Like all teams, the Cowboys had a few surprise names that will show up on the waiver wire once they officially trim to the roster to 53 players by the 8 p.m. (CDT) deadline. The Cowboys likely won’t announce it too much earlier than that, especially since they have to play Wednesday against the Giants. So getting their eight players retained to the practice squad and ready for Saturday’s first real practice is vital.
The Cowboys have officially released 23 players, including two rookie tailbacks from North Texas -- Jamize Olawale and Lance Dunbar, who had survived the initial wave Thursday when Dallas informed 21 players they would be released and to turn in their playbooks. But the two running backs were also cut on Friday.
Notable cuts: WR Danny Coale (rookie, fifth-round pick, Virginia Tech) -- Anytime a draft pick is cut, it’s worth noting. A broken foot in the offseason hampered him until two weeks into camp, and he didn’t show enough to unseat guys like Andre Holmes, Cole Beasley and Dwayne Harris … G Ron Leary (rookie, undrafted, Memphis) -- This was the player owner Jerry Jones seemed most excited about after the draft. Plus, about $250,000 of his salary has been guaranteed. If he’s retained to the practice squad, he’ll likely be the highest-paid member. But he faded as camp went on … DE Ben Bass (rookie, undrafted, Texas A&M) -- The Cowboys seem to be going with the older vets such as Kenyon Coleman and Marcus Spears. Bass was active in games but needs more work … LB Orie Lemon (first-year, undrafted, Oklahoma State) -- Even an interception return for a touchdown in the preseason finale couldn’t change the Cowboys’ minds. He is a good special-teams player, but Alex Albright is more versatile at both inside and outside … OLB Adrian Hamilton(rookie, undrafted, Prairie View A&M) -- While he is a pass-rusher -- he had 20.5 sacks last year in college -- he had trouble adjusting to the 3-4 linebacker position and special teams. Practice squad could be a possibility … RB Lance Dunbar (rookie, undrafted, North Texas) --Despite a 105-yard rushing performance in the preseason finale, Dunbar was let go with a hope he can clear waivers and make the practice squad. He’s lightning quick with some speed, but the Cowboys already have three tailbacks in DeMarco Murray, Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner.
Complete cut list
RB Lance Dunbar (rookie, undrafted, North Texas); RB Jamize Olawale (rookie, undrafted, North Texas); WR Danny Coale (rookie, fifth-round pick, Virginia Tech); G Ron Leary (rookie, undrafted, Memphis); DE Ben Bass (rookie, undrafted, Texas A&M); LB Orie Lemon (first-year, undrafted, Oklahoma State); OLB Adrian Hamilton (rookie, undrafted, Prairie View A&M); WR Saalim Hakim (rookie, undrafted, Tarleton State), WR Tim Benford (rookie, undrafted, Tennessee State); DT Robert Calloway (first-year, Saginaw Valley State); QB Rudy Carpenter (third-year, Arizona State); TE Andrew Szczerba (rookie, undrafted, Penn State); OLB Baraka Atkins (fourth-year, Miami); FS Eddie Whitley (rookie, undrafted, Virginia Tech); CB Lionel Smith (rookie, undrafted, Texas A&M); OT Jeff Adams (rookie, undrafted, Columbia); CB Teddy Williams (first-year, Texas-San Antonio); CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (third-year, 2010 fourth-round pick; Indiana, Pa.); DE Clifton Geathers (second-year, South Carolina); G Harland Gunn (rookie, undrafted, Miami); G Daniel Loper (seventh-year, Texas Tech); OT Pat McQuistan (seventh-year, Weber State); FB Shaun Chapas (first-year, Georgia).