NFL PRO SCOUTING REPORT: A closer look at your newest Dallas Cowboy – DT Corvey Irvin | DE Caesar Rayford brought back
Corvey Irvin DT, Georgia 6-3 301 4.96 (40 time)
Selected by Carolina Panthers in 3rd round of 2009 NFL Draft
The Dallas Cowboys have added another defensive tackle to the roster, by signing tackle Corvey Irvin, a former third-round pick of the Panthers in 2009. Former NFL scout Bryan Broaddus checked a few of his recent games this past preseason as a member of the Chicago Bears.
Games Viewed: Chicago Bears (Preseason 2013) vs. Carolina & San Diego
- Played both as a one and three technique in a 4 – 3 scheme, would say that he is better suited to play as the three.
- Really nice initial quickness off the snap but needs to win on that first move.
- Tends to play high and upright, when he gives up his chest, he struggles to get off the block.
- When he is free, can get up the field and make things happen, keeps moving and working, did a nice job of working down the line.
- Thought he was a bit hit-and-miss when it came to finding the ball, there were times where he was too tied up with blocker and by him.
- Better when he was on the move, twist, slant, will use pass rush moves to try and free himself, will even try to spin, active here.
- Thought he was much better as a pass rusher than he was as a run player, times where he got too high and washed on the play.
- Needs to do a better job of using his hands when it comes to getting off blocks when playing against the run, again needs to win on that first move.
- Fits the scheme because of his ability to quickly get off the ball, attacking the blocker, but needs to play with better stoutness.
ROSTER RELATED: Cowboys bring back DE Caesar Rayford to practice squad
The Dallas Cowboys added 6’ 7” defensive end Caesar Rayford to the practice squad today. Rayford was cut from the active roster Tuesday to make room for DT Corvey Irvin.
He had originally been acquired Sept. 3 in a trade with Indianapolis. The Dallas Cowboys sent a 2015 conditional pick to the Colts in exchange for him. Rayford appeared in seven games, playing 147 snaps. He made six tackles and contributed one quarterback pressure.
IRVING, Texas — Since May 16, the Dallas Cowboys have signed, traded, acquired, put on injured reserve or released 28 defensive linemen. They saw another, Josh Brent, retire on July 18.
Everett Dawkins and Hall Davis are the latest additions. Dawkins was signed off the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad to the active roster, and Davis filled the final practice-squad vacancy.
There has been an incredible amount of movement on the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive line. If you remember the Travis Chappelear era consider yourself fortunate.
Check out these transactions by date involving only the defensive line:
May 16 – Signed Anthony Hargrove
June 5 – Waived/injured Robert Callaway
June 11 – Signed Jeris Pendleton
June 20 – Cut Hargrove
June 25 – Signed Jerome Long
July 18 – Josh Brent retired
July 26 – Signed George Selvie and Landon Cohen
July 31 – Cut Ike Igbinosun, signed Toby Jackson
Aug. 1 – Waived/injured Cameron Sheffield
Aug. 6 – Waived Monte Taylor, signed Jabari Fletcher
Aug. 12 – Signed Travis Chappelear
Aug. 13 – Claimed Thaddeus Gibson
Aug. 19 – Waived Chappelear, Jackson
Aug. 21 – Signed Jason Vega
Aug. 26 – Cut Pendleton
Aug. 31 – Cut Fletcher, Gibson, Long, Vega; acquired Edgar Jones from Kansas City
Sept. 1 – Traded Sean Lissemore to San Diego
Sept. 2 – Signed Vega to practice squad
Sept. 3 – Acquired Caesar Rayford from Indianapolis
Sept. 5 – Chappelear waived off injured reserve
Sept. 7 – Placed Ben Bass on injured reserve; re-signed Long
Sept. 17 – Cut Cohen, signed David Carter
Sept. 24 – Cut Long, signed Drake Nevis
Sept. 25 – Placed Anthony Spencer on injured reserve
Oct. 15 – Cut Carter, Signed Jarius Wynn
Oct. 16 – Released Ratliff off reserve/PUP
Oct. 18 – Signed Vega off practice squad; placed Jones on IR to return list
Oct. 21 – Signed Marvin Austin
Oct. 29 – Released Vega; signed Everette Brown
Oct. 31 – Signed Vega to practice squad
Nov. 5 – Cut Austin
2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas Cowboys sign Everett Dawkins from Vikings practice squad | Manley and Davis fill practice squad
IRVING, Texas – Who’s next to join the Dallas Cowboys’ always-rotating defensive line carousel?
That would be Everett Dawkins, a rookie defensive tackle from Florida State who has been on the Vikings practice squad. Dawkins, a seventh-round pick (229th overall) in 2013, fills the spot vacated by Marvin Austin, who was placed on the waived/injured list on Tuesday because of a back injury he sustained in the last game against Minnesota.
Dawkins (6-2, 300) would be the 17th defensive linemen to play for the Dallas Cowboys this year, assuming he will be ready to get snaps this week against the Saints.
Last week, the Dallas Cowboys signed Everette Brown, a defensive end off the street who came right in and played meaningful snaps. He even had a key sack and forced fumble late in the game against the Vikings.
Currently at tackle, the Cowboys have starters Jason Hatcher and Nick Hayden, both of whom have been dealing with injuries. Hatcher left the game last week with a neck stinger that has plagued him for several weeks. Hayden had to miss a few plays with a lingering back issue but returned and scored his first career touchdown.
Drake Nevis has been in the rotation as well along with Austin, who suffered the back injury in pre-game warm-ups and didn’t play in the game.
In college, Dawkins played 54 games for the Seminoles in four years, playing mostly the three-technique. He only had five career sacks and 11 tackles for loss.
But coming out of the draft, he was considered a high-motor player that would get picked in the middle rounds, but fell to the seventh. However, the Dallas Cowboys had a third-round grade on him.
The Cowboys also signed a pair of players to the practice squad. Guard Phillip Keith Manley (Atlanta Falcons), from Toledo, and Cleveland’s defensive end Hall Davis (Louisiana-Lafayette) were added to fill out the eight-man squad.
Everett Dawkins: Height: 6-2 Weight: 300 Age: 23 College: Florida State
Phillip Keith Manley: Height: 6-5 Weight: 309 Age: 23 College: Toledo
Hall Davis: Height: 6-4 Weight: 270 Age: 26 College: Louisiana-Lafayette
2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Miami Dolphins sign David Arkin from Dallas practice squad | Injured defensive tackle Marvin Austin released
The 2011 fourth-round pick from Missouri State was released by the team on Oct. 26 to make room for safety Jakar Hamilton on the 53-man roster. Arkin then returned to the Cowboys’ practice squad two days later.
Arkin was inactive for six of his seven games this year on the 53-man roster and never played in a regular season game for the Cowboys. He appeared to be taking strides this preseason from where he was at in past years.
