Cowboys Cut Kai Forbath, Leaving Greg Zeurlein As Kicker
FRISCO - The COVID-19-forced offseason changes in the NFL will impact every aspect of the game and its participants, not the least of whom are the "bubble guys'' - the members of the present roster who might be robbed of make-the-team opportunities because of altered practice work and the elimination of preseason games.
A few days ago, we wrote on ....
The top five - er, bottom five - members of the Dallas Cowboys who, through no fault of their own - might find themselves riding a popped bubble. Our No. 2 candidate: Kicker Kai Forbath. And on Saturday he was indeed released as Dallas slices its roster toward 80 players.
Our list of On-The-Bubble Trouble:
5) Clayton Thorson QB - The Cowboys new coaching staff needs to pour all of its resources into getting starter Dak Prescott on the same page with Mike McCarthy and company. ... and any leftover time will be likely be spent on rookie Ben DiNucci - thus stealing from Thorson any chance to shine.
In the end, COVID-19 might cause teams to retain more QBs than normal. That would increase Thorson's shot at staying employed via the practice squad. But none of this will help the coaches know exactly what they have in him.
4) Jamize Olawale FB - Does the new coaching staff want a fullback? Olawale had "sponsors'' in the building last year who considered him a difference-maker; they were never quite proven right.
Is there a rookie who can do more - even if his not a "traditional fullback'' than Olawale has done?
3) Ventell Bryant WR - He can from nowhere a year ago to grab an in-season roster spot simply based on the practice-time evidence that he can play special teams. To make the 2020 team, it'll have to be more standout work in the backyard at The Star.
It makes sense for Dallas to keep six receivers. If Bryant is one of them, it'll be based largely on teams play.
2) Kai Forbath K - There are obvious reasons to assume that Greg Zuerlein will be the Cowboys’ kicker for the 2020 season, his Rams connection with new special teams coordinator John Fassel among them. But Forbath spent the second part of last season in Dallas earning a shot at keeping the job ... and now any "pressure kicks'' he makes to prove himself will feature "artificial pressure'' - not the same test.
UPDATE: And now there will be no kicks at all. As part of the move toward 80, Forbath is out, as are long-snapper Joe Fortunato, Azur Kamara (injured reserve) and Saivion Smith (reserve/COVID-19 list).
1) Mitch Hyatt OL - The scouting department has changed, and that group considered Hyatt a UDFA steal a year ago. But the previous coaching administration needed to see him get bigger and stronger. And this administration will want to see him play - something rendered pretty much impossible in this COVID-19 era.
Worth noting: Outside of Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and La'el Collins, the rest of the Dallas O-line faces questions here. Some are about making the team, others about changing positions, others about starting roles.
There will be a great unknown here for the new coaching staff ... and especially for players who don't have "sponsors'' - advocates at The Star who are carryovers from the previous staff - a great employment unknown for them as well.