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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.

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Breaking: Cowboys Acquire Amari Cooper for 2019 1st Round Pick

John Williams

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Oakland Raiders' Wide Receiver Amari Cooper On the Trade Block

The Dallas Cowboys are recovering from a disappointing loss to the Washington Redskins, but that hasn't stopped them from being aggressive to try to salvage a 3-4 season. It looks like the Dallas Cowboys are going all-in on Dak Prescott for 2018 and 2019 to see if they can return him to his 2016 form. It's being reported by Josina Anderson that the Dallas Cowboys are set to acquire former first round pick and Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver Amari Cooper.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

Breaking: A source tells me that WR Amari Cooper will be traded to the Dallas #Cowboys.

Amari Cooper has been the subject of a lot of trade discussion over the last week and a half and it looks like he's going to be coming to Dallas to help solidify their wide receiver group. Adam Schefter from ESPN is reporting that the compensation the Dallas Cowboys are sending for Cooper is a first round pick.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Cowboys traded a first-round pick to Raiders for WR Amari Cooper, per source.

 

That's way more than I was wanting to spend to get him in here, but Cooper is just 24 years old. He's playing in his fourth NFL season and has averaged  After posting 1,000 yard seasons in each of his first two years in the NFL, Cooper fell back down to earth in 2017 with only 680 yards on 48 catches. He did have seven touchdowns last year and did that in only 14 games.

In 2018, he's averaging 4.4 receptions per game for 56 yards and has one touchdown on the season. On a Oakland Raiders offense that is struggling, Cooper is second in targets, third in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. It's bold move for a player that has had his fair share of drops in his career, though he seems to have gotten better in that area.

Despite a pretty good game from the wide receiver trio of Cole Beasley, Michael Gallup, and Allen Hurns, it looks like the Dallas Cowboys are dissatisfied. Over the last few years teams like the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles have taken chances on acquiring players via trade and it's worked out well for them. The Dallas Cowboys are certainly taking a big risk, but Amari Cooper has the talent worth taking a chance on.

With the Cowboys heading into the bye week and in need of an offensive spark, if they were going to try to salvage their season, they needed to make a move. It can be debated that the price was too high, but Cooper instantly makes this offense better.



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Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases Ahead of Trade Deadline

Sean Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases

This week, Stephen Jones discussed the difficulties of making a trade, saying "it just seems like in the NFL trades are hard to make, to make it all come together for two teams".

The two teams that could be lining up to change that are of course Jones' Cowboys as well as John Gruden's Oakland Raiders. Yet another Raiders player has been in the headlines as a trade target, 24-year old Wide Receiver Amari Cooper.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

WR-needy Cowboys doing their due diligence on Raiders' WR Amari Cooper: https://t.co/pE2wmrzCXu

Playing at the Washington Redskins on Sunday, the Cowboys will have yet another reshuffled lineup at wide receiver, playing without Tavon Austin. Their biggest offseason addition to this unit was Allen Hurns, and he's been underwhelming with just eight catches.

Thus the Cowboys are reportedly doing their "due diligence" on Cooper, sensing the need for a mid-season acquisition at WR for the right price. The Cowboys ability to potentially find that price in a deal advantageous to them, given how the Raiders handled the departure of Khalil Mack in a trade to this Chicago Bears, is what makes this story relevant.

A lot has been said about Cooper since his name emerged as the latest player potentially out of the Bay Area. Whether you believe he's still an impact receiver with the potential to regain his Pro Bowl form of 2015 and 2016 or one that "doesn't love football," as some have been inclined to say, the former fourth overall pick represents an investment into the WR position that the Cowboys have not made in some time.

In those Pro Bowl seasons, Cooper averaged over 77 catches a season while putting up over 1,000 yards in both. The Raiders have used this to justify their reported asking price of a first-round pick for Cooper, something the Cowboys are not alone in their reluctance to give.

With Cooper, the Raiders are holding onto their last bit of relevancy. A reeling 1-5 football team that needs to maximize their return on trading Cooper, the Colts and Redskins are also following in the Cowboys footsteps by preparing as much as they can on the player.

Cooper has caught 22 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown through six games this season.

For as desperate as the Raiders are to jump-start their organization, the Cowboys should be just as desperate to add a threat like Cooper to their passing attack. Unlike the Raiders, they're in the hunt for a division title, something much harder to put a price on when it comes to the Jones' finalizing any deal for Cooper in the coming days.

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, October 30th, at 3 PM Central Time. The Cowboys will be two days into their bye week, not in action again after Sunday until November 5th.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases Ahead of Trade Deadline" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

A groin injury sustained last week against Jacksonville won't send Tavon Austin to injured reserve, at least for now. The Dallas Cowboys receiver has elected to forego surgery at this time, giving him a chance to return to action in 2018.

There was concern that Austin could land on IR initially following the Jaguars game, but he sought a second opinion this week. It appears that this new information was enough for Tavon and the Cowboys to decide that surgery can wait.

Rob Phillips on Twitter

Sounds like WR Tavon Austin will not have surgery at this time after getting a second opinion on his groin injury. He could miss a few weeks, however. #cowboyswire

Austin should miss this Sunday's game with the Washington Redskins. He has been the team's punt returner this season and a useful tool on offense, playing mostly receiver but also lining up the backfield at times.

Despite his limited opportunities, Tavon is tied with Cole Beasley for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns in 2018.

How long Austin will remain out is unknown at this time. After the Washington game, Dallas will have their bye week and then host the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football.

Both of these are games that the Cowboys, feeling good after a blowout victory over Jacksonville, should be able to win without Austin. But they would certainly like him back for the Week 10 road game with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In Tavon's absence, Cole Beasley will likely field punts. We may see more of Deonte Thompson in the speed routes that Austin ran on offense, though Dallas could also finally see what recently returned Brice Butler has to offer.

With an expiring contract this year, Tavon will likely want to get back soon and trying to improve his stock for the 2019 offseason. Hopefully, he can still have a positive impact on his value and the Cowboys season in the weeks ahead.



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