Cowboys End ‘Emotional Roller Coaster’ by Claiming Undrafted Rookie

Ron'Dell Carter

Getty Ron'Dell Carter

Ron’Dell Carter’s apparent prayers were answered.

The Cowboys claimed the undrafted rookie defensive lineman off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday, less than two months after he was plucked from Dallas’ practice squad.

Carter confirmed the reunion via his Twitter account.

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Carter Never Played in a Game for the Colts

Teammates with Dallas rookie quarterback Ben DiNucci at James Madison University, Carter was a three-year contributor for the Dukes, delivering 69 solo tackles, 48 tackles-for-loss, 23.5 sacks, and four pass breakups across 44 games. He set career highs as a redshirt senior in 2019 by making 27 TFLs and 12 sacks, sharpening his skills as a quarterback-harasser en route to consensus first-team All-American honors.

“I can do a lot of different things and line up in a lot of different places,” Carter said in a pre-draft interview with USA Today’s The Draft Wire. “I can line up both inside and outside. That gives me a little bit of flexibility to go up against centers, guards and tackles. I try to vary my moves depending on the position I’m going up against. I have certain moves that I prepare for certain positions. It really just depends on where I’m lining up. Having that versatility is always a good thing. I was able to play all over the defensive line all throughout my career. It helped me a lot as a pass rusher.”

Although he went undrafted, Carter was heavily courted by the Cowboys, who included $145,000 of total guarantees — $125,000 base salary and a $20,000 signing bonus — in his rookie contract. He was waived at final cuts but re-signed to the practice squad, from which Indianapolis poached him on September 30.

Carter did not appear in a game for the Colts prior to his departure Tuesday.

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Crawford Sent to COVID List

In a corresponding roster move following Carter’s addition, the Cowboys placed veteran defensive end Tyrone Crawford on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced Wednesday.

It’s unclear if Crawford tested positive for the virus or simply came in close contact with an infected individual. He joins quarterback Andy Dalton on the list; both must pass a series of tests to return to action. ESPN beat reporter Todd Archer tentatively expects Crawford and Dalton to receive clearance after Dallas’ Week 10 bye.

A rotational contributor until the team traded starting DE Everson Griffen, Crawford has totaled just five tackles and one QB hit through nine games. His direct backups are Dorance Armstrong and rookie Bradlee Anae.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL