The Dallas Cowboys are releasing three offensive weapons in their first wave of cuts as they work toward the final 53-man roster.
The Cowboys still had 24 hours to make a decision on whom to cut, but the team clearly knew which five players were the first to the chopping block after the opening preseason weekend. Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken was the first to drop the news on August 15.
“Cowboys must reduce from 90- to 85-man roster by Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT. They are waive-injuring CB Kyron Brown, FB Ryan Nall, TE Ian Bunting and WR Ty Fryfogle and waiving DL Austin Faoliu, people familiar with decisions said. Players told this morning. Next cut to 80 on Aug. 23,” Gehlken tweeted.
It’s worth noting that Fryfogle was the only rookie released in the opening round of cuts, with Brown, Nall, Bunting and Faoliu all having at least one year of NFL experience under their belt.
That being said, none of these releases was all that surprising, except for maybe Nall. The former Chicago Bears FB was the only fullback on the roster, and it now technically leaves the Cowboys empty at the position.
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Cowboys Now Without a Fullback
Heading into training camp, Dallas had two fullbacks on the roster: Nall and second-year player Nick Ralston. Nall had the edge in experience, thanks to 33 appearances for the Bears in his three seasons in Chicago.
However, Ralston made four appearances for the Cowboys last year and had the advantage of familiarity. But the former Arizona State Sun Devil didn’t make it into August and is still currently a free agent.
As for Nall, there’s reason to think he’ll still find a home somewhere in the NFL. His opportunities in Chicago were limited, but he appeared to make the most of them: The fullback caught nine passes for 71 yards and a touchdown and ran six times for 12 yards.
The issue for the 26-year-old is his recent injury. In early August, Nall suffered a shoulder injury that 105.3 The Fan insider Bobby Belt tweeted on August 4 would take two to four weeks for recovery.
Dallas did have a fullback on the roster for parts of last season, but it doesn’t seem as though it’ll have one by the time Week 1 rolls around. What this likely means is that the Cowboys will roll with at least four tight ends on the roster in 2022, as they did in 2021.
2 Pass Catchers Depart Dallas
Fryfogle’s and Bunting’s releases aren’t surprising, as the former was an undrafted free agent signing and the latter made only one NFL appearance with Dallas after years of being on various teams’ practice squads.
Fryfogle had a successful college career at Indiana, racking up 2,218 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in his last four seasons with the Hoosiers. However, he was always going to have an uphill climb in Dallas, despite the Cowboys having injuries and other issues at wide receiver.
Bunting’s departure from Dallas now leaves five tight ends on the roster: Dalton Schultz, Sean McKeon, Jake Ferguson, Jeremy Sprinkle and Peyton Hendershot. If Dallas isn’t keeping a fullback, they could instead keep a fifth tight end.