Given the recent goings-on in Miami and the suspension of offensive lineman Richie Incognito, the Dolphins are looking for all the depth they can get.
The Dallas Cowboys also parted ways today with defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who was waived/injured.
Austin signed with the Cowboys on Oct. 21 and played that weekend against the Lions, finishing with a tackle. He was unable to push through a back injury Sunday against the Vikings that bothered him in practice late in the week.
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick had arguably the best game of his career Sunday against the Vikings. Five tackles, four pass deflections and an interception. Most importantly, he made plays on an astonishing nine of ten opportunities in the game.
He was given a defensive game ball by the Cowboys. He also graded as the second-best cornerback in NFL for his play this week by Pro Football Focus.
“He played really well,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Probably his best game. He got the defensive game ball. He showed up in a lot of different ways. There are a lot of different ways that we evaluate and grade our players. One of them on defense with the defensive backs is there were 10 chances that went his way and he won nine of them. He had three pass breakups, an interception, a critical tackle at the end of the ballgame. He was very active throughout the game.”
It was the continuation of what has been a strong season by Scandrick who has been one of the team’s most consistent defensive performers along with linebacker Sean Lee, defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and cornerback Brandon Carr.
Scandrick attributes his strong play to being named a full-time starter for the first time in his career. The six-year veteran replaced a struggling Morris Claiborne in Week 2 and has not looked back.
Scandrick said there is a certain freedom in your play when you don’t have to look over your shoulder every time you make a mistake. Starting has only boosted his already sky-high confidence and allowing him to play loose and focus only on making plays.
The Dallas Cowboys continue to add defensive linemen who were former highly regarded draft picks.
Defensive end Everette Brown, a former second-round pick in 2009, was signed by the Cowboys, who released defensive end Jason Vega to make room on the roster.
Brown, a former Florida State defender, appeared in 28 games and made three starts during his two years with the Carolina Panthers, who drafted him. He recorded 35 tackles, six sacks, an interception and three forced fumbles before going to the Chargers in 2011.
He was released in March 2012 and signed with Detroit later that month, but he was released at the end of training camp and spent that year out of football. Brown was released by the Eagles during final camp cuts this year.
The Cowboys had brought Vega up from the practice squad for two games, and he posted two tackles in those appearances.
The team also released practice squad running back Davin Meggett.
SCOUTING REPORT: A closer look at Everette Brown:
6-2, 263 pounds with a 4.65 40-yard dash out of Florida State. Had 13.5 sacks his junior year for the Seminoles.
Drafted in the second round by the Carolina Panthers in 2009. Released two seasons later. Spent time in San Diego, Detroit and recently Philadelphia.
Report based on games studied from Philadelphia’s 2013 preseason: New England, Carolina, Jacksonville, New York Jets.
- Played as an outside linebacker for the Eagles in their 3-4 scheme. Had some rushes where he put his hand on the ground and was used as a nickel rusher.
- Will play as a defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys in their 4-3 scheme.
- Physically, he has some length to his body, long arms, doesn’t look like he is carrying 263 pounds and doesn’t look overly big or thick.
- Was a much better player with his hand on the ground than he was playing in a two point stance. He showed some surprising power walking the tackle back for Carolina. When put his head down, got his hands inside the framework and pushed, he made some things happen, but he’s not going to make a living walking tackles back. He will need to play on the edge and not attack blockers down the middle. When he loses his momentum, he can have some issues.
- Has the quickness to get to the edge, stays active, showed a quick inside move, can be used on twist stunts to make something happen, will sharpen the corner on his rush.
- Will run the play down from the backside, can dip his shoulder, then work around the blocker, doesn’t give you much hitting surface on his rush when he dips his shoulder, will chase the ball when he is free.
- Can use a spin move going a couple of different ways to try and free himself from blockers.
- Doesn’t always play strong. His biggest problem was getting rid of blockers more quickly in the running game. He’s much better playing off tight ends and fullbacks than he is tackles. Does not play with enough strength to go toe-to-toe with a tackle and expect to be productive – he needs to beat them quickly before they get their hands on him.
- Best work is as a pass rusher — had some really nice edge rushes against the Jets, showed a burst getting around the tackle and slapping the ball out of the quarterback’s hand. He can cause some problems when he is near or around the quarterback.
- When he was in position to make a tackle, he was able to wrap up and get his man on the ground.
Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst/Scout
2013-2014 COWBOYS ROSTER: Dallas RG Brian Waters is out for the season; Mackenzy Bernadeau back in lineup
Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Brian Waters is out for the year, owner Jerry Jones confirmed on his radio show today.
Waters, 36, had started the past five games at right guard. Waters injured his knee and his ribs during Sunday’s loss to the Lions, but it was a triceps injury that had concerned the Dallas Cowboys the most. As it turns out, they were right to be concerned.
Mackenzy Bernadeau will return to the starting lineup, and Jones said the Cowboys will look to their practice squad for depth. They released guard David Arkin on Saturday and signed him back to the practice squad yesterday.
“[Bernadeau] started for us the entire year last year and played well, came in and played about 20 snaps and played well yesterday,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “Then, we’ll look to what we do with depth off our practice squad.”
Bernadeau started 19 consecutive games after signing a four-year, $11 million deal with the Cowboys during the 2012 off-season. But he lost his job to Waters in Week 4 after Waters got back into football shape.
Now, it’s Bernadeau’s turn again.
“It’s an adjustment just for the fact that you go from being in the game all the time to being on the sideline and waiting around,” Bernadeau said Monday. “You never want anybody to go down and get hurt. At the same time, when your number is called, you’ve got to be prepped, and that’s how I’ll be.”
Waters missed the 2012 season and all of training camp this year. He signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys on Sept. 4, the week of the season opener against the Giants.
The Cowboys have been pleased with Waters, not only for his play on the field, but for how he has taken their young offensive linemen under his wing.
“He’s done a lot,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Maybe as much as anything else, it’s his demeanor. He’s a guy that plays the game the right way. He’s physical. He’s tough. He knows what to do. He plays with a little bit of an edge to him, and that’s a positive thing, and I’ve talked to our team about it. It’s contiguous. You get a guy like that who can do it again and again and again, always kind of making an impression, trying to break their will, and other guys see that it’s OK, and it’s a good thing to do. It’s good for your team. He’s good for the offensive line, and he’s good for everybody on our team. He’s had a real positive influence.”
NEXT MAN UP: With Morris Claiborne out, Dallas Cowboys counting on rookie B.W. Webb to play in the slot
B.W. Webb got his feet wet on special teams. He played 75 snaps on special teams the first seven games, but the Cowboys didn’t need him on defense, limiting him to only 31 of 504 defensive snaps.
Now, the Dallas Cowboys need their fourth-round draft pick.
