Not one but two rookies failed to make the cut — pun intended — with the Cowboys.
Dallas unveiled its 2019 regular season roster on Saturday, ahead of the league’s deadline, and left off fifth-round cornerback Mike Jackson and seventh-round running back Mike Weber, among nearly three-dozen other players waived or released by the team over the past 36 hours.
A Miami product, Jackson’s lone preseason action came in the opener, when he notched four tackles in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He fell out of favor with the Cowboys’ coaching staff, which opted to carry five CBs: Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, and C.J. Goodwin.
His upside evident, even if his craft needs further sharpening, Jackson stands 6-foot-1 and dazzled onlookers at this year’s Scouting Combine, blazing the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds and recording a 40.5-inch vertical jump.
“Big, strong cornerback with the dimensions to get excited about, but a lack of cover traits could get him beat unless he finds the right scheme fit,” his NFL.com scouting profile reads. “Jackson’s length and strength will be appealing for cover-2 teams looking for a banger who can drop and use his size as a deterrent against touch throws. He has some ball skills when he’s in the neighborhood, but may not be in the neighborhood often enough to become an NFL starter. Teams could transition him to a safety spot early in his career.”
Apparently, Dallas is interested in developing Jackson, as they will sign him back to the practice squad if he clears waivers Sunday, according to a report.
The same reportedly goes for Weber, the former Ohio State standout who was among three backs chopped the club, joining Darius Jackson and Jordan Chunn. Weber’s departure is an indication, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that holdout RB Ezekiel Elliott will soon put pen to paper.
Weber logged 22 carries for 54 yards across four exhibition appearances, and was thoroughly outclassed by fellow rookie Tony Pollard, who’s slated to start in Elliott’s place.
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The Cowboys began the process of reducing their roster to the 53-man regular season limit on Friday, with Jackson among the first wave of casualties. This list also included punter Kasey Redfern, offensive tackle Juwann Bushell-Beatty, guard Lukayus McNeil, tight end Marcus Lucas, safety Jameill Showers, cornerback Tyvis Powell, and long snapper Drew Scott.
Here are the players waived/released by Dallas: Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Jake Campos, Taryn Christion, Jordan Chunn, Chris Covington, Reggie Davis, Treston Decoud, Jalen Guyton, Nate Hall, Mitch Hyatt, Darius Jackson, Mike Jackson, Marcus Lucas, Lukayus McNeil, Donovan Olumba, Justin Phillips, Kyle Quiero, Kasey Redfern, Drew Scott, Shakir Soto, Ricky Walker, Mike Weber, Mike White, Cedrick Wilson, Daniel Wise, Ryan Yurachek.
The Cowboys also moved WR Noah Brown to the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. OT Cody Wichmann, DEs Jalen Jelks and Daniel Ross, WR Jon’Vea Johnson, and CB Chris Westry were sent to the Reserve/Injured list. Veteran DE Robert Quinn, banned for the first two regular season games, was moved to the Reserve/Suspended list.
Wilson, Wise, Hyatt, Guyton, Olumba reportedly are candidates to resurface on the practice squad, along with Jackson and Weber.
Final Roster Breakdown
QB: Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush
RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Alfred Morris
FB: Jamize Olawale
WR: Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb, Devin Smith, Tavon Austin
TE: Jason Witten, Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz
OL: Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, Connor Williams, La’El Collins, Cameron Fleming, Connor McGovern, Joe Looney, Adam Redmond
DL: DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods, Christian Covington, Dorance Armstrong, Kerry Hyder, Taco Charlton, Trysten Hill, Joe Jackson
LB: Sean Lee, Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, Joe Thomas, Justin March-Lilliard, Luke Gifford
CB: Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, C.J. Goodwin
S: Xavier Woods, Anthony Brown, Kavon Frazier, Darian Thompson, Jeff Heath, Donovan Wilson
Specialists: Brett Maher (K), Chris Jones (P), L. P. Ladouceur (LS)
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL