Cutdown Blog: NFC East
It’s not as flashy as it’s free agency brother, but “cutday” may be the most frantic for all NFL front offices.
There isn’t another time of the year where they have to be so reactive to every move every team is making, ready to pounce on possible talents who might improve their roster or be worth developing on their practice squad.
To help you keep up to date we’re going to be providing details on all the moves in each divisional page. Keep coming back for each and every player released with stats, snaps and grades on all of them.
Of course this might not be enough for you, in which case you’ll need yourself a PFF Premium Membership.
Alex Tanney, QB: The Cowboys were one of a growing number of teams choosing to carry only two QBs on their final 53 meaning the end for the “Trick Shot QB”. No quarterback suffered more drops from his receivers this pre-season than Tanney, with Cowboys’ receivers dropping nine of his passes.
Kendial Lawrence, RB: File this one under “well that was obvious”. The team isn’t short on guys that can play behind starter DeMarco Murray and Lawrence only got five rushing attempts in preseason on his 32 snaps.
Anthony Armstrong, WR: Only two receivers played more than Armstrong’s 107 snaps in pre-season but that didn’t translate into catches, yards, impact or a roster spot. Armstrong had his best season as a deep threat for Washington in 2010 (10/24, 427 yds, 3 TDs) but didn’t reel in either of his deep targets this pre-season.
Danny Coale, WR: Only 60 pre-season snaps and a -3.5 overall grade spell out a poor pre-season for last year’s fifth round pick. Coale was only targeted three times and dropped as many passes as he caught, one.
Tim Benford, WR: Caught 11-of-18 balls thrown to him for 135 yards but that owed a lot to being targeted so much as opposed to his own brilliance. Dropped a disappointing three passes and that contributed to his disappointing -2.0 grade.
Demetress Bell, OL: Featuring twice in pre-season Bell haemorrhaged pressure (3 Sk, 4 Hu) and on only 47 snaps managed to earn one of the three lowest pass protection grades (-4.4) among tackles this pre-season.
Edawn Coughman, OL: What promise Coughman showed as a run blocker (+1.2) he was found wanting as a pass protector (-3.8) at three spots (LT, RG, RT) on the line. On 106 snaps in pass protection Coughman led the league with 12 pressures allowed (3 Sk, 1 Ht, 8 Hu).
Kevin Kowalwski, OL: Only seeing action in the final two pre-season games a roster spot was always unlikely but he showed well enough as a run blocker (+1.1) in his full game start in the Cowboys’ finale against the Texans.
Ray Dominguez, OL: Seeing even less action than Kowalski, registering his 26 pre-season snaps in the finale against Houston, Dominguez came in when the Cowboys were giving Alex Tanney plenty of drop-backs and surrendered a sack and a hit (-1.0 pass protection) in his short pre-season.
Jabari Fletcher, DL: The Cowboys had a log jam on the defensive line and though Fletcher had his moments (four hurries, two stops) he was outshone by others both as a run defender (-1.2) and a pass rusher (-1.3).
Jason Vega, DL: Cut for the second time this pre-season (Vega began the pre-season in New England) the former CFL defender shone in his cameo against the Texans. Vega registered four stops in only 24 snaps against Houston on Thursday night.
Jerome Long, DL: Only Landon Cohen got more than Long’s 161 snaps on the defensive line for the Cowboys in pre-season. In spite of some solid run defense (+3.0 and six stops) Long felt the squeeze as the Cowboys move their former 3-4 defensive linemen to fit their new 4-3.
Thaddeus Gibson, DL: Like linemate Vega this is Gibson’s second stint on the waiver wire this pre-season but unlike Vega he didn’t put in a good showing in his short stint with the Cowboys. Gibson played 68 snaps with the Cowboys in the last three weeks and struggled as a run defender (-1.6) against the Texans.
Brandon Magee, LB: Things looked good for the undrafted free agent after the Cowboys first three pre-season games (+1.5 run defense, seven stops) but he hasn’t played since then. A concussion has ruled him out since the Cowboys trip to Arizona and that injury didn’t allow him to fight for a roster spot as pre-season reached its climax.
