Cowboys Injury Forces Pregame Roster Move for Thanksgiving Game

The Dallas Cowboys made a practice squad elevation before their Thanksgiving game against the Commanders, and it sends a clear message about a defender's injury.
Oct 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse (1) before the game
Oct 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse (1) before the game / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys fans are ready for a great day. Not only is it Thanksgiving, not only is their favorite team playing, not only are they playing a division rival, but they're huge favorites over that division rival, too.

But the glowing optimism of the holiday took a bit of a hit on Wednesday when the team made a roster move with clear ties to an injured defender.

Cowboys News: Jayron Kearse Likely Out, Sheldrick Redwine Elevated

The Cowboys elevated safety Sheldrick Redwine from the practice squad for Thursday's game, which is a clear indication that they are not expecting Jayron Kearse (back) to suit up.

Redwine isn't going to step in and take Kearse's snaps on defense (his absence will mean more work for Malik Hooker and Donovan Wilson), but he will likely see plenty of special teams action.

Redwine is an NFL veteran in his fifth season, and the Cowboys are his sixth team since being drafted in the fourth round in 2019. After appearing in 27 games with the Cleveland Browns over his first two campiagns, he’s largely been a practice squad body, only playing another six combined games over the last three years.  About 70% of the snaps he played over those six games were on special teams.

if you're wondering about the technicals of what "elevated" means, it's that he's not actually been signed to the 53-man roster, but is now eligible to suit up on Thursday. This means the Cowboys don't need to clear a roster spot, but Redwine can be active and play like normal. Practice squad players are allowed three "elevations" before needing to be fully signed to the 53-man roster to appear in another game.

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