Morris Claiborne will miss the next two games with a hamstring injury. Claiborne watched from the sideline at the end of Sunday’s game as Webb played 39 of 80 snaps.
Webb was thrown into the fire against Calvin Johnson, who set the single-season record for receiving yards in 2012 and had the second-biggest receiving day in NFL history against the Cowboys on Sunday.
“I tried not to think about it too much,” Webb said. “It didn’t bother me too much. It’s just another guy out there. I mean, I understand it’s Calvin Johnson and everything, but I try not to focus on the person too much when I’m playing.”
Webb, a William & Mary product, caused the Cowboys to use a timeout coming out of a TV timeout at the start of the fourth quarter when he wasn’t on the field.
“That was on me,” Webb said of his rookie mistake.
He ended up with three tackles.
Webb said he is ready for his opportunity to play more. He will play in the slot in the Cowboys’ nickel packages, with Orlando Scandrick staying outside.
“It’s a huge opportunity just to get on the field and showcase what I really can do,” Webb said.
Webb led the team with three pass breakups in the preseason, and he also contributed an interception. It got him ready for what he’s about to face this week against the Vikings.
“I think I showed a little bit,” Webb said. “I’ve been working on my craft since then, and I think I’ve gotten a lot better. …I think I’ve come a long way.”
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys made the decision to cut David Arkin on Saturday because they needed the roster spot. But they haven’t completely given up on their three-year investment.
The Cowboys decided to bring back Arkin on the practice squad today. Arkin has only been active for eight games in his career but has yet to play a single snap, which gives him practice-squad eligibility despite this being his third season with the club.
The Cowboys cut Arkin to make room for rookie safety Jakar Hamilton, who played because of an injury to J.J. Wilcox. Hamilton will likely stay up on the roster with Wilcox’s status uncertain and now Barry Church has a hamstring injury.
“We got to the point where we needed a safety based on our safety situation,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “And that was the one we felt we could make that move on the 11th hour and hopefully he can get past through and we can bring him back and put him on our practice roster and we’ve invested in him and we do like him.”
Garrett was asked if he was disappointed in Arkin’s progress, considering he was a fourth-round pick in 2011 and has yet to contribute in the regular season.
“There’s probably nobody on our football team who works harder and is more committed than David Arkin,” Garrett said. “He’s the right kind of guy and he’s working at it and he’s getting better. I think he has improved over the last couple of years and that’s why we’re happy to get him back and put him back on the practice roster and continue that development.”
During the last two training camps and preseasons, Arkin received more practice reps than any other linemen the last two years. With an abundance of injuries on the line, Arkin has played both at guard and center. This past summer, he was mostly at guard. He started the first preseason game at right guard, then started the third and fifth games at left guard.
The year before, he started the first three preseason games at center.
NFL TRADE DEALINE APPROACHING: Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones open to a trade, but it’s got to fit salary cap
The Dallas Cowboys are open to making a trade before the Tuesday deadline, but making it work with their salary-cap situation is another matter entirely.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the defensive line is the obvious spot the Cowboys would be willing to listen to offers.
“We’re certainly open to it,” Jones said Friday. “I know our guys are working back there. I’m working. If the right situation presented itself, we would certainly do something. I mean, it’s no secret we’re moving a lot of guys in and out in our defensive line and that will probably continue to be the case. I think we already have some workouts scheduled for Monday. We’re just taking a look at guys. [Defensive line coach] Rod [Marinelli] is doing a heck of a job. I admire our young guys that are in there playing hard. To some degree, it’s a good situation. The guys know it’s week to week, and they’ve got to play hard and give it their best and play the right style of defense. You’ve got to admire what that group is getting accomplished. But we certainly would look at any type of situation there if the right deal was there, but we also can’t, for a quick fix, do something that would hurt long term.”
The Dallas Cowboys are only $2 million under the $123 million salary cap. They are projected to be $31 million over next year’s cap.
“At the end of the day it’s got to fit our cap, and that’s another thing,” Jones said. “It would have to really just fit right to sacrifice our cap some, because it will be an issue for us next year, and we certainly manage our salary cap hand in hand with ’13, ’14 and ’15 all side by side as we manage and we see how that affects each year.”
The player also would have to be the right fit on the field. A new player, no matter how talented and experienced, enters as a rookie in terms of his knowledge of the team’s playbook.
The Colts recently made a splash by trading for former first-round pick Trent Richardson, but in four games with Indianapolis, Richardson has rushed for 228 yards on 75 carries and has lost a fumble.
“You have to measure everything,” Jones said. “You have to measure the cap but I think people are getting more and more skilled at that in terms of how they look at it and know that if you trade for a guy he’s got to fit. He’s got to fit under the cap. He’s got to fit under improving your team and I think teams are understanding that and that’s why you’re probably seeing more trades but it’s certainly not as easy as it would be if you didn’t have a salary cap but I don’t think we’re ever going to have to worry about that again. As far as I’m concerned it looks like we’re going to have a salary cap for a long time.”
(Watch Video | Play Audio)
Stephen Jones on NFL Trade Deadline options and Jay Ratliff
Stephen Jones spoke with the media about the legal issues involving Jay Ratliff, and what the team is looking at heading into the NFL Trade Deadline.
Brian Waters had not played football in a year and a half when he signed with the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 4. It took him a couple of weeks, but playing guard apparently is like riding a bike for him. He has not missed a beat since taking over as the starting right guard in Week 4.
“He’s pretty darn close to being back to himself,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Friday. “There’s no question about that. That was a concern, or something we talked about a lot, in bringing him back, understanding that he hadn’t played last year and didn’t go through training camp. We have a tremendous respect for the game and the level of competition that goes on every Sunday afternoon. So guys have to be ready to do that. He’s done it really well for a long time. So he had to get back in football shape and just move around and really get his feet underneath him, get his hands back, all that stuff that came so naturally to him for a long time. If you haven’t done it, it just takes you a little bit to get it back.
“I think conditioning, as much as anything else, was an issue for any player in his position. He was surprisingly in very good shape, wasn’t overweight when he first came back. He had to lose a little bit of weight, but more than anything else just get comfortable playing ball again. I think he’s done that over the last few weeks.”
Waters, 36, sat out the 2012 season, returning to football when the Dallas Cowboys signed him to a one-year, $3 million deal. The six-time Pro Bowler has allowed two sacks, according to STATS, and has one holding penalty.
“I’m working just like everybody else,” Waters said. “I’m trying to get better and better. There are some things in my game that I really feel like I need to fix. But I think that’s everybody. We’re Week 7. It’s a long season still yet, and hopefully we’ll have an extended part of our season. I’ve always said you want to be at your best at the end of the season, not at the beginning of the season, not in the middle. We definitely have a ways to go and individually I have a ways to go as well.”
