Former Tarleton State quarterback Richard Bartel has been signed to the Dallas Cowboys as a member of the practice squad for the 2007 season.

Bartel has been working out with the team throughout training camp and the preseason, but was cut when the organization trimmed its roster to the NFL limit of 53 players for the beginning of the regular season. He was one of 22 players cut Saturday, only seven of which were invited to join the practice team.

“I think this shows everyone the level of football being played in our program right now,” Tarleton Director of Athletics Lonn Reisman said. “This gives our program the type of national visibility we like to have.”

Bartel’s best performance in a Cowboys’ uniform came in their fourth preseason game at Minnesota last week. The Grapevine native completed 11 of 13 pass atempts, including a stretch of 10 consecutive completions.

During his two seasons at the helm of the offense at Tarleton, Bartel completed 59.4-percent of his pass attempts, placing him third on the school’s all-time list. He threw for 3,906 yards in 20 games, and tallied 28 touchdown passes. He compiled an efficiency rating of 135.41 as a junior in 2005, followed by a 129.95 rating during his senior campaign last fall.

Before coming to Tarleton, Bartel was a star at class 5A Grapevine High School in the DFW Metroplex, and signed to play at NCAA Division I SMU in Dallas. He spent time in the professional baseball ranks at the minor league level before transferring to Tarleton and focusing solely on football.

Bartel joins a growing list of Texans in the NFL. Former Tarleton running back Derrick Ross is currently entering his second season with the Kansas City Chiefs after earning Co-Offensive MVP honors in NFL Europe over the off-season. The Texans are also represented in the league by James Dearth, a tight end who begins his sixth season as the deep snapper and back-up tight end for the New York Jets.