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Cardinals Release Colt McCoy As Final Cuts Begin

Gannon says he won't be naming starting QB publicly ahead of opener

Colt McCoy throws a pass during practice last week in Minnesota.
Colt McCoy throws a pass during practice last week in Minnesota.

Jonathan Gannon was asked multiple times if Colt McCoy was going to be the starting quarterback, and multiple times the Cardinals coach said the team wasn't naming starters yet.

The reasoning became clear on Monday, when the team began cutting to a 53-man roster by releasing McCoy.

Not that a decision will be announced anyway. While it is down to newcomer Joshua Dobbs and rookie Clayton Tune to start against Washington in Week 1, Gannon said it will remain unsaid publically.

"I won't name a starter because I think it's a competitive advantage for us going to Washington," Gannon said.

"We have a plan in place, but I want to see them play football still," Gannon said of the Dobbs-Tune competition. "We have some work this week and the following week we have some work. So I feel good with that."

The Cardinals are going to keep Kyler Murray on PUP to start the season, Gannon confirmed, so David Blough's chances to make the team also jumped.

Also released by the Cardinals on Monday were defensive backs Sean Chandler and Nate Hairston. Center Pat Elflein was placed on injured reserve, ending his season.

McCoy had been the No. 1 quarterback through the entire offseason and training camp. While Tune was always given the chance to compete for the starting job, he never usurped McCoy for all the No. 1 snaps. But when the team traded for Dobbs last week -- a player they had tried to acquire as a free agent in March -- it immediately changed the dynamic of what might happen on the QB depth chart.

"We look at the full body of work, evaluate our guys, production goes into that, and felt like it was the best decision for the team," Gannon said, calling McCoy "awesome" and a "pro's pro."

McCoy had battled elbow issues through the offseason but other than having a couple of practice days where he worked but didn't actually throw the ball, he did not miss any practice time. In his brief appearances in two preseason games, he completed 9-of-12 passes for 42 yards.

Gannon said he didn't think the elbow was a factor.

Gannon said Dobbs can fit what the Cardinals are planning to do, and has a working relationship with offensive coordinator Drew Petzing from last year in Cleveland, as well as QB coach Israel Woolfork.

"He's a mobile guy that understands the system," Gannon said. "He can makes throws and play inside of the pocket and outside of the pocket and that's what we are looking for."

The Cardinals have to be down to a 53-man roster by 1 p.m. Arizona time on Tuesday. They have a walkthrough on Tuesday and then practice on Wednesday and Thursday.


Gannon said offensive linemen Jon Gaines II (knee) and Dennis Daley (ankle) are still being evaluated for the seriousness of their injuries,