Waters has no regrets about returning. He already lived in Dallas, so it was coming home in a way.
“I’m excited about that,” Waters said. “I’m still ecstatic.”
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Offensive Line Ready To Face Their Biggest Test
Go inside the Dallas Cowboys locker room to see how the offensive line feels about their toughest test of the season so far.
DALLAS COWBOYS RISING STAR: Marinelli Misfit George Selvie making a name for himself in Texas-2 Defense
IRVING, Texas – You know that half-a-sack George Selvie was credited with this past Sunday in Philadelphia, the one he shared with the just-arriving Jarius Wynn?
Well, upon further review, Selvie was credited with a full sack. That then officially gave him two sacks in the game.
In turn, that now gives him five sacks in seven games.
Let that sink in: George Selvie, now officially the leader of “Them Other Guys,” is second on the Dallas Cowboys in sacks, just one behind Jason Hatcher, who’s having a Pro Bowl start to this 2013 season.
Why, Selvie has one more sack than DeMarcus Ware, at this point likely to miss his second game in a row Sunday after having played in every one of the first 134 of his career.
Those five Selvie sacks, they would have been the third most on last year’s Dallas Cowboys team – for the entire season.
Five sacks. Until last year that total was just one less than Anthony Spencer’s career-high over his first five years in the NFL, and until this year one more than Hatcher’s previous seven-year career-high.
Five sacks. Just one less than the team’s previous high by a player not named DeMarcus Ware from 2009-2011, and just three less than what Greg Ellis and Bradie James posted in 2008.
And on July 25, three months to the day this Friday, with all 32 NFL training camps in full swing, this very guy, George Selvie, was sitting at home in Pensacola, Fla., out of work, having been released by Tampa Bay back on May 6.
He had just turned 26, released for the fourth time since he was a seventh-round pick in 2010 out of South Florida, and his mind was understandably beginning to wonder, “What do I do now? What do I do after football?”
Please don’t pinch the dude. Let him be.
Selvie, the guy who had never started even once over his 36-game NFL career the previous three seasons – drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2010, released on the final cuts of 2011, claimed by Carolina only to be released four weeks later, then signed by Jacksonville five weeks later, playing 16 games over two seasons with the Jaguars before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2013 and signed a month later by Tampa Bay this offseason – now is tied for 12thin the NFL with those five sacks. He’s in the same company with the likes of Cameron Jordan, Ryan Kerrigan, LaMarr Woodley and a half-sack behind Elvis Dumervil.
To further appreciate what Selvie has done so far this 2013 Dallas Cowboys season, a flashback to this summer is necessary, back to when the Dallas Cowboys called, more so out of necessity. Remember, the Cowboys lost Tyrone Crawford for the season the first practice of training camp (torn Achilles) with Spencer having his knee scoped about a week later.
They were simply looking for warm bodies at that time, defensive end types who were athletic, had high motors, could play the strong side, all with a decent amount of speed and … out of work. The list of candidates Will McClay’s pro scouting department had handy kicked out one George Selvie.
“I was coming to training camp like, they probably just think of me as a [camp] body,” said Selvie during his interview this week that can be heard in its entirety on the Jason Garrett Show, locally at 11 p.m. Saturday on CBS-11. (Watch Video | Play Audio)
Understand, camp body is a derogatory term, meaning a guy simply needed to fill out the 80-man roster and help facilitate training camp practices at minimum wage then discarded before the final 53 is assembled. The percentages are against these guys, especially coming into camp a week late, with no OTA practices or minicamps under their belt.
And in Selvie’s mind on his way to the West Coast, this just might be his last call.
“I’m going to go out here and try to prove myself,” he said of his thinking when getting the call and traveling all the way from Pensacola that same day to Oxnard, Calif., jumping into practice the very next day. And stuff just fell in place.
“I was blessed to be in the situation I’m in now, just fell in place for me – but I am where I am.”
Fell in place? More like crashed down in place. Ten days after arriving in Oxnard, Selvie demonstrated he was more than a camp body in the Pro Football Hall of Fame preseason game, recording five tackles, two sacks, three quarterback hits and two tackles for losses against Miami.
Come on, was this for real or one of those one-time wonders?
Judging from emails and phone calls to Talkin’ Cowboys, fans would have just as soon left Selvie in Canton, Ohio, to be measured for his yellow jacket. There actually were questions about the possibility of trading Spencer. Just let Selvie take his place and grab $10.6 million in cap relief.
So there we were, on the tennis courts at training camp, interviewing Selvie on Talkin’ Cowboys, letting him know of his new-found celebrity, but quickly finding out, as Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett likes to say, he is the right kind of guy.
“It’s just been crazy,” he said at the time, “because Twitter and stuff. I was like, got my phone, ‘I don’t want no part of that.’ I got a lot to do, you know what I’m sayin’, I got a lot to do.
“People are like, ‘Great start …’ but I still got … look I know the feeling.”
And he then began earning his eventual nickname coined by defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who Selvie readily credits for much of his success: Bricklayer. You know, come to work every day, work hard and lay those bricks down one at a time.
And yes, things fell in place. Obviously, Crawford was done for the season. Spencer was on his way to being done for the season. Ben Bass, a guy who could play defensive tackle, defensive end, was headed for injured reserve, too. Suddenly, he looked up one day and basically when it came to defensive ends, it was DeMarcus Ware, Kyle Wilber and … George Selvie.
Man, after never starting in any of those first 36 games he played in the NFL, there he was, under the glare of Sunday Night Football at AT&T Stadium, starting. Starting, mind you, for the first time in his career, no more than six weeks removed from wondering just what he would be doing for the rest of his life.
Nearly two months later and now Selvie is a fixture in the Dallas Cowboys lineup, having started all seven games and now standing second on the team in sacks, tied for second in tackles for losses (3) and third in quarterback pressures (11) behind some guys named Ware and Hatcher.
Meteoric rise would be an understatement, and not likely in his wildest dreams …
“No, I couldn’t have imagined it,” says Selvie when thinking back to those lonely moments in Pensacola, having trudged back home after Tampa Bay released him to contemplate his future.
“But this is the best football I’ve played, the stats show those are the facts, and I’ve had the opportunity to go out there and play, rush the passers, actually get out there on the field. I never had that [opportunity] in the past, but now I do.”
And aren’t the Dallas Cowboys darn glad he does, too.
So don’t even think about it, no pinching allowed.
George Selvie 1-on-1 interview with Mickey Spagnola (3:10)
Mickey Spagnola sits down for a 1-on-1 interview with Dallas Cowboys DE George Selvie.
IRVING, Texas – A fourth-round pick in 2011, David Arkin never played an offensive snap for the Dallas Cowboys.
