Houston Texans waive 2020 NFL tackling leader Zach Cunningham

Houston Texans inside linebacker Zach Cunningham (41) tackles Jacksonville Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead (23) during the second half of an NFL football game at Wembley Stadium, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in London. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)

HOUSTON – One year ago, Zach Cunningham led the Houston Texans and the entire league in tackles. On Wednesday, he was waived by the Texans - meaning he’s now up for grabs for any other NFL team.

Cunningham led the league last season with 164 combined tackles, including 106 solo tackles - that also led the NFL - over 16 games. This season, under new head coach David Culley, the veteran linebacker had been benched twice for disciplinary reasons.

“We’ve got standards,” Culley said on Wednesday. “We didn’t feel like those standards had been met consistently. And I feel like I made a decision that is best for the team. It’s about the team. It’s not about any individual.

“It wasn’t tough at all (to make the decision).”

Even though he was benched twice this year, Cunningham was second on the team in tackles in his 10 games played. The Texans had selected the linebacker in the second round, 57th overall, in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Vanderbilt.

“It has nothing to do with production,” Culley said. “It has something to do strictly with not meeting our standards that we have here. He didn’t meet those.”

About the Author:

Born in Canada but raised in Houston, Howard joined KPRC 2 in 2021 after five years at ESPN. Before that, Howard was a reporter on Houston Rockets and Houston Astros game broadcasts. Among the events that Howard has covered on site: the NBA bubble and the Basketball Hall of Fame inductions for both Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He's H-town proud!