Caleb McSurdy, LB: The Cowboys seventh round pick last season had a quiet pre-season up until the final game against the Texans. Until then McSurdy had a 0.0 grade and made only three stops but a -5.9 was a poor note to go out on as he struggled both in run defense (-3.4) and in coverage (-2.6) during his most extended pre-season action.
Cameron Lawrence, LB: The most noteworthy accomplishment of Lawrence’s pre-season is leading the Cowboys’ defense with 10 stops; three clear of Taylor Reed (also cut), Brandon Magee (also cut) and Landon Cohen (not cut).
Taylor Reed, LB: The undrafted free agent from Dallas’ own Southern Methodist University acquitted himself reasonably well (+2.5) in the Cowboys first and last pre-season games (65 snaps) but the combined 34 snaps he played in the three intervening games were a clear indication that he wasn’t part of the team’s plans this time around.
Jakar Hamilton, DB: The three tackles that Hamilton missed in pre-season tied fellow rookie DB B.W. Webb for the team lead for the Cowboys in pre-season. More than half of Hamilton’s 125 pre-season snaps came in the Hall of Fame game.
Micah Pellerin, DB: By one measure, completion percentage allowed (43.8%), Pellerin acquitted himself well in pre-season though he did let up two touchdowns in the Hall of Fame game. In his subsequent four appearances (85 snaps) he allowed only two completions on eight targets and registered his sole pass defense of the pre-season against the Bengals.
Xavier Brewer, DB: The undrafted free agent from Clemson played only 26 snaps in the Cowboys’ final three pre-season games. Though he only played two snaps against the Bengals he was targeted on both plays and notched an interception on the penultimate play of the game courtesy of a hit by Thaddeus Gibson disrupting the pass.
Sterling Moore, DB: Perhaps the Cowboys most intriguing cut Moore failed to re-kindle the promise he showed with the Patriots late in the 2011 regular season and force the Cowboys to carry more than the four corners they kept on their initial 53 man roster. Moore spent most of his time at LCB (87 snaps) in pre-season but also registered 53 snaps in the slot.
New York Giants
David Carr, QB: The Giants came down to a choice between Carr and Curtis Painter for their back-up QB job and Carr lost out. The former number one overall pick was poor in the face of both pressure (-1.6 passing grade, 2/7 for 17 yards) and the blitz (-3.0, 3/8 for 30 yards) this pre-season.
Ramses Barden, WR: Remember that Thursday Night Football game when Barden “broke-out”? Yeah that wasn’t the start of something. Barden returned to his role of bit part player and this preseason he could only pick up 38 yards on his 55 snaps. A change of scenery is probably for the best though he’s technically been placed on the IR.
Julian Talley, WR: Courtesy of 42 snaps in the pre-season finale in Foxborough Talley led Giants’ receivers in pre-season with 105 snaps. He brought in 7 of his 13 targets for 98 yards with one drop against the Patriots.
Kevin Hardy, WR: With 92 snaps Hardy saw the field plenty but he will surely be disappointed with his statistical returns grabbing only one of his ten targets in pre-season for a paltry four yards, including a drop against the Colts.
Marcus Harris, WR: Of the dozen Giant WRs to see pre-season snaps Harris was on the outside looking in for the most part with only 46 snaps, 26 of those coming in the final pre-season game against the Patriots. From that final game Harris walked away with two receptions on as many targets including a 43 yard gain on a deep route towards the end of the fourth quarter.
Matt McCants, OL: Last year’s sixth round pick surrendered only three pressures during this pre-season but unfortunately for him they were all sacks, including two against the Colts in the second pre-season game. McCants has subsequently been added to the Raiders practice squad.
Stephen Goodin, OL: Only Jim Cordle and Brandon Mosley registered more snaps in pre-season for the Giants than Goodin did with 143 snaps spread across all four pre-season games. Goodin finished strong with a +2.0 overall grade against the Patriots and has been brought back as part of the Giants’ 8-man practice squad.
Bryant Browning, OL: His 84 pre-season snaps were spread across three games but his absence from the third pre-season game gave some indication that a roster spot was a long shot. The former Ohio State Buckeye split his time between left and right tackle in the Giants pre-season opener but played exclusively at right tackle thereafter.