Now it seems as if they never will. The Cowboys officially waived Arkin on Saturday to make room for rookie safety Jakar Hamilton, who was signed off the practice squad. Hamilton will travel to Detroit and likely make his NFL debut with starter J.J. Wilcox (knee) ruled out for Sunday’s game with the Lions. Jeff Heath is expected to make his first career start while Hamilton and veteran Danny McCray will serve as the backups.
The Cowboys are high on Hamilton, who even had a fifth-round grade on their draft board. When he went undrafted, they immediately signed him as a priority rookie free agent. He has spent the first seven weeks of the season on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.
If it works out of the Cowboys, Arkin could likely take Hamilton’s place there. Arkin has practice-squad eligibility and could get re-signed if he’s not claimed off waivers.
The Cowboys have been patient with the development of Arkin, who played various positions in college at Missouri State. Arkin came to Dallas and has played both guard and center.
During training camp last year, he started three preseason games at center. He started two games at guard this year.
But when it came to playing in the game, the Cowboys have not put him out there on offense. Through the first seven games this year, he was inactive in all but one week.
Without Arkin, the Cowboys are down to just nine offensive linemen. They’ve usually been keeping only seven active for the games with Mackenzy Bernadeau serving as the backup at guard and center and Jermey Parnell as the backup tackle. Last week, Phil Costa was active in Philly but has typically spent game days on the sidelines with Arkin and reserve tackle Darrion Weems.
Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, who was released by the Dallas Cowboys last week, has been medically cleared to return to action, according to his agent.
Agent Mark Slough sent a letter to 31 NFL teams, advising them of Ratliff’s availability. Slough said in the letter than Dr. William Meyers, who performed sports hernia surgery on Ratliff in December, cleared Ratliff to play Wednesday after an examination in Philadelphia.
“Jay will now continue his individual workouts in Dallas and work hard to regain further strength and improve his conditioning,” Slough said in his letter to front-office executives. “His goal is to be ready to [work out] for clubs in a couple of weeks. He currently weighs 304 [pounds] and is in very good shape … just needs to take his workouts up a notch.”
Ratliff, 32, played in only six games last season because of injuries, but he is a four-time Pro Bowler.
RELATED: Jason Garrett wishes Jay Ratliff nothing but the best
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett declined get into a discussion regarding disconnect between last week’s decision to cut former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jay ‘Ratliff for health reasons and yesterday’s announcement that he had been cleared to play immediately and soliciting offers from other teams.
“We made a decision like we talked about last week that we felt was in the best interest of our football team,” Garrett said. “And we wish Jay nothing but the best going forward.”
Ratliff has not played football since undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia last December. He missed all of training camp and the preseason because of complications with his rehab. The Cowboys placed him the physically unable to perform list to start the season with hope of him returning after six weeks.
The Cowboys released him last week because it was believed that Ratliff was no where near close to being ready to return to the field and would not likely be healthy again until 2014.
That was then, before Ratliff met with the doctor who performed his surgery and was cleared to play, roughly one week later.
“Certainly health was a huge factor in that decision,” Garrett said. He hasn’t been able to play for us for the last year and a half. That was the primary reason we made that decision and again, we wish him nothing but the best going forward.”
What’s also played a factor in the decision is the friction between Ratliff and the team for much of the last year. He had his surgery and rehab with private doctors because of disagreements with the team’s medical and training staff.
He also had physical altercation in the locker room with owner Jerry Jones last season because he erroneously felt his commitment was being questioned.
This was one year after Jones signed him to a five-year, $40-million contract extension in 2011.
The Dallas Cowboys showed patience with Ratliff because his great play and passion in practice and games over the years.
With him now cleared to return to the field, in what has proven to be a clear disconnect in communication between the Cowboys and Ratliff’s camp, last week’s decision was certain evidence that the patience has run out.
“Again, from a health standpoint, we didn’t feel like he was ready to go. We just felt like that was the best decision for our club,” Garrett said.
RELATED: Jerry Jones expresses disappointment over Jay Ratliff drama
There is obvious lingering disappointment among the Dallas Cowboys brass regarding former defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and drama surrounded his release week for health reasons and yesterday’s announcement that he had been cleared to play immediately and was soliciting offers from other teams.
Owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett declined to go into detail regarding the disconnect between Ratliff too injured to play for the Dallas Cowboys and being free resume football activities with other teams a week later.
Jerry Jones alluded to pending legal issues for his silence stemming from the five-year, $40 contract extension Ratliff signed in 2011.
“I won’t be commenting about this because of the fact there are legal issues involved here relative to the league and otherwise,” Jones said. “But all agreements require people to abide by the agreements. That’s why you have legal issues. We obviously have an agreement with him, had an agreement with him, and to the extent that you have some concern within that, that’s why you have legal.
But Jones however couldn’t help but acknowledged there was certain disappointment with the Ratliff drama.
“I don’t want to comment because of the legal aspect of it,” Jones said. “I had said earlier that I thought I was going to focus on good things, the contribution that he made here, we all need him real bad, this team needs him read bad, needed him real bad, was disappointed that he wasn’t playing, disappointing that the resources that are involved here aren’t going to guy out here making plays.”
The Dallas Cowboys released him last week because it was believed that Ratliff was no where near close to being ready to return to the field and would not likely be healthy again until 2014.
The Dallas Cowboys are back to a full eight-man practice squad on Tuesday, signing three in the last 48 hours.
On Tuesday, the club signed former Baylor wide receiver Lanear Sampson, who spent all summer and preseason with the Colts before being cut just prior to the regular season. Sampson played in all four exhibition games with Indy, catching two passes for nine yards.
Sampson joins college teammate Terrance Williams on the Cowboys’ receiving corps. Like Williams, Sampson is also a Dallas native (Mesquite) who spent five seasons in Waco, including a redshirt in 2008.
At Baylor, Sampson started opposite of Williams last year and had his best season of his career, catching 52 passes for 646 yards and six touchdowns, earning All-Big 12 honorable mention honors. Sampson not only finished his career with a 43-game reception streak, but ranked fifth in school history with 165 catches.
While the Cowboys sent wide receiver coach Derek Dooley and assistant receiver coach Keith O’Quinn down to Waco for the Baylor Pro Day mainly to scout both Williams, they were also impressed by Sampson, who ran a 4.35 time in the 40. He went undrafted but signed with Indy after the draft.
Sampson becomes the fourth Baylor wide receiver in the last three seasons to be on an NFL roster or practice squad, along with Williams, Josh Gordon (Cleveland) and Kendall Wright (Tennessee).
And the Cowboys now have eight players on the practice squad roster. Over the weekend, they had to waive receiver Jamar Newsome and guard Ray Dominguez because of an NFL rule that doesn’t allow teams to keep three-year practice squad veterans if the 53-man roster is not full. Since the Cowboys had only 52 players on the roster going to Philly, those two players had to be released to prevent from losing the ability to sign them back in the future.
