The team on Thursday announced the signing of QB Clayton Thorson to a reserve/futures contract, officially putting him on the 90-man offseason roster.
He was among seven players to ink such deals, joining tight end Cole Hikutini, defensive end Daniel Wise, running back Jordan Chunn, cornerback D.J. White, center Marcus Henry, and wide receiver Tevin Jones.
Thorson spent the entire 2019 campaign on the Cowboys’ practice squad after joining the team on Sept. 1. He was chosen in the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Thorson was waived at final cuts, having lost his roster spot to Josh McCown and Nate Sudfeld, the reserves behind franchise signal-caller Carson Wentz.
Thorson attended college at Northwestern, starting 53 games for the Wildcats from 2015-18. He logged 10,731 career passing yards, with 61 TDs, 45 interceptions, and a 36-17 overall record in his tenure.
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein compared Thorson — solidly-sized and mechanically-sound, hampered by mediocre arm talent — to DeShone Kizer, a 2017 second-round choice of the Cleveland Browns now playing for the Oakland Raiders.
“Four-year starter with good size and fundamentals who never really improved after his breakout 2016 season,” Zierlein wrote in his scouting profile. “Thorson was hamstrung by below-average talent at the skill positions but never showed an ability to work beyond his offense’s limitations. His limited field vision combined with plus physical traits gives him a chance to become an average backup in a pro-style offense.”
The Cowboys carried just two QBs on the active roster in 2019: Prescott and Cooper Rush. Thorson received an uptick in reps following Prescott’s late-year shoulder injury.
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Background on Other Signings
Most of these players finished the 2019 campaign on Dallas’ taxi squad. Jones was the latest addition, joining the club on Dec. 18 after a stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A 2018 undrafted free agent, Chunn was among a trio of RBs who helped replace Ezekiel Elliott this summer amid the two-time rushing champion’s fight for a new contract. He appeared in all four preseason games, carrying 16 times for 49 yards and adding nine receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Chunn was released at final cuts and re-signed to the taxi squad. But with Zeke’s standoff spilling over into September, the team bumped him to the 53-man squad for their Week 1 opener against the New York Giants. Chunn played 16 snaps for Dallas — all on special teams — in their 35-17 conquest of the Giants.
Henry, who’s never appeared in an NFL regular-season game, entered the league in 2016 as a UDFA signed by the New Orleans Saints. He played in four preseason contests as a rookie, then spent the 2017 season in the Austin, Texas-based Spring League. He most recently had a second tour of duty in New Orleans, where he registered four preseason appearances. New Orleans chopped him on Aug. 31.
A 2016 sixth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, White has been a nomad since August, sharing proverbial cups of coffee with the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, and Atlanta Falcons.
He appeared in 11 games as a rookie, tallying 10 tackles, three pass deflections, and an interception. White, cut by Kansas City in 2017, briefly yo-yoed between the Colts’ active roster and practice squad in 2018 before being released. He spent last year out of football. In 2019, he’s been on the move — a lot.
White joined the Redskins on Aug. 2 and was waived Aug. 31. He landed on the Eagles’ practice team on Sept. 30. The Falcons poached him from Philly on Oct. 8. White appeared in one game for Atlanta prior to his Oct. 28 waiving.
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