Reality TV star Holley among Cowboys' cuts
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jesse Holley won Michael Irvin's reality TV show, then made the Dallas Cowboys winners in their preseason finale by returning a punt 82 yards for a touchdown in the closing minutes.
His luck ran out when the Cowboys set their roster.
Holley, fellow dreadlocked receiver Isaiah Stanback and quarterback Rudy Carpenter were among 22 players cut by the Cowboys on Saturday. Dallas also put rookie linebacker Stephen Hodge on injured reserve, leaving the roster at 52 -- one shy of the maximum, which means an addition is coming.
Holley and Stanback became expendable because of the strong performance by Kevin Ogletree, who gave up his final season of eligibility at Virginia only to go undrafted. He was the lone rookie free agent to make the club.
Three draft picks didn't make it: Fifth-rounder DeAngelo Smith, a safety; and seventh-rounders Mike Mickens, a cornerback, and receiver Manny Johnson.
Smith may be best remembered for losing a 50-yard dash against rookie kicker David Buehler. The race came on a dare and was held on the turf of the Alamodome following a training camp workout, much to the chagrin of coaches.
Stanback was a fourth-round pick in 2007 to be converted from college quarterback to pro receiver, but he was hurt too often for the team to rely on him. Safety Courtney Brown was another incumbent to get cut.
Holley didn't earn much playing time this preseason, but he left with a great memory by grabbing a bouncing ball out of the air and turning it into the winning points in a 35-31 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Friday night.
Doing well in that game wasn't enough for several guys.
Carpenter was 12 of 18 for 125 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings. The TD went to tight end Scott Chandler, who also was released. Fullback Julius Crosslin ran nine times for a team-best 42 yards in the Minnesota game and lost his job, too.
Other cuts: running back Keon Lattimore and fullback Asaph Schwapp; receivers Mike Jefferson and Willie Reed; offensive linemen Travis Bright and Ryan Gibbons; defensive linemen Marcus Dixon, Jonas Seawright and Derreck Robinson; linebackers Tearrius George and Matt Stewart; and cornerbacks Jeremy Haynes and DeAngelo Willingham.
Carpenter and Holley are among the released players who could be back on the practice squad if not claimed by other teams. Then again, some of the guys who made it might not last either if the Cowboys find upgrades on the waiver wire.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index