After they cleared waivers, Jamar Newsome and Ray Dominguez were officially retained Monday. And along with Sampson, they join wide receiver Tim Benford, running back Davin Meggett, cornerback Micah Pellerin, safety Jakar Hamilton and quarterback Alex Tanney.
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys have once again added another defensive lineman. This time, he’s a little more well-known than some of the others.
The Cowboys have added beefy Marvin Austin, a former second-round pick of the Giants in 2011. Austin missed all of his rookie season with a torn pectoral muscle and played in just eight games last year for the Giants, who cut him after the last preseason game. Austin was then picked up by the Dolphins but cut two weeks ago.
The Cowboys had an open spot on the roster having putting defensive end Edgar Jones (groin) on injured reserve.
Austin is a former college teammate of Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter, who was also taken in the second round of the 2011 draft.
Today, coach Jason Garrett commented on Austin’s versatility as a tackle, stating, “he can play both defensive tackle spots.”
“What we know about him is a lot of really positive things,” Garrett said. “There are some positive physical traits and some positive character personality traits you want to tap into it. You want to give a guy a blank slate when he comes in and hopefully the environment you create for him brings out the best in him.”
Austin is yet another player high-profile college player whom the Cowboys have added to bolster the defensive line depth, along with George Selvie and Drake Nevis, a former LSU All-American and third-round pick. Selvie was a college standout at South Florida but taken in the seventh round.
The Cowboys have also signed veteran Jarius Wynn last week and played him in the game against Philadelphia. Jason Vega was signed last week to make his Cowboys debut with DeMarcus Ware ailing.
Overall, 14 different defensive linemen have suited up for the Dallas Cowboys in the first seven games.
The Dallas Cowboys are hoping Marvin Austin is ready to become the 15th this weekend in Detroit.
PHILADELPHIA – It doesn’t really matter who lines up alongside Dez Bryant at receiver, as long as they keep having games like this.
It’s safe to call it a trend now. For the third straight week since the Dallas Cowboys lost to San Diego, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley – considered the third and fifth options, respectively, at wideout in the preseason – made the opposition pay for focusing on Bryant.
Sure, Bryant had a great game of his own with eight catches for 110 yards in the 17-3 win against the Eagles. But while Philadelphia focused on No. 88, the two youngsters combined for 124 yards and a touchdown.
“Man, I love it. We talk about it each and every day at practice, about taking advantage of our opportunities,” Bryant said. “We believe in one another, and we believe any one of the receivers can make a big play.”
The Cowboys’ first possession of the fourth quarter demonstrated exactly that. Bryant, ever the bell cow of the Cowboys’ passing attack, delivered on his end with two catches for 26 yards, but it was Beasley and Williams who shined in the clutch.
Beasley gained 13 yards on two big red zone catches, including one on third and two, to move Dallas inside the Philadelphia 10-yard line.
“I think Beasley today showed everyone that he’s got great hands, great vision, and he’s just got instinct about getting open,” Jones said. “That’s a major plus for a wide receiver. It can make a big impact.”
Once there, Tony Romo found Williams for their fifth connection of the day – a nine-yard touchdown to seal the win.
“Terrance Williams has improved as much as maybe anyone I’ve seen in the six months that he’s been here,” Romo said. “It usually takes wide receivers a while to get to that point, but he continually takes coaching and does the things you need to do to improve and it’s just a testament to his work ethic and his commitment to the football team. You love having guys like that.”
It’s been quite a ride for both receivers since the first few weeks of the season. Beasley could have made a bigger impact on the Cowboy’s first two games if he had bought a ticket. The diminutive receiver was made inactive for the season opener against New York and the Week 2 trip to Kansas City.
His involvement in the gameplan has improved every week since the Week 3 win against. St. Louis.
Williams’ bounce back from his goal line fumble in the loss to the Chargers has been a sight to behold. In the buildup to that Week 4 game, Williams caught a combined five passes for 60 yards in three games.
In the three games since that fumble, his collective tally is a fantastic 12 catches for 249 yards and three touchdowns – a score in every game.
“Each of those guys in their role has stepped up over the last few weeks and I think Tony has a real comfort level with them and he is not afraid to go to them at all,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “In fact, when there is a match up that is favorable for us involving those guys he throws the ball there with confidence.”
It’s obvious from looking at the stats, but the boost in big plays has come at someone else’s expense. Since returning from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the San Diego and Denver games, Miles Austin has been targeted a total of seven times for no yards.
Jones said Austin’s hamstring injury has left him behind the offense as he re-enters the lineup. But Jones said he isn’t worried, as Austin’s health will continue to improve.
“I think you have to recognize that he’s working through his situation with his recovery, and it’s, if anything, being conservative there – if that,” Jones said. “But what’s really great is the way our other guys are stepping up, and you know you’ve got Miles coming.”
The Cowboys would undoubtedly love for that to prove true. But even if it doesn’t, they appear to be in good hands.
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys released guard Ray Dominguez and wide receiver Jamar Newsome from their practice squad on Saturday.
The move is the latest in a flurry of activity on the team roster in the last week. The Cowboys moved defensive end Edgar Jones to the IR/designated for return list and signed Jason Vega to the active roster from the practice squad, both on Friday afternoon. Earlier in the week, the team released former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jay Ratliff.
All of that activity will give the Cowboys 52 players on their active roster as they make the trip to Philadelphia for Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
That simple fact creates a curious case for Dominguez and Newsome. Both players are in their third year in the league, which puts them in an unusual situation under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Article 33, section 4 of CBA reads: “An otherwise eligible player may be a Practice Squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment.”
Essentially, that rule would make both players ineligible for the remainder of the season if the Cowboys were to play the Eagles while maintaining an open roster spot.
It’s likely the team will re-sign the pair next week. For now, the two cuts combined with Vega’s move to the active roster gives the Dallas Cowboys just five players on the practice squad.
IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys placed defensive end Edgar Jones on injured reserve/designated to return (IR/DTR) list this afternoon.
The move will make Jones unavailable to practice for six weeks, which is the week of the Thanksgiving game against Oakland. He had successful surgery on the injury Thursday and will be eligible to return to game action after eight weeks, which is the Cowboys’ Week 15 game against Green Bay on Dec. 15.
The Cowboys acquired Jones from Kansas City in a trade at the end of the preseason, sending their sixth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to the Chiefs in exchange for Jones and the Chiefs’ 2014 seventh round pick.
Jones has played several positions in his seven-year career, but he has served at defensive end in the Cowboys’ 4-3 defensive scheme. He played in four games this season and registered five tackles with a pass deflection before suffering a groin/abdomen strain in the Week 4 loss to San Diego.
Jason Vega signed to 53-man roster
Defensive end Jason Vega was signed to the Dallas Cowboys’ 53-man roster from the practice squad for this weekend’s game against the Eagles.
