In a possible indictment on the ineffective Dontari Poe, the Dallas Cowboys signed defensive lineman Walter Palmore to the practice squad, the team announced Wednesday.
A second-year pro, Palmore entered the NFL as a 2019 undrafted free agent, scooped up by the Houston Texans. He never appeared in a regular-season game for Houston, who waived him at final cuts.
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Palmore, 24, then took his talents to the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks, logging five solo tackles and a half-sack before Vince McMahon’s doomed venture folded. The brief stint earned him a tryout with the Detroit Lions last month, though it did not result in a contract.
A massive human being at 6-foot-4, 320 pounds, Palmore is a predominant run-stuffer. He played collegiately for the Missouri Tigers, tallying 27 solo stops, six tackles for loss, two pass deflections, and one sack across 16 career appearances from 2017-18.
He becomes the second DL to land on Dallas’ taxi squad, joining Ladarius Hamilton. But he might not be there for long. As mentioned, the team has gotten little production out of free-agent addition Poe, who’s made just seven combined tackles and zero TFLs or quarterback hits.
The 2-4 Cowboys currently own the NFL’s second-worst run defense, which bleeds 173.5 yards per game on the ground. The unit also ranks dead last in scoring (36.3 PPG), projected to shatter the league record for points allowed in a single season (533; 1981 Baltimore Colts).
In additional roster moves executed Thursday, the Cowboys elevated safety Steven Parker to the active roster and re-signed cornerback Saivion Smith to the practice squad, the team announced.
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McCarthy Names Starting RB After Briefly Benching Zeke
Ezekiel Elliott will remain the Cowboys‘ workhorse despite committing his third and fourth fumbles of the year, infractions that warranted his temporary removal from Monday Night Football. Head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed no permanent changes to the backfield ahead of a Week 7 road trip to Washington.
“Yes. Zeke Elliott will be starting this week. Yeah,” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday.
Elliott was benched in the second quarter of Monday’s 38-10 loss to Arizona, sat down by McCarthy after his latter fumble. The Cardinals converted the miscue into points, staking an early 14-0 lead their opponent never recovered from. Out came Elliott and in came 2019 preseason sensation RB Tony Pollard, who handled eight first-string snaps and was a significant factor throughout the humiliating defeat.
“They did the right thing,” Elliott said after the game, via USA Today. “I’m giving the ball away. I wasn’t helping the team. … I’m supposed to be a guy that this team can lean on when times get rough, and I just wasn’t that today.”
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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL