Dallas Cowboys waive DT Gerald McCoy after season-ending torn quad tendon

One day after defensive tackle Gerald McCoy suffered a torn quad tendon that would require season-ending surgery, the Dallas Cowboys are moving on from their marquee offseason signing — at least for the time being. 

The Cowboys on Tuesday released McCoy via injury waiver, cutting ties with the expected starter just five months after he signed a three-year, $18.3 million contract.

The team had an injury waiver on McCoy's quad in the contract, allowing it to waive the six-time Pro Bowl selection and nullify any money due to be earned beyond his $3 million signing bonus. McCoy had been set to earn $3.25 million this season, with $2.5 million coming via base salary and $750,000 in roster bonus.

Earlier on Tuesday, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said he expected McCoy to still remain with the team after surgery and contribute in different ways off the field.

"Yes, I do," McCarthy said. "Actually … that was part of our conversation, he expressed not only a desire to be here and be part of what we've started here. Obviously he's very comfortable and this is where he wants to be. That's exactly what he communicated to me."

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) walks off the field after a penalty during the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Bank of America Stadium. (Photo: Jeremy Brevard, USA TODAY Sports)

In a statement he shared with USA TODAY Sports on Monday, McCoy said he wanted to "remain the mentor I am to the young guys and do my part to make sure that this team goes where it needs to."

McCoy, 32, signed with the Cowboys in March and was slated to start on the interior alongside fellow free-agent signing and former Carolina Panthers teammate Dontari Poe. Poe passed his physical on Tuesday, allowing him to be activated from the physically unable to perform list.

McCoy sustained the injury during a drill against fellow lineman Antwaun Woods. McCoy needed assistance to walk off the indoor field of the Star’s Ford Center. 

The 10-year veteran had been a key part of the Cowboys' plans to revamp their defensive line under McCarthy and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Four-time Pro Bowl selection Everson Griffen and Aldon Smith signed in the offseason to provide more help for standout DeMarcus Lawrence off the edge. 

“It’s certainly disappointing,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Monday. “We’re first and foremost disappointed about Gerald, but also it’s disappointing for us. He was one of our major acquisitions there in the offseason in free agency. 

“Unfortunately, that’s why you have to have a deep roster.” 

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