Eric Herman, OL: Along with Goodin and McCants, Herman’s pre-season showing earned him a spot on a practice squad, staying with the Giants like Goodin. After a poor start against the Steelers (-3.2 overall, 2 sacks allowed) Goodin was solid there after and didn’t surrender a pressure in 53 snaps against New England.
Matt Broha, DL: The defensive line was a position of strength for the Giants in pre-season but Broha was one of the disappointments in the group. Broha graded negatively in every game netting a -5.7 overall grade for the duration of pre-season but the Giants still saw enough to bring him back to their practice squad.
Adewale Ojomo, DL: Another second year defensive end who has landed on the Giants’ practice squad but Ojomo comes off the back of a much stronger pre-season. Most of his good work came in the first two pre-season games showing well as a pass rusher (+1.3, two sacks) against the Steelers before showing strongly as a run defender (+3.9, four stops) against the Colts.
Adrian Tracy, DL: The Giants’ snap leader on the defensive line (122 snaps) could only hang his hat on the third pre-season game against the Jets netting four hurries and two stops. Outside of that Tracy earned a -5.5 overall grade including a missed tackle and only two hurries.
Marvin Austin, DL: This was a pivotal pre-season for Austin who hasn’t delivered on his second round draft status and was a victim of the numbers game in New York. Austin flashed some ability in pre-season (sack and a hit against the Jets, +1.2 run defense grade against Pittsburgh) but didn’t show enough consistently to make the Giants’ final roster.
Kyle Bosworth, LB: The former Jacksonville Jaguar got chances on defense and special teams to win a roster spot but couldn’t edge out the likes of Jacquain Williams and Spencer Paysinger. His most impressive pre-season showing came against the Jets (+1.7) with a pair of hits and a pair of stops on 31 snaps.
David Caldwell, DB: Though he defended the run well against the Patriots in the pre-season finale some shaky coverage against the Jets’ when Matt Simms came into the game spelled the end for the former Indianapolis Colt in New York.
Charles James, DB: The undrafted free agent from Charleston played 50 snaps in pre-season but didn’t see extended action at any point. He got off to a good start with a sack against the Steelers but was only targeted twice in coverage, allowing both to be completed for 23 yards against the Jets. The Giants will get a longer look at James having brought him back to their practice squad.
Terrence Frederick, DB: Last year’s seventh round selection saw plenty of action (56 snaps) in the final two pre-season games. Frederick worked almost exclusively at LCB notching only two snaps in the slot.
Tyler Sash, DB: Having played upwards of 20 snaps in each of the Giants’ first three pre-season games things might have been looking good for Sash to make the active roster for the third year in a row. However Sash only played one snap in the pre-season finale and was cut with the Giants chose to keep just three safeties on their initial 53 man roster before Will Hill returns having served a suspension.
Dennis Dixon, QB: Maybe it’s time to accept that Dixon (-2.8) just hasn’t got the tools to be a successful NFL quarterback? Had the second lowest adjusted accuracy percentage of all Eagles quarterbacks in preseason.
G.J. Kinne, QB: Never stood a chance. He only got 12 snaps and while he impressed in those (+1.8) he was buried on a team that was determined to get their top two players plenty of preseason playing time. An intriguing practice squad candidate.
Matthew Tucker, RB: Might consider himself unlucky given his work in preseason (+2.8) featured some good work in the pass game. Did fumble a ball away but the undrafted free agent showed enough that if the Eagles don’t want him on their practice squad, some other teams will start sniffing around him.
Greg Salas, WR: A mild surprise, he seemed to have played himself into a roster spot with his consistent play (+1.6) with 107 yards on his 11 targets. That wasn’t the case and he’ll now try to catch on somewhere else.
Ifeyani Momah, WR: The lowest ranked Eagles receiver during preseason (-2.1), he dropped two of his eight targets and only caught three passes. Yep, this was always on the cards.
Will Murphy, WR: Got on the field for 73 snaps but could only pick up 26 yards on the six targets he had. That wasn’t enough to stake a realistic case for a roster spot.
Russell Shepard, WR: A star of camp, when the game lights were switched on he couldn’t deliver. His blocking was woeful and he only caught 3-of-10 passes. He might land back on the practice squad as the team tries to nurture what talent there obviously is.
