Cowboys Confirm Signing of Massive Tight End

Former Bears TE Ian Bunting (right)

Getty Former Bears TE Ian Bunting (right)

The Dallas Cowboys have wrangled one of the NFL’s tallest pass-catchers.

On Thursday, the team confirmed the addition of 6-foot-7 tight end Ian Bunting, an outside acquisition for Dallas’ 16-man practice squad.

News of Bunting’s signing was first reported Wednesday by league insider Aaron Wilson.

Bunting is the second TE to land on the Cowboys’ taxi squad, joining Jeremy Sprinkle. The club, too, signed quarterback Ben DiNucci, running back JaQuan Hardy, fullback Nick Ralston, wide receivers Osirus Mitchell and Brandon Smith, offensive lineman Isaac Alarcón (an International Pathway Program participant who doesn’t count against the allotment), center Braylon Jones, defensive end Austin Faoliu, defensive tackle Justin Hamilton, cornerback Kyron Brown, and safety Darian Thompson.

The Cowboys also announced a slew of procedural moves Thursday, activating WR CeeDee Lamb, DT Carlos Watkins, and S Damontae Kazee from the reserve/COVID-19 list while importing new RB Corey Clement and primary long snapper Jake McQuaide onto the 53-man roster.

In corresponding transactions, Dallas sent six players to the short-term injured reserve list: OT Josh Ball, WR Malik Turner, TE Sean McKeon, DT Neville Gallimore, LB Francis Bernard, and CB Kelvin Joseph. These players will miss the first three regular-season games before being eligible to return, per NFL rules.

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Background on Bunting

The 25-year-old first-year pro arrives in Dallas after having a cup of coffee with the Seattle Seahawks, who waived him at final cuts Tuesday. Bunting went undrafted in 2019 and has yet to appear in an NFL game.

Bunting finished his collegiate career at California, where he caught 18 passes for 195 yards. He began at Michigan, totaling 124 yards on 11 catches across nine appearances for the Wolverines.

“It’s exciting to get anyone who can add something different,” then-Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin said of Bunting in 2018, via The Daily Californian. “Ian has provided that and will continue to, … and it’s not just the number of catches or the blocks he’s making. He’s a fit in the locker room, a fit with the teammates, and I appreciate that so much in Ian.”

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McCarthy Admits Why Cowboys Passed on Cam

Speaking Wednesday, Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy explained why the team did not sign the now-free-agent quarterback following his release from the New England Patriots.

“I think he has a ton of football left. We’re very excited about the group we have,” McCarthy told reporters, via Jori Epstein of USA Today.

Rather than bring aboard the mercurial 32-year-old, the Cowboys claimed former Panthers QB Will Grier off waivers and re-signed Ben DiNucci, released Tuesday, to the practice squad. Grier joins Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush on the 53-player squad.

“[Grier] was the best prospect out there,” McCarthy said, via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News.

READ NEXT: Cowboys Sign Recently Released QB to Practice Squad

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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