DALLAS -- The Dallas Cowboys Monday waived 11-year veteran safety Benny Barnes in order to trim their squad to the required 49 players, keeping seven rookies on the squad.
Barnes has been a fixture in the Cowboys' defensive backfield for the better part of a decade, but he had announced during the summer that this would be his last season with the team.
The emergence of Dextor Clinkscale at safety, along with the promise shown by free agent Bill Bates, made Barnes expendable.
'Sometimes you have to keep young players over veterans for developmental purposes,' said Dallas coach Tom Landry. 'It's always hard to cut a veteran. That one of the hardest things a coach has to do. But you must always do what is best for the team.'
The Cowboys also waived second-year safety Monte Hunter and second-year fullback George Peoples.
Rookies waived were free agent tight end Cleo Simmons of Jackson State, free agent quarterback Brian Ransom of Tennessee State and free agent wide receiver Keith Hugger of Connecticut. The Cowboys waived injured defensive tackle Mike Langston of Arizona State. He can be claimed by another team within a 24-hour peiod, but if he is not claimed he goes on the Dallas injured reserve list.
Bates, a free agent defensive back from Tennessee, was one of the stars of training camp. He caused a fumble last Saturday night late in the fourth quarter that was a key part in Dallas' comeback 34-31 win over the Houston Oilers.
Other free agents making the team were defensive tackle Mark Tuinei of Hawaii and punter John Warren of Tennessee.
Warren thus takes over the punting duties that for the past seven years have been handled by quarterback Danny White.
Draft choices making the team included defensive end Jim Jeffcoat of Arizona State (the team's No. 1 selection), linebacker Mike Walter of Oregon (No. 2), running back Chuck McSwain from Clemson (No. 5) and tackle Chris Schultz of Arizona (No. 6).
Scott McLean, who spent all of his rookie season on the injured reserve list, also made the team as the Cowboys' backup middle linebacker.