Cowboys sign TE Martin Rucker

OXNARD, Calif. – Tight end Martin Rucker signed with the Cowboys on Thursday evening.

Rucker, who was picked by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round of the 2008 draft, was waived earlier this month by the Philadelphia Eagles. He had been unable to practice because of a hamstring injury.

The Cowboys put in a waiver claim for Rucker, but he went to Tampa Bay because the Buccaneers had a worse record last season. The Cowboys signed DajLeon Farr that day. Tampa Bay didn’t keep Rucker because he failed a physical.

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Rucker has played in only five NFL games, catching two passes for 17 yards. He caught 84 passes for 834 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior at Missouri in 2007.

Rucker is a candidate to fill the No. 3 tight end void created by John Phillips' season-ending injury. He rehabbed his hamstring during Friday's walkthrough, but Wade Phillips said he expects Rucker to practice Monday.

Undrafted rookie quarterback Matt Nichols was released to make room on the roster for Rucker.