The Dallas Cowboys weren’t feeling festive the day after Christmas, and they cut linebacker Justin Durant.
“The Cowboys released Justin Durant on Tuesday,” wrote ESPN’s Todd Archer. “Durant dressed for just seven games this season. Durant missed five games due to a groin injury and concussion and was a healthy scratch for three games. The Cowboys will call up linebacker Tre’von Johnson from the practice squad.”
As the healthy scratch shows, the issue wasn’t just injury. That did send him to the sidelines, but the Cowboys still weren’t happy with what they saw when he could get on the field.
Plus, the Cowboys are done. That loss to the Seattle Seahawks was ugly, even with running back Ezekiel Elliott’s return, and it ended their season. Having a veteran linebacker for depth makes sense if you’re going to the playoffs. If you’re not, it’s better to focus on young guys and see what they can do for the future. That’s the only goal in Week 17.
That’s exactly what the Cowboys are doing.
“[Durant] delivered only 13 total tackles this season, making for an easy roster decision — which includes the team promoting LB Trey’von Johnson from the practice squad to take his place,” wrote Patrik Walker of 247 Sports. “Johnson, 22, hails from Weber State and was signed out of the undrafted free agent pool in 2017 by the Arizona Cardinals. He played all four years at Weber State, landing a first-team All-Big Sky nod last year.”
For Johnson, this is a huge chance to prove himself, and he has just one game to do it. At least one guy will be playing hard when the Cowboys take on the Philadelphia Eagles.