The moves Sunday put the Jets' roster at 75 players, the maximum that teams must be at by Tuesday night.
Ford's release was a mild surprise since he was listed as the Jets' top kickoff returner. He was signed in April after having limited action last season in Oakland. Ford had three catches this preseason. Saalim Hakim and Clyde Gates are the top candidates to replace him as New York's kick returner.
Dowling, signed last season to the practice squad, dealt with foot and groin injuries during training camp.