The NFL offseason means there are many former Dallas Cowboys players moving around the league, with the latest joining the Arizona Cardinals.
It’s part of the life cycle of the NFL, and it makes for an interesting web connecting different teams, staff, and players. Already this offseason, Dallas has seen former defensive tackles Taco Charlton and Maliek Collins sign with the New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans respectively.
Now, the Cowboys are seeing another former defensive lineman swap the Texans for the Cardinals, as Ron’Dell Carter was signed by Arizona after being waived by Houston. The NFC West franchise announced the news on April 27.
“We have also been awarded our waiver claim on LB Ron’Dell Carter from the Houston Texans,” the Cardinals Tweeted.
If Carter isn’t a familiar name, that makes sense. The 24-year-old is still trying to grab some footing as a player in the league, and he will hope that the Cardinals are how he can establish himself.
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Before getting to the NFL as an undrafted free agent in the 2020 NFL draft, Carter spent two years at Rutgers University and then three years at James Madison for his college ball. After not getting the playing time desired with the Scarlet Knights, he elected to make the switch.
It did translate to production, as the 6’3″ defensive end walked away from Harrisburg, Virginia ranked ninth in total sacks for JMU, putting up 23 in three seasons. He was also named an FCS All-American, according to JMU’s website.
The Cowboys picked Carter up after he went undrafted, but he initially didn’t make it on the final roster, instead starting the 2020 season on the practice squad. The Indianapolis Colts signed him midway through the season, but he was waived and then re-signed by Dallas.
This is how Carter made his first NFL appearances, with his league debut occurring in the Week 14 30-7 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. In three games in 2020, Carter only played 65 snaps for Dallas.
Carter was released the following preseason in 2021, which led to the Cardinals picking him up for a first time. The Texans signed him off their practice squad that December, which led to his sole appearance for Houston in their 41-29 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 16.
Cowboys Taking a First-Round DE in NFL Draft?
While Dallas is moved on from Carter, the team is also attempting to move on from Randy Gregory, the team’s starting defensive end who made a last-second decision to sign with the Denver Broncos on the same contract rather than the Cowboys.
Longtime ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. recently released a three-round mock draft, and the draft guru has the Cowboys addressing defensive end in the first round with the selection of Arnold Ebiketie from Penn State.
Dallas enjoyed the fruit of drafting from Penn State in 2021, as hybrid linebacker Micah Parsons exploded for 13 sacks, earning him Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and an All-Pro nod.
Ebiketie and Parsons never played together at Penn State due to Ebiketie transferring there for the 2021 season only, but he did put up 9.5 sacks in his final year at Happy Valley.