Cowboys will look to fill practice squad

IRVING, Texas -- With the final cuts made, the Dallas Cowboys can go about forming their practice squad Sunday morning.

Players like wide receiver LaRon Byrd, running back Ryan Williams, offensive linemen Stephen Goodin and Ronald Patrick and defensive linemen Dartwan Bush and Kenneth Boatright were among the final cuts and could be brought back if they clear waivers. Linebacker Will Smith and cornerback Terrance Mitchell were seventh-round picks and among the final cuts and could be brought back if they are not picked up by another team.

Starting the season on the practice squad isn’t such a bad thing.

Last year the Cowboys called up Jakar Hamilton, Micah Pellerin and Jason Vega from the practice squad to the active roster. They also signed four players from other teams’ practice squads: Chris Greenwood, Frank Kearse, Everett Dawkins and Orie Lemon.

Coach Jason Garrett is pleased the practice squads will be expanded from eight to 10 players in 2014.

“It’s a challenge as the year goes on guys get hurt,” Garrett said on Friday. “You get compromised on the practice field. You’re asking guys to do some things, sometimes you’re asking offensive guys to do some defense or vice versa. It’s better to have that, be able to function over the course of a 17-week season, maybe more than that is just a development of young players. It’s so valuable to be in this environment to practice players against good players in an NFL atmosphere. It just helps this so much with their growth and development. I think it’s a real positive for so many different reasons.”