Clay Harbor, TE: Battling with the team’s starter, a second round pick and a free agent signing Harbor would have needed the Eagles to retain four tight ends to extend his stay in Philadelhpia. He will get the opportunity to add to his 919 career snaps with the Jaguars who claimed him off waivers.
Matt Kopa, OL: Only three Philadelphia offensive linemen played fewer snaps than Kopa who registered 49 of his 83 pre-season snaps in the opener against the Patriots. Kopa surrendered five pressures (1 Ht, 4 Hu) and earned a -2.4 run blocking grade.
Matt Tennant, OL: Having played a solitary snap for the Eagles last season Tennant had a solid pre-season but was unable to carve a niche for himself through pre-season. Tennant split his time between left (75 snaps) and right guard (37 snaps) but couldn’t earn his roster spot as a backup across the interior offensive line.
Michael Bamiro, OL: The undrafted free agent registered more than half of his 149 pre-season snaps in the finale and conceded multiple pressures from his right tackle spot in three of his four pre-season games. The Eagles were intrigued to see more from the 6’8 tackle however and have brought him back to their practice squad.
Dallas Reynolds, OL: The solid pre-season Reynolds had wasn’t enough to set aside some shoddy performances in last year’s regular season where he surrendered a league high 26 total pressures including 10 hits.
Danny Watkins, OL: Things never panned out for the former first round pick in Philadelphia and he departs having played 1,268 snaps in two seasons earning a -9.0 overall grade across those two seasons. Watkins went unclaimed through the waiver process and is now a free agent.
Everette Brown, DL/ LB: Things haven’t panned out for Brown in his pro career to date but he showed signs of life in pre-season with two strong games against the Jaguars and Jets with a +6.4 pass rush grade across those two games netting three sacks, one hit and five hurries on 29 pass rushes in those two games.
Antonio Dixon, DL: Not seeing extended action until the final week of pre-season was never a good sign for Dixon’s chances of making the final roster as they re-tool to run a 3-4 defense. Dixon did however show well in that game (+1.4 overall) but with only 122 snaps in the last two seasons he’ll need the right opportunity to re-establish the form he showed in a breakout 2010 season (+13.4 overall).
Dave King, DL: The Eagles’ seventh round pick got plenty of snaps, his 113 snaps led all Eagles’ defensive linemen, but failed to make his mark given that opportunity as either a run defender (-1.0) or to provide some inside pass rush (-3.1).
Chris McCoy, LB: The former CFL linebacker joins Clay Harbor in heading from the City of Brotherly Love to Jacksonville. The ex-Calgary Stampeder had his best pre-season game against the Jets earning a +2.2 overall grade which included a pair of sacks and a trio of hurries.
Travis Long, LB: The former Washington State Cougar got a sack and a hurry in limited action through the first three pre-season games but came up blank as a pass rusher and missed a tackle in 49 snaps against the Jets. However the Eagles saw enough in practice to bring Long back as part of their practice squad.
Adrian Robinson, LB: After joining from Pittsburgh in a trade that sent Felix Jones the other way Robinson played only 24 of the Eagles’ 89 snaps against the Jets picking up a solitary hurry and a stop in that game. Robinson was claimed off waivers by the Broncos and could feature in the season opener on Thursday.
Trevard Lindley, DB: In his most extended action of pre-season (37 snaps) against the Jets Lindley allowed four of six targets to be completed for 62 yards. Lindley played at right corner in the third pre-season game before switching to LCB in the pre-season finale.
David Sims, DB: Another DB to feature heavily in the final two pre-season games Sims gave up four completions on four targets in those two games for 33 yards and the touchdown he surrendered to the Jaguars.
Jawan Jamison, RB: Was given 16 carries to show what he could do. That’s never a good sign and so it proved. Really didn’t get to see enough of him to evaluate.
Keiland Williams, RB: A mild surprise given his history with the team and versatility, Williams actually ran the ball pretty well in preseason. He broke five tackles on his way to 5.3 yards per carry, with 4.1 of those yards coming after contact. His blocking (-2.2) was terrible and that may have been his undoing. Likely to draw some interest.