The Cowboys had an open roster spot and needed the help with a bevy of injuries along the defensive line. DeMarcus Ware might not play this weekend, Edgar Jones is definitely out, Jason Hatcher and George Selvie were limited this week and Jay Ratliff was cut.
Vega played in the final preseason game for the Cowboys after coming to Dallas from the Patriots. He made the most out of that opportunity, totaling four tackles and a fumble recovery against the Texans, which earned him a spot on the Cowboys’ practice squad.
“I had an idea that it might be possible, but it was just kind of hard to guess,” Vega said. “You don’t really anticipate roster moves, because that’s not my job. I’m supposed to show up in practice. I just try to wait for it to be official, and now it is.”
Vega thought the opportunity might be there for him early this week, and he was told Friday that he’d be getting the call up. He’s valued his time on the practice squad for the first six weeks of the season.
“I can kind of spend time with the older guys, learn as much as I can, go against the offensive guys and learn a lot as well, so it’s been a good learning experience for me to be able to work on my skills and lead up to a moment like this,” Vega said.
The defensive end’s grateful for this chance after going undrafted in 2011 from Northeastern. He went to play for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before signing with the Patriots in 2013. He’s carrying a legacy at Northeastern, which has dropped its football program.
“I think it’s more so for the guys that I used to play with,” Vega said. “I hear from them every once in a while, they’re just kind of like, ‘You’ve got to keep playing for us, you’re the last one’ type thing, and that’s really good to hear.”
COWBOYS IN THE CLUTCH: Dallas’ Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams rank 1-2 among NFL receivers when targeted
IRVING, Texas – There’s an old adage that gets tossed around a lot when talking about wide receivers. The ones with good hands get described as players who “catch everything that is thrown their way.”
For Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams, they’re taking that to another level.
In fact, through six games of the season, Beasley and Williams are the two best wide receivers in the NFL in terms of catching passes when targeted.
Among players with at least 10 targets this year, Beasley has the highest reception percentage among NFL wide receivers at 92.3 percent. He’s caught 12 of the 13 passes thrown in his direction. His only miss occurred in last week’s win over Washington when Tony Romo led him too far on a sideline route, although Beasley nearly hauled it in with one hand. He also caught a pass thrown behind him where he trapped it against his leg to make the catch.
Overall, Beasley ranks third in the NFL in receptions, and he’s the only wide receiver among the list’s Top-10. The next receiver is Williams, who actually might be even more impressive than Beasley because of his 17.2-yard average per catch.
Of all receivers with at least 10 targets, Williams’ average per catch is the highest of the top 15 players.
Williams has come on strong the last three weeks with Miles Austin injured and slowed by a hamstring injury. Williams has caught a touchdown in each of his last two games. In the first three games of the year, he had five receptions for 60 yards. In the last three, he has 13 catches for 249 yards and two scores.
More importantly, and just like Beasley, he’s catching the passes that are thrown his way.
IRVING, Texas – Forget three or four weeks. DeMarcus Ware might still be playing this weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Dallas Cowboys’ all-time sack leader doesn’t know his status yet, but he’ll travel with the team on the flight to Philadelphia, and he thinks he’ll be a game-day decision. He said he doesn’t need to practice this week to remain a possibility to play.
“I’m not going to be out three or four weeks,” Ware said. “I don’t know where that came from, but somebody said it. My recovery’s pretty fast, and I’m feeling pretty good today.”
Ware has never missed a game in his career, despite suffering hamstring, shoulder and elbow injuries last year and dealing with stinger problems this season. The latest thigh injury had many thinking he’d be out multiple weeks, but he said he’s already started running and will continue to work off to the side at practice before the ultimate decision is made.
He admitted the leg is still sore, but he’s continuing to get treatment and believes he’ll be in proper shape if he’s able to go this weekend. Ware said he can’t worry too much about his remarkable games played streak, which sits at 134.
“I think when you look at it, the bigger picture is always important,” Ware said. “You don’t want to ever be defined as just a number. You want to be somebody that when you get out there, you’re wreaking havoc and playing. If I can do that this week, I’m going to get out there and play.”
In addition to running, Ware said he can also plant and cut. It wouldn’t really be a surprise to see him return to action and play, despite the initial prognosis.
Ware’s iron man streak of consecutive games played continued even after getting carted off the field with a neck injury in 2009 that left him temporarily motionless. He played six days later against the Saints after missing practice throughout that week.
“I know that I can get through injuries, but you never can (predict) what one injury’s worse than another,” Ware said. “Each week, just like I took it with that injury, you’ve got to take it that whole week and make a game-day decision.”
He said he needs to weigh the importance of being on the field this week against the potential for future harm. He said he needs to be able to run, pass-rush and change direction with ease, particularly considering the speed at which the Eagles play.
If Ware can’t go, Kyle Wilber will get the call at defensive end. Wilber went in after Ware’s injury last week, recorded a strip sack on Robert Griffin III and secured the fumble.
“Last week, when I went down, Wilber went in there and made a big play on a really great tackle,” Ware said. “I know that he can get out there and play, me just showing him a lot of things, his confidence level has boosted through the roof. You’ve got to let him keep playing that way, and I know he can get the job done.”
Wilber continues to talk to Ware as the second-year player prepares himself for a starting opportunity. Head coach Jason Garrett preaches the “next man up” philosophy, while Wilber hears from defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin that everyone in the defensive room should consider himself a starter. For Wilber, it’s now time to play like one.
“It’s pressure and it’s a challenge, but it’s good pressure and a good challenge,” Wilber said. “You want to be a dependable guy, so the team looks at you like, ‘This person right here, we can count on him.’”
Wilber went from 240 pounds last year to 248 pounds this year, as he made the move from linebacker to defensive end. He said it’s difficult for him to put on weight, but eventually he’d like to be around the 255-pound mark. Strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik is pushing him to help reach that total.
It’s been tough for Wilber to serve as a backup since getting drafted in the fourth round in 2012. He’s accustomed to starting, and last year was particularly tough for him after getting injured because he felt like he didn’t help the team.
“You have to kind of motivate yourself,” Wilber said. “It’s kind of hard being a backup, especially behind a Pro Bowler and future Hall of Famer. You’re not seeing yourself getting a lot of playing time. You definitely have to prepare yourself mentally.”
He may now get his chance to stand out on a “no-name” defensive line. Well, almost a no-name defensive line. Wilber said Jason Hatcher has become more of a household name after his five-sack start to the season.
“As long as we’ve got ‘Hatch,’ I feel like we’re good,” Wilber said. “He’s one of the best three-techniques out there.”
Wilber, however, feels like a no-namer until he demonstrates what he can do consistently. Even after his performance last week against the Redskins, he knows teams aren’t going to strategize for him, but they will have to plan for his presence.
