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Friday, January 27, 2023


Cowboys lasso another Cougar, sign Cleveland, release Tonga

The Dallas Cowboys let one former Cougar go and brought another one on.

The Cowboys released defensive lineman Matangi Tonga and picked up receiver James Cleveland.

Tonga’s release stems from a failed physical. He had surgery in November to repair a torn meniscus, but appeared to have recovered by the University’s Annual Pro Day in late March. The 6’2, 290 pound Tonga was impressive at the pro day, running a 4.79 in the 40-yard dash. Several other teams, including the 49ers, Packers and Seahawks, have previously expressed interest in Tonga. The 49ers brought Tonga in for a workout a week before the draft to try him out at fullback and the Packers had him running routes at Pro Day. With his versatility and speed for his size, he should catch on with another team soon.

Cleveland becomes the 87th player in Cowboys camp and the 13th receiver. As a junior, he led the Cougars in receptions (104), receiving yards (1,214) and touchdowns (14), but his production slipped last season (57 rec, 800 yds, 6 TD) after losing quarterback Case Keenum for the year.

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