IRVING, Texas - The day before the Cowboys are set to depart for training camp in Oxnard, Calif., the team made some roster moves, including cutting a running back that figured to be in the mix to compete during training camp.
However, the Cowboys have decided to place Ryan Williams, who spent all of last year on the practice squad, on the waived/injured list.
Williams, a second-round pick (38th overall) of the Cardinals in 2011, has battled through injuries during his career and even had a few minor setbacks this offseason.
The Cowboys also waived/injured linebacker Cameron Lawrence, and offensive lineman Ryan Miller. Lawrence has spent two years with the team, playing mainly on special teams. The addition of veteran Andrew Gachkar, a special teams contributor for most of his five-year career, likely made Lawrence expendable.
The Cowboys have added three players in return, including rookie running back Gus Johnson, who was invited to the Cowboys’ rookie minicamp in May.
Other new players on the roster include linebacker Justin Anderson, who spent last year with the Giants, and guard/center Ronald Patrick, who was with the Cowboys in camp last year and on the practice squad for the first month of the season.
Williams has only played in five career games, and none since 2012, when he started three games for Arizona, averaging just 2.8 yards on his 58 career attempts.
Last year in the preseason, Williams led the Cowboys in both rushing attempts (25) and rushing yards (112), playing mostly with the second- and third-team units. Williams had the club’s only rushing touchdown of the preseason in 2014, but still was released before the regular season and spent the entire year on the scout team.
Cutting Williams could change the dynamic somewhat for the running back position. With Darren McFadden and Joseph Randle expected to battle for the starting job, Lance Dunbar has carved out his niche as a change-of-pace back who could play a lot on passing downs.
The Cowboys also signed Lache Seastrunk in the middle of the summer. Seastrunk, a sixth-round pick of the Redskins in 2014, is similar to Dunbar with his quickness and breakaway speed, but he’s having to play catch-up in learning the playbook.
Miller, is a two-year veteran who joined the team in the spring but didn’t figure to compete for a roster spot especially after the team signed La’el Collins and drafted rookies Chaz Green and Laurence Gibson.