Dallas Cowboys Have Cut Former 1st Round Pick Defensive End

Takkarist McKinley

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The Dallas Cowboys have decided to release former Atlanta Falcons first-round pick, defensive end Takk McKinley.

McKinley, who had been with the Cowboys’ practice squad since November, was unable to secure a spot on the team’s regular season roster, ultimately leading to his release.

The 27-year-old McKinley’s recent journey through the NFL has been tumultuous, with stints in Cleveland and Los Angeles before landing in Dallas. However, the Cowboys’ recent signing of former Indianapolis Colts defensive end Ben Banogu left no room for McKinley on the roster.

Since being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft with the 26th overall pick, McKinley hasn’t showcased a ton of ability as a pass rusher. McKinley has struggled to maintain consistent playing time, with his last start dating back to the 2021 season.

During his time in Atlanta, McKinley recorded 79 tackles, 17.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.

McKinley’s professional career has seen him bounce around the league, having also spent time with the Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans. In his 64 career games, McKinley has accumulated a total of 20 sacks.

This release now leaves McKinley on the search for a new team for the upcoming 2023 season.

Despite his ups and downs, McKinley’s potential as a rotational pass-rushing specialist may attract interest from teams in need of bolstering their defensive line.