IRVING, Texas – Brady Poppinga did not need long to get adjusted to being a member of the Dallas Cowboys defense.
“For me, one step,” said Poppinga, who signed Monday after the Cowboys placed Bruce Carter on injured reserve.
He wasn’t joking.
“Guys, I’ve been doing this since I was 5 years old,” Poppinga said. “Imagine doing something since you were 5 and getting back into it. It’s like riding a bike. That’s probably the best example I can give as to what it’s like to step on the football field after being out for 10 months.”
Poppinga worked out for Kansas City and was nearly signed by the Cowboys earlier in the month before they opted for Gary Guyton instead. Guyton was released before he could play in a game.
The Cowboys opted for Poppinga this time because of his experience. He spent his first six years in Green Bay and started 12 games for St. Louis last year. He developed a training program that he hopes kept him in proper game shape so as he won’t need a long time to get ready to play.
“I’ve been taught very well by my position coaches, by my strength and conditioning coaches, and from them I formulated a plan customized to how I like to feel,” Poppinga said. “So I call it Batman shape. Meaning when you get the call, boom, I put the mask on and I go. I’ve got the mask on, and here I am.”
The time away from the game was difficult.
“Gosh, you kidding me?” Poppinga said. “You won’t believe how many times I wanted to run through a door and blast something, but you’ve got to have patience and you’ve got to understand when you’re a regular civilian in this world you can’t break laws and break doors and you’ve got to hold your aggression inside of you.”
IRVING — Former Carrollton Newman Smith receiver Anthony Armstrong said Monday it feels good to be back home and playing for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys released wide receiver Andre Holmes and signed Armstrong to fill the roster spot. Armstrong immediately becomes the Cowboys’ fastest player.
Armstrong was asked Monday what’s the fastest 40-yard dash time he’s ever run and he said it was a 4.25. He said he did it in 2007 and it’s what helped him catch the eyes of Dallas Desperados coach Will McClay, who is now the Cowboys’ director of football research. McClay helped get Armstrong a workout with the Cowboys last week.
But what is Armstrong’s 40 time now?
“Well, it’s still fast enough,” Armstrong said. “I wanted to get to the point where I didn’t have to run the 40 in a workout. I can still run down the field and actually catch a deep ball, so we’re looking to do that again.”
Armstrong is expected to immediately help the Cowboys on special teams and work his way into the offense.
“I hold myself to a pretty high standard. I think I can catch on to the offense pretty well,” Armstrong said. “From what I’ve seen so far, the way the system is, it makes it easy to catch on and hopefully I’ll be able to get plugged in right away and make an impact soon.”
Armstrong said that when he played college football at West Texas A&M, Cowboys assistant offensive line coach Wes Phillips was an assistant coach for the school (2004-05).
Armstrong said that when he saw Cowboys receiver Miles Austin leave Thursday’s game with a right hip injury he knew that he could soon get a call to join the Cowboys.
“I saw that and I started stretching actually,” Armstrong said. “I was eating Thanksgiving dinner and I was like, ‘This happened, and I might be participating a lot sooner than some may have expected.’ But I’m ready for the challenge. It’s always exciting to go to a new team and learn new things. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Armstrong said he still has gear from his Dallas Desperados days. Armstrong played for three previous NFL teams in Washington, Miami and — most recently — Jacksonville.
“I have gear from everywhere still,” Armstrong said. “I figure if I’m going somewhere I might as well swipe some shirts while I’m there. It makes for good pajamas.”
IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys returned from an extended holiday break with a lot of roster moves taking place here at Valley Ranch.
The biggest includes linebacker Bruce Carter, whose season has ended with an elbow injury. Carter is going to injured reserve and will likely require surgery.
The Cowboys have signed two players – veteran linebacker Brady Poppinga and wide receiver Anthony Armstrong to the 53-man roster.
They will take the place of Carter and recently-cut wide receiver Andre Holmes.
The Cowboys also made two moves on the practice squad, placing wide receiver Danny Coale (hamstring) on injured reserve and signing cornerback Reggie Evans. They still have an open spot on the practice squad and could retain Holmes if he clears waivers.
Carter becomes the fourth defensive starter to land on injured reserve, along with Barry Church, Kenyon Coleman and Sean Lee. Carter was blossoming into a defensive stalwart in the middle before the injury last Thursday, which occurred in the third quarter.
The Cowboys are now left with Dan Connor, Ernie Sims, Alex Albright, and now Poppinga, who played six years with the Packers (2005-10) and had 12 starts last year with the Rams.
As for Armstrong, he should be able to provide some deep speed to the receiver position. He was recently cut by the Dolphins but spent two years in Washington from 2009-10 where he caught 51 passes for a 19.1 yard average and five touchdowns.
Armstrong played with the Dallas Desperados, a now defunct Arena League team owned by Jerry Jones and operated by many members of the Cowboys’ organization. Armstrong was head coached in Dallas by Will McClay, who now serves in the pro scouting department for the Cowboys as director of football research.
RELATED: Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter broke bone in elbow
Bruce Carter did more than dislocate his elbow.
The Cowboys linebacker broke a bone in his elbow that will require surgery later this week.
The club initially hoped if the ligament damage wasn’t too extensive that Carter would be able to return in two weeks. But the broken bone prolongs his recovery period into the off-season, which is why he was placed on injured reserve.
No timetable has been established. But Carter should be cleared to participate when the team begins organized team activities in the spring.