The Dallas Cowboys have released defensive end Benson Mayowa in a move that saves $2.8 million against the salary cap as the team tries to absorb a big raise for 2017 team sacks leader DeMarcus Lawrence.
Mayowa led the team with six sacks in 2016, his first season after signing an offer sheet that Oakland declined to match. But the 26-year-old had just one sack last season with Lawrence emerging as one of the league's best pass rushers in a breakout season.
The Cowboys also released defensive tackle Joe Vellano on Wednesday. Vellano didn't play for Dallas after joining the practice squad in November.
The release of Mayowa came two days after Lawrence signed a $17.1 million, one-year contract under the franchise tag. Mayowa has nine sacks in five seasons, including one with Seattle and two with the Raiders.