Dallas Cowboys: Taylor Reed

Cowboys fill out practice squad

December, 4, 2013
12/04/13
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IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys filled two practice squad spots by signing running back George Winn and tight end Jameson Konz.

Winn, who ran for 1,334 yards and 13 touchdowns for the University of Cincinnati last year, has been with four teams since signing with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent. He was most recently on the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad before he was cut Nov. 19.

Konz, who has experience playing defensive end as well, was cut by the Seattle Seahawks in camp. He was a seventh round pick of the Seahawks in 2011 after playing linebacker and tight end at Kent State. With Andre Smith claimed by the Cleveland Browns, the Cowboys wanted to add a fourth tight end for practice purposes.

The Cowboys had the vacancies with the departure of Alex Tanney to the Browns’ active roster and the release of linebacker Taylor Reed.

Cowboys work out veteran LBs

November, 18, 2013
11/18/13
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IRVING, Texas -- With Sean Lee and Justin Durant out at least two more games because of hamstring strains, the Dallas Cowboys took a look at two veteran free agent linebackers on Monday.

Durant
Jamar Chaney, who was cut by the Atlanta Falcons last month, and Jonathan Goff, who has not played since 2010, worked out for the Cowboys at Valley Ranch. Chaney spent three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before his release over the summer. He was cut by Atlanta last month.

Goff had his 2011 and ’12 seasons ended after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament twice. In 2011 he was with the New York Giants. In 2012 he was with the Washington Redskins.

With three division games left in the final six weeks, it can’t be a coincidence that both players have NFC East ties.

The Cowboys added linebacker Taylor Reed to the practice squad to provide some depth in case of emergency. He was among the Cowboys' final cuts over the summer.

Coach Jason Garrett would not rule out Lee from Sunday’s game against the Giants, but that’s more because of how he deals with injuries than a significant improvement by Lee. Garrett acknowledged that Ernie Sims would play inside linebacker in Lee’s absence.

“He had a productive weekend,” Garrett said of Lee. “When everyone else was on a bye, he was working hard to get himself back. He was in good spirits today. We will see how he does as the week goes on.”

DeMarcus Ware, Mo Claiborne rehab

November, 18, 2013
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IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys returned to the practice field Monday, but defensive end DeMarcus Ware and cornerback Morris Claiborne continued to rehab from quadriceps and hamstring injuries, respectively.

The Cowboys hope both players will be available Sunday against the New York Giants. The Cowboys are going through a short workout and will return to regular practice work on Wednesday. Claiborne has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, and on Nov. 10 against New Orleans Ware aggravated the quadriceps strain that knocked him out of three games.

As expected, linebackers Sean Lee and Justin Durant are not practicing because of hamstring injuries. They are looking at a possible Dec. 9 return against the Chicago Bears.

Wide receiver Miles Austin (hamstring) and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher (stinger) are taking part in their second straight practice. Rookie safety J.J. Wilcox also returned to practice action for the first time since injuring his knee Oct. 20 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

With the injuries to Lee and Durant, the Cowboys signed linebacker Taylor Reed to the practice squad and released defensive end Hall Davis. Reed was among the Cowboys’ final cuts coming out of training camp.

W2W4: Five things for Texans-Cowboys

August, 29, 2013
8/29/13
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IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys meet the Houston Texans in the preseason for the first time since 2010 at AT&T Stadium. Intrastate pride might be on the line for the fans of both teams, but little else.

With 75 players on the roster, some jobs remain but most are filled. Here’s what we’ll be looking at tonight:

Job fair: With 18 roster moves to make by Saturday’s cut-down date, most of the decisions have likely been made. There are perhaps two open spots with as many as eight guys looking to fit the square peg. Would the Cowboys carry five tight ends? How about six receivers? Nine defensive linemen?

Defensive tackle Sean Lissemore, tight end Andre Smith, wide receiver Anthony Armstrong, cornerback Micah Pellerin, tackle DeMetress Bell, guard David Arkin and guard Kevin Kowalski can make their cases tonight. Linebacker Brandon Magee (concussion), safeties Eric Frampton (calf), Danny McCray (hamstring) and Matt Johnson (foot) will have to watch and sweat out the final decisions.

