McFadden acknowledged he would be waived in a tweet Sunday, saying it was "awesome" to play for the team he grew up rooting for.
Just want to say Thank You to the @dallascowboys. I grew up a Cowboys fan and it was awesome to wear the Star on my helmet. I wish my boys good luck.— Darren McFadden (@dmcfadden20) November 26, 2017
The move brings an end to a strange season for the 10-year running back.
McFadden has been inactive the past two games, despite the fact that Ezekiel Elliott has been serving his league-imposed six-game suspension and the Cowboys spent the offseason preparing McFadden to be their starting back, if not part of a rotation, once discipline for Elliott was finalized through various legal battles.
McFadden was inactive for the first eight games of the season, then played just one snap in Week 9 against the Atlanta Falcons, losing 2 yards on his lone carry. He was inactive for losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers as the Cowboys opted to go with just two tailbacks, Alfred Morris and Rod Smith, to replace Elliott.
"Darren's been a really good player for us and has been just a first-class guy on our football team," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "And just the way the running back rotation has been and is probably going to be as we go forward he wasn't going to get many opportunities. We feel good about what Alfred Morris has done for us and Rod Smith, and we had some good discussions these last couple of days and felt like it was in the best interest of our team and really in the best interest of Darren McFadden as well to release him and give him another opportunity to go somewhere else."
If he clears waivers, McFadden will be allowed to sign elsewhere.
McFadden finished fourth in the NFL in rushing with the Cowboys in 2015 with 1,089 yards. He was limited to just three games last season because he broke his elbow during the offseason, but he supplanted Morris as Elliott's backup.
Throughout the offseason program and into training camp, McFadden took the backup snaps to Elliott, who was facing potential discipline for violating the league's personal conduct policy. However, McFadden was a surprise Week 1 inactive against the New York Giants.
Last week, McFadden said he was "surprised as hell" that he was inactive against the Eagles. He said the situation has been frustrating and he would use the offseason to decide whether he wants to continue to play.
Also Sunday, the Cowboys signed defensive lineman Datone Jones. The deal is for two years, according to a source. Jones, the Green Bay Packers' first-round pick in 2013, has been with the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers in 2017. He had six tackles in three games for the Niners before his release.