For now, the Dallas Cowboys have 11 defensive backs, 11 offensive linemen and only two healthy wide receivers.
Dallas made the final roster cuts Saturday to get to its 53-man roster, releasing 21 players. They also placed 11-time Pro Bowl offensive guard Larry Allen on the reserved/retired list after he had signed a one-day contract for the purpose of retiring as a Cowboy.
Despite three injured receivers that are on the roster but unlikely to play the season opener next weekend at Cleveland, the Cowboys cut Mike Jefferson, who was on their practice squad last season, and rookie free agent Danny Amendola.
That leaves Terrell Owens and Patrick Crayton as the only healthy wideouts.
Receivers Sam Hurd (left ankle) and Miles Austin (sprained right knee) definitely won’t play in the season opener, and might go longer without getting in a game. Isaiah Stanback (dislocated shoulder) hasn’t been completely ruled out for the Browns game, but his effectiveness could be a question.
With an extra defensive back and an extra offensive lineman, the Cowboys have room to make a move if they decide to pursue another receiver.
Owner Jerry Jones insisted after the Cowboys played their final preseason game Thursday night that he preferred to stick with players that quarterback Tony Romo was familiar with. But that was also before other teams made cuts.
Neither Jones or coach Wade Phillips were available for comment Saturday. The team sent out its cuts in an e-mail.
Allen, who played the last two seasons for San Francisco after 12 seasons with the Cowboys, signed a ceremonial contract Friday so that he could retire for the team that drafted him in the second round out of Sonoma State in 1994. Allen was part of the Cowboys’ last Super Bowl championship team during the 1995 season.
Richard Bartel, a practice squad member last season when Tony Romo and Brad Johnson were the only quarterbacks on the roster, was cut after playing the entire game Thursday night. He was 28-of-41 passing for 233 yards in a 16-10 victory over Minnesota.
Rookie linebacker Erik Walden, a sixth-round pick from Middle Tennessee State, was the only one of the team’s six draft picks who didn’t make the roster.
Receiver Todd Lowber, who got a Super Bowl championship ring after being on the New York Giants’ practice squad last season, and rookie free agent running back Keon Lattimore, the younger brother of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, were also cut.
The remaining cuts were tight end Drew Atchison, nose tackle Remi Ayodele, receiver Mark Bradford, running back Alonzo Coleman, fullback Julius Crosslin, safety Dowayne Davis, defensive end Marcus Dixon, linebacker Tearrius George, offensive tackle Ryan Gibbons, tight end Rodney Hannah, offensive tackle Cory Lekkerkerker, linebacker Darrell Robertson, nose tackle Junior Siavii, defensive end Marcus Smith and linebacker Tyson Smith.