The Dallas Cowboys made two signings ahead of the team’s rivalry matchup against the New York Giants in Week 3. The Cowboys are bringing back wide receiver Dennis Houston, who the team released earlier this week as Dallas efforted a bit of roster gymnastics.
Dallas was able to re-sign the rookie wideout to the team’s practice squad after the former Northern Illinois playmaker passed through waivers unclaimed. Houston had two receptions for 16 yards on five targets in the Cowboys’ Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers.
The Cowboys also re-signed linebacker Mike Tafua, who the team released prior to finalizing their 53-man roster for Week 1. The former Utah standout defender signed with Dallas as an undrafted free agent, spending both the offseason and training camp with the team.
What Does the Move Mean for Tolbert?
When the Cowboys released Houston, there was some speculation that rookie Jalen Tolbert may get an opportunity to be active for the first time in his NFL career against the Giants in Week 3. Dallas had Houston ahead of Tolbert on the receiver depth chart during the first two weeks of the season.
The re-signing of Houston combined with the likely return of Michael Gallup complicates Tolbert’s path to playing time. During the offseason, Tolbert was projected to be one of the Cowboys starting wide receivers, but the former South Alabama playmaker struggled in the preseason. Heading into the season, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones admitted that the team likely put too much on the rookie’s plate during training camp.
“I think he’s doing well,” Jones stated during a September 9 interview on San Antonio Sports Star’s “The Blitz.” “I think it’s one of those things, we’ve probably asked a lot of him early, in terms of playing all the spots, both outside and in, and probably gave him a bigger challenge than probably we needed to. But he’s going to be just fine.
“Obviously, we’ve got, with him [Tolbert] and Houston and Simi [Fehoko], some young guys there that are all situational type guys, depending on the team we’re playing. And I think they all can step in and really do a real nice job.”
The Cowboys Hosted Quarterbacks & Receivers for a Tryout Heading Into Week 3
Dak Prescott’s thumb injury played a role in the Cowboys’ releasing Houston as Dallas needed to move Will Grier to the active roster now that he is serving as the backup quarterback. The Cowboys are likely not thrilled with their current depth at wide receiver.
Dallas hosted three free-agent quarterbacks along with three wide receivers for a tryout in preparation for Week 3. Former Eagles playmaker John Hightower headlined the wideouts that the Cowboys evaluated along with former SMU standout Reggie Roberson and ex-Virginia receiver Ra’Shaun Henry. Hightower played two seasons for Philadelphia before the Eagles released the receiver prior to Week 1. The former Philly wideout posted 10 receptions for 167 yards during his 13 appearances in 2020.
Dallas hosted former Eagles quarterback Reid Sinnett for a tryout as the team looks to potentially add a signal-caller to the practice squad with Prescott sidelined. The Cowboys also watched a couple of USFL standout quarterbacks in J’Mar Smith and Case Cookus.