Malik Jefferson's winding football journey has returned him home.
Jefferson, a Mesquite, Texas, native and University of Texas product, has signed with the Dallas Cowboys, the team announced. The team waived running back JaQuan Hardy in a corresponding move.
The former five-star high school recruit and Longhorns standout has learned quite a bit about the ups and downs of the NFL since joining the league in 2018 as a third-round pick of the Bengals. Jefferson lasted just one season with Cincinnati before being waived during final roster cuts in 2019, then landed in the opposite corner of the state with the Browns for the next two months before again being waived.
He's since played for the Chargers (in two separate stints), Titans and Colts, bouncing between practice squad and active roster spots.
A return to his home state means the former second-team All-American and Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year will receive another chance to make an active NFL roster. This time, Jefferson will attempt to do so under the guidance of defensive mastermind Dan Quinn.
- The Washington Commanders have agreed to terms with defensive back DeJuan Neal, who has recently played in the XFL and USFL, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, per his agent Sean Stellato. The team waived defensive backs Nijuel Hill and Devin Taylor.
- Former Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz announced his retirement after nine NFL seasons.