Recent Cowboys Signing Suffers Season-Ending Injury in Practice: Report

Devante Bond

Getty Devante Bond saw the most action of his career with the Buccaneers.

The Dallas Cowboys are already down a man as injury news begins to come out of the team’s OTAs.

Dallas is preparing for its mandatory minicamp June 14-16 — as well as the rest of the offseason practice schedule — but began with its introductory OTAs, which are primarily focused on introducing new players to the team and working on the basics.

At some point in their work, linebacker Devante Bond injured his knee, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer.

“Linebacker Devante Bond, who spent time last year on the practice squad, suffered a serious knee injury in the earlier OTAs and will miss the season once he undergoes surgery, according to multiple sources,” Archer wrote on June 9.

Bond is labeled as the starting weak-side linebacker on ESPN’s depth chart, but that designation is somewhat misleading given that Bond hasn’t played an NFL snap since 2020. He was a relatively recent acquisition, signing with the Dallas on December 31.

However, he was considered to have a strong shot at the final 53-man roster, and the Cowboys now have further reason to consider adding to the linebacker group.

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Bond’s NFL Career

Coming out of Oklahoma, Bond was selected in the sixth round of the 2017 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was primarily used as a special teams player. When an active player during his two and a half seasons with Tampa, Bond played over 50% of the special teams snaps for the Buccaneers.

Bond was suspended four games for the use of PEDs in 2019, which led to his release midway through the season. After sitting out, the Chicago Bears signed Bond.

The former Oklahoma Sooner’s time in Chicago was even less eventful than his stint with the Buccaneers, as Bond played in five games total in 2019 and 2020 and bounced back and forth between the practice squad and the active roster.

Dallas elected to take a chance on Bond, who will be 29 when the season starts, after he went through the 2021 season without a team. Despite signing in December, he didn’t play in Dallas’ last two games of the season, and it now appears as if he won’t be able to hit the field until 2023.

Cowboys Linked to LBs Already

Before Bond’s injury, Dallas was already considered a landing spot for players such former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr. The Cowboys brought back veteran linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and have talented young players like Micah Parsons and Jabril Cox, but the unit still feels lacking.

Barr would be a tremendous addition, as the four-time Pro Bowler has long been considered one of the best all-around linebackers in the league. According to the Fort-Worth Star Telegram’s Clarence HIll, there is “definite” interest in Barr from Dallas.

“Free agent linebacker Anthony Barr is a free agent option for the Cowboys, if the price right, per source,” Hill wrote on May 14. “There definite interest there.”

There’s a difference between interest and actually making the move, and now there’s more onus on Jerry Jones and the Cowboys than ever to make a linebacker move now.

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