Walter Thomas, Corey Curtis No Longer Cowboys

You could tell it pained Mike Gundy, but at the end of practice heannounced that defensive tackle Walter Thomas will be lost to the Cowboys for this season. The announcement had a different tone than some of the others Gundy has made since becoming head coach in February. Gundy elaborated in generality and seemed frustrated that Walter was lost.

"Walter Thomas is no longer on the team because of team rules," said Gundy. "He just didn't follow team guidelines. I don't know if he's packed and gone, but he's not going to play on our football team this fall. First of all to be on this football team you have to be dedicated to the team and everything involved, and if there are players that aren't, in any area, then they are not going to be involved on the football team.

"We want all the players that are on our team to be with us the remainder of the season, but if we do have one that is not with us then we will put another one in there that is willing to make the sacrifices and do what it takes to be a football player," Gundy continued.

Gundy is not allowed to elaborate on the reason for Thomas' dismissal as it apparently pertained to academics. The Buckley Amendment keeps educators, including coaches, from commenting on the academic record of students. Teammate and fellow defensive tackle Xavier Lawson-Kennedy was obviously sad that Walter won't be a part of the team for this season. But XLK said that he has suggested to the jumbo defensive lineman that he plot a course to get back on the squad.

"Walter is one of my protégés, like when he first came up here we would kick it all the time," said XLK of his teammate. "Coach would have me get him to class his freshman season. It's sad, but I talked to him today and said you just got to get in your books and handle your business. I told him you left the decision in other people's hand and you can't do that as a man. You have to take care of it, and he understands if he works that he can be back here. I told him go wherever you need to go to get your education and he could be back here in the spring."

Gundy made it clear that Thomas could be welcomed back to the team in the future.

It also looks like time has run out on offensive lineman Corey Curtis. Curtis left the team last week after being injured in practice, and was frustrated with having to go to the rehab sessions during practice. The hope of Gundy was that Curtis would reconsider and rejoin the team as often happens with players this time of year. But, according to Gundy's comments, that hope has faded.
,br> "Corey Curtis chose not to be on the team," said Gundy.

Curtis was especially valuable because of his playing experience and the fact that he knows all five of the interior line positions on offense, which is a great help with depth on the line. Former walk-on Caleb Noble has moved to the right guard position since Curtis left, and former starting right tackle Kellen Davis is also getting reps at that position (after working some at the spot last spring).

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