With just under one hour before the deadline, the Dallas Cowboys have released the names of the players they have released. The most noteworthy name amongst Dallas’ cuts would probably be S Matt Johnson, who has never played in an NFL game after being injured each of his three years. Repeated hamstring injuries have plagued Johnson throughout his short career, and the Cowboys apparently cannot spend a roster spot on him any longer.
CowboysHQ has learned that Johnson was given two distinctly difference diagnoses for his chronic hamstring issues; so in a sense he has fallen through the cracks, medically. Johnson has been waived/injured, a designation that often leads to an injury settlement for a player if they are not signed by another team. Dallas is responsible for paying the player until he is healed, or a settlement is reached.
Other players that were waived/injured include LB Devonte Holloman, who will have to step away from football after another neck injury. Holloman, we have learned, will now attend graduate school and assist in coaching linebackers at his alma mater, the University of South Carolina. Rookie TE Jordan Najvar tore his Achilles and will also be waived/injured, as will CB Justin Green and S Johnny Thomas.
Also among the cuts for Dallas are seventh-round rookie Ben Gardner, who has taken the throne from Matt Johnson as a cult hero amongst Cowboys fans. It should be no surprise that Gardner was lost for the season to a shoulder injury. He’s been placed on Injured Reserve.
Amobi Okoye, who had an illness that was a mystery to the public, was placed on the NFI, or Non-Football Inury, list. Okoye was placed in an induced coma as treatment for seizures that were the result of a rare disease. His comeback will continue with Dallas.
The move to release Hanie means that rookie UDFA Dustin Vaughan will play the majority of the preseason finale. This is a move a team would not make if they were worried about him being poached by another team. Either they are secure he will make it, or they plan to keep him on the 53 man roster.
All NFL teams had to get their 90-man offseason rosters trimmed down to 75 players by 4:00pm Eastern Time today, and the Cowboys did just that.
Dallas got a jump on cutting down their roster yesterday when they released DE Martez Wilson and rookie UDFA FB J.C. Copeland. The team will play their final preseason game at home against the Denver Broncos on Thursday, and then will need to whittle their roster to 53 by mid-day Saturday. Sometimes, teams release players they intend to bring back for their practice squad in the first round of cuts, to keep them off the radar of other teams. For a complete look at the offseason and roster schedules, go here.