injury, and that means Zack should be good to go for the team's regular season opener in three weeks.

David Moore on Twitter

Cowboys have received results of Zack Martin's MRI & it's encouraging. Source said there's no significant injury to left knee & he could be ready for opener against Carolina on Sept. 9.

Last week, Dallas lost one of their likely reserve guards when Marcus Martin went on injured reserve after the first preseason game. That leaves just Joe Looney as the only trusted reserve right now for the interior line.

But even though Looney has played well at times when called upon, he's no Zack Martin. In fact, only a couple of guys in the entire NFL can claim to be on that level.

Sprains and other non-major injuries to the knee tend to fall into the 2-4 week range for recovery. Barring complications, Martin should be ready to take on the Panthers' Kawann Short, Dontari Poe, and others.

We're still waiting for updates on other key players who were injured last night, such as Safety Xavier Woods, Running Back Bo Scarbrough, and Defensive Lineman Datone Jones. We'll get those to you as they are announced.

Hopefully, they all get the same good news that Zack Martin did today.



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Zack Martin, Xavier Woods Suffer Preseason Injuries, Cowboys Down 2 Starters

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys' Eyeing Training Camp To Extend Zack Martin's Contract

Last Saturday night didn't end well for the Dallas Cowboys, who saw multiple players go down throughout the game, most notably Zack Martin and Xavier Woods. Preseason injuries are always the more painful ones, and when we're talking about someone like Martin, it just makes it worse.

Martin suffered a knee injury and was ruled out after going down. ESPN's Todd Archer tweeted out that a source had claimed the injury was a hyper-extended left knee. This surely would be great news considering the fear right now is a season-ending injury.

Todd Archer on Twitter

A source said the initial diagnosis of Zack Martin is a hyperextended left knee, but he will undergo an MRI on Sunday. The Cowboys do not practice again until Monday and play Aug. 26 against the Arizona Cardinals. Depending on the severity of the... https://t.co/1MPbJfQph8

Zack is set to have an MRI on Sunday and the team is hopeful the injury isn't that serious. We probably won't see the All-Pro left guard return in the preseason but could see him back on the field as soon as September 9th when the Cowboys kick their season off at Carolina.

Besides Zack Martin being the best offensive guard in the NFL, the Cowboys' offensive line depth is definitely not good. If his injury proves to be worse than what the front office believes, this offense will have to play without arguably their best player.

As we nervously await more news on Martin's knee, there are more injured players to talk about.

Xavier Woods injured his hamstring as he made an effort to intercept the ball and was also ruled out for the game. We still don't know about the severity, but we do know it's the same hamstring that he dealt with last year.

Although Woods isn't anywhere near Zack Martin as a football player, his injury comes at the team's weakest position in depth. Jeff Heath, Kavon Frazier and Xavier Woods are the Cowboys' only legitimate safeties that will earn a roster spot.

If the hamstring injury is serious enough to keep him sidelined for multiple weeks, we could see the Cowboys getting outside help for the defensive backfield. Whether that means trading for Earl Thomas, some other safety or looking at the free agents available, I don't see the team going into the season with two safeties on the roster.

For now, we need to wait for more results regarding both of these players who will be detrimental to this team's success in 2018. The Cowboys suffered more injuries than these ones, though.

Saad Yousuf on Twitter

And the injuries continue... Jameill Showers is down on the Cowboys sideline with what looks like a knee injury. Still down. Duke Thomas Datone Jones Bo Scarbrough Xavier Woods and the big one, Zack Martin That's the injury list for the Cowboys tonight.

Datone Jones has been impressive during his stay in Dallas and is a quality DT and was ruled out for the game after getting tangled up with the Bengal's offensive line. Seventh-round draft pick Bo Scarbrough suffered a hip injury and is apparently not severe either.

Compared to Woods' and Martin's injuries, these ones won't keep Cowboys' fans up at night. However, hopefully they all turn out to be okay and ready to play as soon as possible. The team's starters make this team a legit threat in the NFC, but when it comes to depth, they're not in a good position.

Tell me what you think about "Zack Martin, Xavier Woods Suffer Preseason Injuries, Cowboys Down 2 Starters" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Report: Center Travis Frederick Undergoing Shoulder Evaluation

Kevin Brady

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Travis Frederick

After missing the team's walkthrough this morning, it is being reported that Dallas Cowboys starting center Travis Frederick is having his shoulder evaluated due to multiple stingers. According to reports, Frederick has been dealing with stingers all training camp, and the Cowboys are unsure what is wrong with his shoulder.

Frederick rarely misses any practice time at all, and has not missed a start since he entered the league in 2013. He's the catalyst of this offensive line, and will be greatly missed if his injury is severe enough to make him miss regular season game time.

David Helman on Twitter

Jason Garrett says Travis Frederick is getting his shoulder looked at in Los Angeles. He's been dealing with stingers. No update behind that #cowboyswire

Joe Looney has been tasked with replacing Frederick for the time being, taking first team center reps during today's walk through and practice.

Given how meaningless Saturday's game is, I'd expect Looney to start at center against the Bengals this weekend as well. Hopefully the evaluation reveals that Frederick's issues are not serious and he will be ready for game one, but consistent stingers will always make fans fear for the worst.



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