Dallas Cowboys: Reviewing Notable Roster Moves on Cutdown Day

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistAugust 31, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 25:  Orie Lemon #58 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on August 25, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys were relatively quiet on cutdown day, but they made five particular moves that I believe were significant. Here's a look at each one.


Rookie Fifth-Round Pick Danny Coale Gets Released

Not surprising, but it'll be interesting to see if they can get Coale onto the practice squad...or if they even try to do so. The 24-year-old out of Virginia Tech missed much of the offseason due to foot and quad injuries and never caught back up upon his return.

Coale might have stood a chance had Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris and Kevin Ogletree not stepped up, but there was no room for him.


Rookie Guard Ronald Leary Doesn't Make it

Leary was one of Jerry Jones' guys, and he earned himself plenty of opportunities to prove his worth with injuries decimating the interior offensive line in the preseason. He did show some flashes but it wasn't ultimately enough. 

He's a prime practice squad candidate, though, and could be back if guys like Nate Livings, Mackenzy Bernadeau or Phil Costa get hurt again.


Clifton Geathers Falls Short 

I was really impressed by the veteran defensive end throughout the preseason, and I figured he might fill a spot if the team decided that it had had enough with the aging Kenyon Coleman (or even Marcus Spears). But instead it looks as though Dallas will hold onto those veterans, which squeezes Geathers out.

Ben Bass was also an announced cut, so Coleman and Spears are probably safe.


The Biggest Surprise Cut Might Have Been Orie Lemon

The second-year inside linebacker appeared to get better and better as the preseason progressed, but it wasn't enough. I'm surprised to see him being left off the roster.

This leaves the Cowboys with just three inside linebackers. If Sean Lee and Dan Connor start, Bruce Carter will be the only backup. Strange move, but I guess they're confident in that trio.


Too Little Too Late for Lance Dunbar?

A source tells ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins that the 'Boys have also cut ties with Dunbar, who put on a bit of a show with 105 yards on 15 carries to go along with a touchdown in the preseason finale. 

But that performance came against Miami backups, and Phillip Tanner was also solid. It looks as though Dallas will stick with DeMarco Murray, Felix Jones and Tanner.