16-game rookie starter Petitti, Boiman cut by Cowboys

Updated: September 2, 2006, 10:32 PM ET
Associated Press

IRVING, Texas -- Rob Petitti played every offensive snap as a rookie last season for the Dallas Cowboys. The offensive right tackle won't even be on the roster this season.

Petitti was among 15 players cut Saturday by the Cowboys to get to the mandatory 53-man roster. Also let go were two of the team's April draft picks, receiver/kick returner Skyler Green and defensive tackle Montavious Stanley.

The Cowboys also said Saturday that the NFL has suspended safety Marcus Coleman for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Coleman will be eligible to rejoin the active roster Oct. 9.

Free agent linebacker Rocky Boiman, who got a $1 million signing bonus from the Cowboys after four seasons in Tennessee, was among the other cuts. He was expected to be a key factor on special teams and provide depth on defense.

Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo, who got a new contract last week, are the only quarterbacks on the roster after rookie Matt Baker was cut. Baker got most of the third-team snaps in preseason drills even before Drew Henson was released and likely will end up on the practice squad.

The other players released Saturday were guard D'Anthony Batiste, receiver Damarius Bilbo, defensive end Stephen Bowen, receiver Terrance Copper, tight end Tony Curtis, linebacker Junior Glymph, running back Keylon Kincade, safety Willie Pile, tackle Dennis Roland, and center Matthew Tarullo.

Even though the 6-foot-7, 327-pound Petitti started every game last season, it seemed that he would be a "swing" tackle this season, a player able to start or back up on either side. Nine-year veteran Jason Fabini, signed during the offseason, will likely start at right tackle with Marc Columbo as the backup.

"Yeah, I was surprised," Petitti told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I don't know what happened. I thought I played well in preseason. I worked hard in the offseason. But Parcells didn't want me here for some reason, and it's his decision."

Petitti thought he was going to back up on both sides.

The Cowboys said neither Parcells or owner Jerry Jones were available for comment Saturday.

Petitti could have also been undone by the emergence of rookie tackle Pat McQuistan, a seventh-round pick from Weber State. McQuistan got extended time in the preseason because of two-time Pro Bowl tackle Flozell Adams' calf injury and impressed Parcells.

Among other rookies who made the roster was free agent receiver Sam Hurd from Illinois, who impressed during the preseason with his ability and his work ethic in some post-practice workouts with Terrell Owens. Jamaica Rector, who spent last season on the practice squad, and rookie Miles Austin are other young receivers who made the roster.

Parcells was forced to keep second-year kicker Shaun Suisham as a kickoff specialist because of the uncertainty with Mike Vanderjagt in that area. Vanderjagt, the NFL's most accurate field goal kicker who signed during the offseason, has been bothered by a groin injury. He missed field goal attempts of 32 and 33 yards in overtime of the preseason finale Thursday night.

Linebacker Carl-Johan Bjork from Sweden was moved to the practice squad as part of the NFL's International practice squad program. He played in NFL Europe this spring with the Amsterdam Admirals.

Bjork will not count against the eight-man practice squad, which will be determined by Monday.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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