The Dolphins need to cut a whole lot of players by Saturday's deadline, but that didn't stop them from adding a piece to the puzzle in the meantime.
According to Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News, the Dolphins have acquired offensive lineman Pat McQuistan from the Dallas Cowboys. Terms of the deal were undisclosed, although the compensation was likely a late-round pick.
McQuistan's acquisition gives the Dolphins 73 players on the active roster, meaning 20 moves will need to be made in order to get down to tomorrow's 53-man roster limit.
McQuistan (6-6, 319) was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round out of Weber State in the 2006 NFL Draft. His selection came four rounds after his brother, Paul McQuistan, was drafted by the Oakland Raiders.
After being inactive for 15 games as a rookie, McQuistan appeared in all 32 games as a backup tackle during the following two seasons. He relieved both left tackle Flozell Adams and right tackle Marc Colombo during the season.
McQuistan played in only seven games in 2009, primarily on special teams. He was a restricted free agent the following offseason and was re-signed to a one-year, $1.176 million contract for 2010.
In Miami, McQuistan reunites with a handful of former members of the Cowboys' staff, including Dolphins' Senior VP Bill Parcells, general manager Jeff Ireland, head coach Tony Sparano. He also joins Joe Berger and Cory Procter as former Cowboys offensive linemen currently with the Dolphins.
One of the Dolphins' biggest areas of need heading into the season was offensive tackle depth, where starters Jake Long and Vernon Carey were backed up by a back hole of talent known as Andrew Gardner and Lydon Murtha.
McQuistan isn't really starting material and doesn't have a ton of upside at age 27, but he does offer plenty of experience, familiarity with the staff and scheme, and versatility.
It's that last attribute that made McQuistan such an appealing acquisition for the Dolphins after losing versatile lineman Nate Garner for the season to a foot injury.
McQuistan has the ability to back up both tackle positions and can also play guard, which is exactly the kind of player the Dolphins needed to add to the bench.
Although I predicted Murtha would be the third and final offensive tackle to make the roster in my final roster projection earlier today, the acquisition of McQuistan certainly changes all that.
At this point, I would predict my seven projected interior linemen remain the same, but McQuistan replaced Murtha as the third offensive tackle and ninth offensive lineman.
As always, check out my updated projected depth chart here.
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Chris J. Nelson majored in journalism at Georgia State University and is currently a programming coordinator for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.
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