Cowboys Release Safety, Former TCU Standout in Latest Roster Move

Jerry Jones

Getty Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys walks on the field before a game.

The Dallas Cowboys‘ roster will change and adjust quite a bit in the coming months, and the roster moves are starting to roll in.

NFL teams are required to field rosters of 90 players or less at this point in the offseason, and the Cowboys are actually under that limit thanks to the release of kicker Chris Naggar earlier in May. However, Dallas is now releasing another name as they prepare for the rest of the offseason.

Safety La’Kendrick Van Zandt was waived by Dallas on May 20, less than a few weeks after the former TCU Horned Frog signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.

“The @dallascowboys released DB La’Kendrick Van Zandt (TCU) on Friday,” the Cowboys official public relations Twitter account posted.

As a UDFA signing, Van Zandt wasn’t a household name coming out of TCU this year. However, Cowboys fans based in the Lone Star State are probably familiar with the standout athlete.

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Former TCU Star

Before his college career with the Horned Frogs, Van Zandt was a eye-catching athlete at Henderson High School in Henderson, Texas. 247Sports ranked the safety as the No. 3 Texas athlete for his class, and eventually chose TCU over several big-name suitor like Baylor and Oklahoma.

According to TCU’s website, Van Zandt faced injury issues early on. He redshirted his first year on campus due to a season-ending injury, and also got injured in his first season as an expected starter in 2019.

The Horned Frogs tried the 6’1″ athlete as a linebacker for a few games that season, but he registered his first career interception in his sole start at safety. This led to TCU committing to Van Zandt as a safety for his remaining two seasons in Fort Worth, which led to his best season.

As a junior, Van Zandt brought down two interceptions, registered his first sack, recovered a fumble for a touchdown and also recorded 5.5 tackles for loss. He followed with 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack in 2021, but did not record an interception.

In terms of proving his athleticism, a tidbit from the Star-Telegram’s breakdown of Van Zandt ahead of the NFL draft shows how he would’ve compared at this year’s NFL Combine, which he was not invited to.

“At TCU’s Pro Day, Van Zandt ran a 4.53 40-yard dash, had a 4.15-second short shuttle and a 39 1/2-inch vertical jump. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Van Zandt would have posted the 13th-fastest 40; the second-best shuttle; and the second-best vertical jump.”

Cowboys Don’t Make Corresponding Move

While the release of Van Zandt is interesting in itself, what’s equally noteworthy is that Dallas has not added anyone to the roster in his stead.

Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken pointed out that Dallas does have time to figure out their next step.

“Cowboys waived S La’Kendrick Van Zandt. Undrafted rookie from TCU signed last month with partial salary guarantee. No corresponding move been processed, but still time for roster spot to be filled before OTAs begin next week,” Gehlken Tweeted on May 20.

By “next week,” Gehlken is referring to the OTAs that begin on May 24. It is enough time to add a new player, but it will be interesting to see how the Cowboys approach it. Maybe this is a spot being reserved for Minnesota Vikings free agent Anthony Barr.

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