The Dallas Cowboys drafted three cornerbacks in April to help bolster their depth chart following multiple free agency defections, but they will be without a possible depth piece for potentially the entire season.
Cornerback Leon McFadden has been battling a hamstring injury, and Dallas’ coaching staff decided to place the fifth-year veteran on injured reserve on Tuesday, ESPN.com’s Field Yates reports.
Source: Cowboys DB Leon McFadden (hamstring) has been placed on IR. Was competing for a depth spot on the roster.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 29, 2017
While hamstring injuries generally don’t sideline players for entire seasons, McFadden won’t be factoring into the Cowboys’ immediate plans. Teams can now bring two players off injured reserve during the season after previously being able to place just one on the injury list. But McFadden competing for perhaps Dallas’ final cornerback spot wouldn’t make him a natural candidate to come off IR and contribute down the stretch unless the Cowboys enjoy a season incredibly light on maladies.
The Cowboys and McFadden, once a third-round Cleveland Browns pick in 2013, could negotiate an injury settlement to make him a free agent. The 26-year-old defender is not signed with the Cowboys past 2017, so he could well need to find another team if he’s to salvage his career.
McFadden did not live up to expectations after the Browns took him on Day 2 out of San Diego State in 2013. He played 16 games in Cleveland as a rookie, starting two, but since bounced around — playing for the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, New York Giants in ’15 and in nine games for the Cowboys last season.
Dallas drafted Chidobe Awuzie in Round 2 and Jourdan Lewis in Round 3 in an attempt to restock a corner corps weakened by the departures of Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr. The Cowboys also added Marquez White via sixth-round pick, so McFadden may well have been a cut-weekend casualty soon anyway.