McFadden was a healthy scratch the past two weeks. The 30-year-old back has just one carry in one game played this season.
"Darren's been a real good player for us and has been just a first-class guy on our football team," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, per the team's official website. "We had some good discussions the last couple days. We just felt like it was in the best interest of our team and really the best interest of Darren McFadden as well to release him and give him another opportunity go somewhere else."
Initially viewed as a possible committee runner during Ezekiel Elliott's suspension, McFadden never got a chance with Dallas preferring Rod Smith as the primary backup to Alfred Morris. McFadden has played in just three games the past two years after rushing for 1,089 yards in 2015.
The running back will hit waivers where an RB-needy playoff team could add the veteran for the stretch run. While McFadden could be part of a committee, we shouldn't expect a large role for a veteran who has 85 total rushing yards the past two seasons.
The Cowboys had little need to keep McFadden on the roster. Morris has proven he can carry the load until Elliott returns. Smith's role has increased each week, and the Cowboys prefer him as a three-down threat behind Morris.
The tinkering with the roster isn't ending with McFadden's departure. The team also is demoting cornerback Anthony Brown and will sign pass-rusher Datone Jones, sources informed of the moves told Rapoport.