DALLAS -- The Dallas Cowboys Monday relieved Danny White of his punting chores, gave up on a once-promising fullback and said goodbye to a player who gave them 11 years of dedicated service.
'It's always hard to cut a veteran,' said Dallas coach Tom Landry. 'That's one of the hardest things a coach has to do. But you must always do what is best for the team.'
The Cowboys trimmed their roster to the league mandated 49 players Monday and among those cut was Benny Barnes -- who came to the team in 1972 as a free agent and who overcame plaguing foot problems to become a dependable member of the Dallas secondary.
Barnes had already announced he would not play past the 1983 season and as the exhibition season came to a close it became more and more likely that his age (32) was working against him.
He will be replaced as a starter by three-year veteran Dextor Clinkscale.
Also cut Monday were two second-year players -- safety Monty Hunter and fullback George Peoples.
Peoples was an eighth-round draft choice in 1982 who the coaches had hoped would develop into a key member of the team. Hunter, meanwhile, made one of the most critical plays in Dallas' 30-17 playoff win over Tampa Bay last season -- intercepting a pass and returning it 19 yards for a touchdown to put the Cowboys in front in the fourth quarter.
Others waived Monday 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, who can be claimed by another team within a 24-hour peiod.
If he is not claimed, Langston will be placed on the Dallas injured reserve list.
The final roster cut came when kicker Raul Allegre of the University of Texas was traded to the Baltimore Colts for a draft choice.
That left seven rookies on the roster, including free agent punter John Warren from Tennessee.
White, who has been with the Cowboys for seven years and been starting quarterback for three, has been the team's punter during his entire NFL career. But now White will be able to concentrate totally on his quarterbacking duties.
Other rookies making he team were defensive end Jim Jeffcoat of Arizona State (No. 1 draft choice), linebacker Mike Walter of Oregon (No. 2), running back Chuck McSwain from Clemson (No. 5) and offensive tackle Chris Schultz of Arizona (No. 6).
Free agent safety Bill Bates of Tennessee and defensive tackle Mark Tuinei of Hawaii also made the team, as did middle linebacker Scott McLean, who spent all of his rookie season on the injured reserve list.