Cowboys Waive Linebacker, Long Snapper from Roster

Azur Kamara

Getty Azur Kamara

The Dallas Cowboys waived/injured rookie linebacker Azur Kamara and long snapper Joe Fortunato, the team announced Saturday.

Kamara (6-4, 235) was a two-year contributor for Kansas where he logged 66 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, and five sacks across 19 games. A long-limbed pass-rusher, he projected as a deep reserve and defensive project at the NFL level.

“Kamara has just one season as a full-time starter at Kansas and, subsequently, one season of production,” draft analyst Lance Zierlein said. “Hip tightness limits his rush flow and makes his attacks rigid and linear. He’s missing instincts and feel to be able to play freely and fast against the run at this time. Putting more functional mass on his frame will be critical, if he can carry it. He’s tremendously raw and unskilled as a rusher, which might work in his favor for teams looking for a long-limbed project to build from the ground up.”

The Cowboys are set at the ‘backer position with Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee locked in as starters. Joe Thomas, Luke Gifford, and Justin March are the primary backups. The team also added edge rusher Aldon Smith in free agency.

Fortunato was signed by Dallas on April 30. The Delaware product went undrafted in 2016 and had a cup of coffee with the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. His departure cements veteran incumbent L.P. Ladouceur as the club’s primary deep snapper.

The Cowboys have successfully pared down their roster to the 80-man limit. On July 28, they waived running back Jordan Chunn and Garrett Marino, and on Aug. 1 released kicker Kai Forbath. They also placed two players — defensive linemen Dontari Poe and Tyrone Crawford — on the active/physically unable to perform list.

The team’s first padded practice of training camp, which began July 28, is scheduled to take place Aug. 17.

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Starter Opts Out of 2020 Season

Cowboys starting fullback Jamize Olawale is opting out of the 2020 NFL season under the league’s COVID-19 policy, per the team’s official website.

Olawale, whose contract will toll into 2021, becomes the third Cowboys player to skip the upcoming campaign, joining veteran cornerback Maurice Canady and rookie wide receiver Stephen Guidry. Voluntary opt-outs are entitled to a $150,000 stipend. High-risk opt-outs will receive $350,000 as well as credit toward an accrued season.

Dallas has only one other lead blocker on the roster: rookie Sewo Olonilua, signed in April as an undrafted free agent. It’s possible, instead of thrusting Olonilua into the job, the club targets a veteran to replace Olawale — if they decide to roster a FB.

Cowboys CB  Contracts COVID-19

Cowboys cornerback Saivion Smith tested positive for the coronavirus Friday and was moved to the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team revealed. Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reported Smith is asymptomatic and will not be allowed into the team facility for at least one week.

Smith is the second Dallas player sent to the COVID-19 list, created to house those infected or those who came into close contact with an infected person. On July 27, one day before camp opened, rookie wide receiver Jon’Vea Johnson was placed on the list.

READ NEXT: Cowboys Release Veteran Kicker, Crown 2020 Starter

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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