In a surprising turn of events, the Dallas Cowboys have announced the release of linebacker Rashaan Evans. This move comes just a day after Evans' arrest in Frisco, Texas, for a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession. Evans, a former first-round draft pick, was let go by the Cowboys on Wednesday, raising questions about the timing and reasons behind the decision.
Evans, originally selected by the Tennessee Titans as the 22nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, had a notable tenure with the Titans. During his four seasons in Tennessee, he established himself as a significant presence in their linebacker corps.
His career trajectory took an upward turn in 2022 when he recorded a personal best of 159 tackles while playing for the Atlanta Falcons. Despite his on-field achievements, the 2023 season has been tumultuous for Evans. After remaining unsigned in the offseason, he briefly joined the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad in September, only to be released within three days.
The Cowboys then signed him in October, initially to their practice squad, to bolster their linebacker depth following a season-ending neck injury to starter Leighton Vander Esch. Evans was promoted to the active roster in November and went on to appear in nine games, making a start in one of them and accumulating nine tackles.
Cowboys Prioritize Roster Strategy
The Cowboys' head coach, Mike McCarthy, and team officials have downplayed the connection between Evans' arrest and his release. They suggest that the decision to let Evans go was influenced more by the team's roster adjustments, particularly highlighting the activation of offensive tackle Matt Waletzko from injured reserve.
While the official stance of the Cowboys points to strategic roster management, the timing of Evans' release closely following his legal troubles cannot be overlooked. This development could impact his future in the NFL, as teams often weigh personal conduct alongside on-field performance when considering players for their rosters.
The NFL community and fans are left to speculate on the full implications of this decision, both for Evans and the Cowboys. As the team moves forward without Evans, it remains to be seen how this will affect their defensive strategy and overall team dynamics in the upcoming games.