Tristan Davis, RB: We never got a chance to see Davis this pre-season as he chose to retire from football at the end of July.
Dezman Briscoe, WR: Getting his chance to shine in the final pre-season game Briscoe got off to a fine start with two catches for 75 yards on three snaps, forcing three missed tackles on those two catches. Briscoe went unclaimed on waivers and is now on injured reserved with the Redskins for the season.
Lance Lewis, WR: Recording 97 snaps in pre-season Lewis got plenty of chances but only hauled in three of the nine targets sent in his direction by the Redskins quarterbacks. Along with Nicky Williams (below) Lewis is one of two receivers on the Redskins’ practice squad.
Nicky Williams, WR: Getting his chance in the slot Williams was targeted on six of his 26 routes run from the slot but only pulled in two of those passes for 20 yards. The only Redskins only kept five receivers on their 53 and those five were always well entrenched.
Skye Dawson, WR: Snaps were hard to come by for Dawson this pre-season with only 24 snaps in total and only eight of those before the pre-season finale. Dawson was targeted four times snagging one of those for 11 yards against the Bucs.
Emmanuel Ogbuehi, TE: The undrafted free agent was the odd man out as the Redskins retained the other four tight ends on their pre-season roster. The die was cast early for Ogbuehi earning only 40 snaps in pre-season compared to an average of 93 snaps for the other four tight ends.
Tony Pashos, OL: Was Pashos ever a good fit for the Redskins zone blocking offense? Perhaps not but he showed signs of 2011 form in pre-season which would have been a big upgrade on what Tyler Polumbus showed last season. Having beaten up on backups for the Redskins to the tune of a +7.9 overall grade Pashos will get a chance to start on the West Coast for the Raiders.
Xavier Nixon, OL: The undrafted free agent from Florida only played 21 snaps after the pre-season opener but in spite of surrendering a hit and two hurries in that game the Redskins see enough in Nixon to sign him to their 100% rookie practice squad.
Tevita Stevens, OL: Only registering 42 snaps and not even reaching 20 snaps in any single game Stevens didn’t necessarily get the chance to earn a roster spot in his first go around.
Kevin Matthews, OL: This pre-season went some way to putting some better games on Matthews’ résumé having performed poorly in a handful of regular season games for the Titans in the last three seasons. Matthews registered a team leading 225 snaps and showed particularly well as a run blocker against the Bills with a +1.7 run block grade.
Dominique Hamilton, DL: The Redskins defensive line was arguably the best position group in the league this pre-season and Hamilton can be pleased with his work. Earning a +2.5 overall grade he picked up a batted pass and two stops in 46 snaps.
Ron Brace, DL: Another victim of the numbers game on the Washington defensive line Brace played 46 snaps like Hamilton and recorded three stops in the pre-season finale against the Bucs.
Chigbo Anonuby, DL: Another star on the defensive line losing out by strength of numbers. Anonuby played 30 of his 44 snaps in the final pre-season game and notched up four defensive stops in that game.
Vic So’oto, LB: Only Bryan Kehl played more than So’oto’s 118 defensive snaps this pre-season among Washington’s linebackers. In 52 pass rushes So’oto only registered four pressures though three of those were hits.
Marvin Burdette, LB: In his first pre-season Burdette played 45 snaps with two thirds of those coming against the Bucs in Week 4. Burdette earned a +1.1 run defense grade against the Bills recording two stops in only five snaps in the run game.
Will Compton, LB: Another addition to the practice squad in the nation’s capital Compton registered 110 snaps and earned a +3.7 run defense grade, among the league’s top five inside linebackers this pre-season.
DeJon Gomes, DB: A starter early in 2012 Gomes bounced around the Redskins’ secondary in pre-season and has ended up on the outs in final cuts. Gomes missed seven tackles and earned a -8.3 overall grade eight starts across 2011 and 2012. A poor pre-season (-3.0 overall) saw Washington move on at safety with the likes of Bacarri Rambo.
Chase Minnifield, DB: Not many players who got cut had a better pre-season than Minnifield and the Redskins fans and hierarchy must have been delighted to see Minnifield survive through waivers and make it back to their practice squad. His +4.0 overall grade this pre-season saw him earn a spot inside our top ten graded corners this pre-season.