PODCAST
Dez Bryant joins Tim MacMahon and Landry Locker to discuss his hobby of studying the game's great receivers, if his next contract ever crosses his mind, what it was like to be investigated by the NCAA and much, much more.

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Tanney time: Maybe Kyle Orton opens the game, but the Cowboys will give Alex Tanney most of the work.

With needs at other positions and injury questions going into the opener, Tanney is looking more like a practice-squad fit than a 53-man roster fit. If he plays lights out, he could change the equation or at the very least get another team to keep him on the 53-man roster the way Matt Moore did a few years ago.

Check out the Texans: Last year the Cowboys closed the preseason against Miami and traded for veteran offensive lineman Ryan Cook a few days later based on what they saw in that game.

With the Cowboys moving to a pure zone blocking scheme this year, check out the Texans’ offensive linemen. Assistant offensive line coach Frank Pollack spent five years with the Texans (2007-11) and will have a good idea of what would be a good fit with the Cowboys.

As unsettled as the Cowboys are with their starting offensive line they’re more unsettled with the backups. A case could be made they don’t have a ninth or 10th guy (if they choose to reach double digits) on their current roster to fill out the line.

Earning practice squad jobs: Tanney has been talked about, but there will be seven other spots to fill. The Cowboys like to keep receivers and defensive backs on the practice squad because of the amount of running in practice, so guys like Danny Coale, Tim Benford and Pellerin bear watching.

And the line play will have candidates to, like defensive end Jerome Long and offensive tackle Darrion Weems. Linebacker could be another spot of interest with Cameron Lawrence and Taylor Reed.

The digital board: Chris Jones hit it last week with a punt against Cincinnati and the Bengals returned the re-kick 75 yards for a touchdown, continuing a preseason-long issue of special teams’ miscues. Jones is unlikely to hit it again, but watching it to see the clock tick down will be more important because it brings us closer to the start of the regular season.

5 Wonders: Cowboys' final few roster spots

August, 20, 2013
8/20/13
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IRVING, Texas – Week 4 of Five Wonders will focus on the makeup of the Cowboys’ 53-man roster, and I’m holding off on Alex Tanney for a post later, so he will not be in the following paragraphs.

The first set of cuts comes Aug. 27 when they have to pare down from 87 to 75 players. The final cut to 53 comes Aug. 31.

PODCAST
Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett live in studio for 30 minutes of Cowboys reaction, analysis and real talk.

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  • As Jason Garrett has said two or 200 times, injury provides opportunity. The season-ending back surgery for Alex Albright, who will go under the knife on Wednesday, opens up a roster spot for a linebacker. I wonder the Cowboys can still go with seven linebackers for the opening week. Undrafted rookie Brandon Magee finally showed up and made some plays last week at Arizona. He can also play some weakside linebacker. Caleb McSurdy played some at strongside linebacker and has inside linebacker experience. Taylor Reed also has position flexibility. But here’s one name that hasn’t been talked about much: Cameron Lawrence. He got some work on the early special teams units against the Cardinals. When you’re down to the final spots at linebacker, special teams can be the great separator.

  • Garrett won’t offer up opinions on players unless he is asked specifically about a guy, so I took notice when he brought up “92,” Landon Cohen, when asked about some surprises on the defensive line. I wonder if Cohen, a training-camp pickup like George Selvie, can play his way onto the roster. The first thing Rod Marinelli wants for his defensive linemen is to get off the ball. Cohen can do that, and in fact he did it too fast with a couple of offside penalties in the first two preseason games. He has the look of the traditional one-technique in this scheme: short and squat, but he also has some quickness. Garrett went on to say Cohen has “some snap” to his game.” It's another name to keep an eye on.

