FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys released quarterback Kellen Moore on Saturday, completing undrafted rookie Cooper Rush’s surprising rise to the backup job behind reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott.
The Cowboys sent an undisclosed 2019 draft pick to Cincinnati for cornerback Bene Benwikere while cutting the roster to 53 players. The trade is an indication that several of the rookie defensive backs Dallas drafted might not be ready for the opener Sept. 10 against the New York Giants.
Rush had six touchdown passes without an interception while outplaying Moore, a five-year veteran, in all four preseason games. Moore becomes a free agent and could return to the Cowboys as a third QB.
Defensive ends David Irving and Damontre Moore were placed on the suspended list. Irving will miss the first four games for a performance-enhancing drug violation, and Moore will sit the first two under the substance-abuse policy.
The Cowboys released 14th-year quarterback Luke McCown and waived three of their last four picks from this year’s draft: cornerback Marquez White and defensive tackles Joey Ivie and Jordan Carrell. All three are candidates for the practice squad if they go unclaimed.
Tight end Rico Gathers made the active roster for the first time. The second-year player chose to pursue the NFL after four years as a basketball player at Baylor and a decade away from football.
Gathers, who was on the practice squad last season, scored two touchdowns in the preseason before sustaining a concussion during practice at training camp in Oxnard, California. He remains in the concussion protocol and could be headed to injured reserve to clear a roster spot.
Second-year cornerback Duke Thomas was placed on IR after injuring an ankle and knee in the final preseason game.