Cowboys make roster moves on D-line

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys made a roster change late Tuesday afternoon, but it's not what most fans are looking for: The team released defensive end Caesar Rayford, who played in seven games and totaled five tackles.

To replace Rayford on the 53-man roster, the Cowboys signed defensive tackle Corvey Irvin. Irvin played at Georgia and was drafted in 2009 by Carolina in the third round. He's played in 18 NFL games, including 12 games for Tampa Bay last season, when he recorded six tackles.

Guard Phillipkeith Manley and defensive tackle Jason Vega were released from the practice squad, and tackle John Wetzel was signed to the practice squad. Wetzel signed with Oakland as an undrafted free agent after the 2013 draft and was released in August.

The day started with the Cowboys working out 16 players, including veteran safety Michael Huff, who was cut by Baltimore last month. But the Cowboys, in need of improved play along the secondary, have decided to focus their energies to the defensive front, which has had health issues. Starters DeMarcus Ware (thigh) and Jason Hatcher (stinger) are nursing injuries. Hatcher missed Sunday's game at New Orleans. Ware returned after missing the previous three games, but he said he tweaked his thigh during the game. Ware added that he didn't believe it was too serious, and Hatcher said he expects to play in next week's game at the New York Giants.

Since the start of the season, the Cowboys have signed nine defensive linemen to the active roster.