  • I wonder if the foot injury suffered by Lance Dunbar took the sixth wide receiver off the table. Dunbar is looking at a 3-4 week rehab, which puts him in doubt for the Sept. 8 season opener against the New York Giants. It was not a good injury for Anthony Armstrong, who I’ve had as the No. 6 guy on my roster projections. He has done nothing to get cut. He has showed up on offense. He has done a nice job on special teams. He has speed to burn. I just wonder if he is caught in a numbers game because now the Cowboys almost assuredly have to keep four running backs for at least the opening week. Could Armstrong jump Cole Beasley, who has been slowed by a foot injury of his own? I don’t see it right now, but Armstrong will be a tough call.

  • I wondered last week about the possibility of an undrafted rookie not making the roster this summer, and I threw a dark horse in there with Jeff Heath. He has taken some first-team special teams snaps and was a second-teamer on defense last week because of injuries. He did not look out of place, but I wonder if he can beat out Matt Johnson. And, yes, I wonder if Johnson can not only get healthy but stay healthy as he battles a foot injury suffered in the Hall of Fame Game. He’s not going to play this week, so all of his eggs will be in the Houston game, provided he can get on the field. I wonder if the Cowboys would give up on a fourth-round pick from last year despite what the apparent chronic injuries. After putting in all the time with Johnson last year, I’d be a little surprised if they would cut him loose now.

  • What to make if Demetress Bell? The Cowboys signed him even though he was in extremely poor condition at the start of camp. They were patient with him, and he finally got on the field last week in Oxnard, Calif., and played against Arizona. When he signed, I viewed it as a move to just help the backup quarterbacks get through some preseason games. But when the Cowboys stuck with him, I wondered if they look at him as future development guy. It’s hard to find big guys who can move and have some experience. He was bad last year at Philadelphia, but he wasn’t bad in Buffalo.
  • Sources: Alex Albright to have back surgery

    August, 17, 2013
    8/17/13
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    GLENDALE, Ariz. – Cowboys linebacker Alex Albright will undergo lower back surgery early next week and will miss the season, according to multiple sources.

    Albright did not play in the Cowboys’ first three preseason games, including Saturday’s 12-7 loss at Arizona. He had been suffering some back issues since May, but the hope was that rest would make it better. When he did not see improvement, surgery became the logical move.

    Albright was a core special teamer and can play strongside and middle linebacker. His injury opens up the battle for the backup linebacker spots for rookie Brandon Magee, Caleb McSurdy and Taylor Reed. The Cowboys moved Magee to weakside linebacker last week in practice, but he saw time Saturday at middle linebacker. McSurdy saw work on the strong side versus the Cardinals.

    Albright had sports hernia surgery after last season and was limited some in the offseason.

    Scheme change will alter Cowboys' LB look

    April, 15, 2013
    4/15/13
    11:26
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    IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys’ move to the 4-3 scheme under new coordinator Monte Kiffin has altered what kind of linebackers the Cowboys are looking at entering the draft.

    From 2005 to 2012, the Cowboys drafted 12 linebackers, excluding Stephen Hodge on 2009. The average height and weight was 6-2, 247 pounds.

    To move to the 3-4, the Cowboys needed bigger linebackers to withstand more direct play with offensive lineman. Most of them were defensive ends in college. The biggest was DeMarcus Ware (255 pounds, 2005). Ware and Kyle Wilber were the tallest (6-foot-4). The shortest was Jason Williams (6-foot-1, 2009) and the lightest was Bruce Carter (240, 2011).

    The scheme switch this year has the Cowboys looking at smaller linebackers like they had for years in guys like Dexter Coakley and Dat Nguyen.

    So far there are nine known linebackers that have caught the Cowboys' eye in the draft process either through top-30 visits, Dallas Day tryouts or private workouts: Brandon Magee, Sio Moore, Gerald Hodges, Taylor Reed, Ja’Gared Davis, R.J. Young, Alex Elkins, Jarvis Wilson and Sean Porter.

    The average height amd weight: 6-0, 237 pounds.

    Kiffin’s scheme is built on speed at every level. Linebackers have to be able to run. Moore is the heaviest at 245 pounds, but is just 6-foot-1. Magee is the lightest at 223 pounds and at 5-foot-11 is the shortest, along with Reed and Young.

    Undoubtedly the Cowboys have looked at more linebackers, but that sample size should give you the prototype at linebacker.

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