He feels more ready than ever for a starting role if Ware can’t go, and a lot of that has to do with the star pass-rusher getting him ready.
“Definitely,” he said. “D-Ware, he’s still on me, still coaching me up. He’s making sure I can do everything.”
IRVING, Texas – Dallas Cowboys players and coaches had plenty of time to organize their thoughts of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jay Ratliff in the hours between his release Wednesday and Thursday’s open locker room session.
Aside from the medical and financial implications surrounding Ratliff’s release, members throughout the Cowboys organization were quick to point out the defensive tackle’s value and impact within the playing field.
Ratliff appeared in 104 games and started 85 as a seventh round pick by the Cowboys in 2005. He notched 27 sacks and 317 total tackles in his eight seasons with the team. His efforts earned him four straight Pro Bowl trips from 2008-11 and established him as one of the league’s best 3-4 nose tackles in that time period.
“Heck of a player — I keep going back to that, because he played the right way for the Cowboys. He was always a guy who practiced hard, he played hard, the game was important to him. Anybody that was around him knows the demeanor that he played with,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “He was an intimidating figure. He was an incredibly productive player for us, a Pro Bowl player, and a great example to his teammates about how to play the game.”
Of any teammate that saw that example, DeMarcus Ware stands out. Following Ratliff’s release, Ware is the final member of the Cowboys’ 2005 draft class on the roster – Ware was taken 11th overall, in the first round, while Ratliff’s seventh round selection came all the way at No. 224.
Ware said it’s odd looking around the locker room and seeing only long snapper L.P. Ladouceur remaining from the team’s 2005 rookie class.
“When you talk about just the business of the game, things happen for certain reasons, reasons I don’t know. You’ve just got to keep playing,” Ware said. “He came in with me. I feel like now, me and L.P., we’re the last Mohicans here. You’ve just got to look at it as a business. I know Jay, he’s going to end up going to another team because he’s a great player like that.”
Having spent nine seasons on the defensive line with him, Ware is well qualified to talk about Ratliff, but several other Cowboys veterans had thoughts to offer.
As of Thursday afternoon, Ratliff’s locker had yet to be cleaned out. Jason Witten, whose locker sits our feet away, said he’ll remember the high level of play evidenced by the Pro Bowl sticker’s adorning Ratliff’s area.
“He’s a guy I’ve known for a long time. We played together a long time – a core group of us, and he’s a guy you wanted on your side on Sundays, that’s for sure,” Witten said.
In Ratliff’s official statement, delivered by his agent Mark Slough on Wednesday, he was sure to thank Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones for taking the chance of drafting him. In addressing the decision to release him Thursday, Jones repaid those thanks to the veteran.
“You know, I have a long history of having an appreciation for guys who give it up and work and play through pain, and I do with Jay. So it is disappointing that that great career of his has to end. As it turns out, all great players have to have a time,” Jones said. “Now, his career has maybe not ended, but I know he gave us great effort. He’s a tremendous competitor. I don’t look at anything but positives, I really don’t. We needed him when we had him, and we need him now that we don’t have him. But that’s just not the way it is – that’s the reality of it. We do, as I certainly would, wish him the very best and a speedy rehab and hope for him that he has more career.” (Watch video | Play audio)
RELATED: Jason Garrett, Jerry Jones discuss details of Jay Ratliff’s release
IRVING, Texas – One day after their decision to release Jay Ratliff, the Cowboys spoke about the implications and issues surrounding the move.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones, as well as coach Jason Garrett spoke to the media about the past year of uncertainty around Ratliff. Jones said the decision to release the veteran involved a number of variables – most notably, consideration of the salary cap and the team’s prospects this season.
“This was a decision that certainly had salary cap implications – every decision does in this day and time,” Jones said. “But it also had immediate consideration for what it’s going to mean for this season, and we’re excited about what our opportunities are here. So both of those things were part of this decision.”
The decision to cut Ratliff will save the team the cost of paying him had he been moved to the injured reserve. That raises the question of why the Cowboys placed him on the Physically Unable to Perform List to start the season. But Garrett said he still had hope of using Ratliff after he strained his hamstring during his pre-training camp conditioning test.
“I think you’re always hopeful about the health of every player and you make designations accordingly,” he said. “I can give you 50 examples of decisions we’ve made as to when to put someone on IR and why, when to put someone on PUP and why, and when to keep someone on the active roster and why. That was the decision we made.”
The matter of Ratliff’s debilitating injury, not the hamstring strain but the one suffered against Cleveland in 2012, remains confusing. Mark Slough, Ratliff’s agent, said Wednesday that his client’s lower body injury had been mischaracterized as a sports hernia, when it in fact involved severe ligament and muscle damage.
Neither Jones nor Garrett would speak in specifics, as a matter of legal obligations. But both supported the reliability of the team’s medical staff in its evaluations.
“I can’t comment on the medical aspects of this thing. Without being trite, I don’t want to be because this is not a trite matter,” Jones said. “It’s a sad matter, because we do need him and he wants to be out competing and helping his teammates and helping us win. But I can’t operate in a world where I go back and take today’s information and apply it to decisions made one year ago.”
Garrett added: “We have a tremendous amount of confidence in our medical staff, and the only way that I can answer that is injuries are challenging and you don’t always know how a player’s
going to respond. The ability for him to come back in a timely manner – you make a lot of highly educated guesses about the status of a player based on the player, based on what the injury is, what particular position he may play. So you’re always doing that. We do that every day.”
That extends to the conditioning test, which both Garrett and Jones said is only ever performed at the discretion of the player involved. Again, though, few specifics were provided.
ARLINGTON — At Joseph Randle’s locker, where he was surrounded by reporters, a football was tucked in his stall. It was a little memento from the first touchdown he scored in the same game he got his first NFL carry.
“That’s the rock, right there,” he said. “I’ve got to keep that one.”
Of course, Randle’s 1-yard dive into the end zone during the fourth quarter of Dallas’ 31-16 victory didn’t come without assistance. Randle, while in a crowd of Redskins defenders, was pushed across the goal line by rookie center Travis Frederick (photo below). As a way of acknowledging Frederick’s contribution, Randle asked Frederick to autograph the football that is now his souvenir.
“I told Travis to sign it for me,” said Randle, who finished with 17 yards and the touchdown. “But he was like, ‘Nah, I can’t do that. I can’t sign your ball.’”
Randle laughed along with the reporters near him. He seemed surprised by the attention he received.
“We wanted to see him play in a real game, get him a couple of snaps,” Dallas Cowboys running back coach Gary Brown said. “And he responded well…I’m looking forward to seeing him practice some more.”
Randle, meanwhile, will savor his first touchdown, and that rock, as long as he can.
Kyle Bosworth had been practicing with the offense in short-yardage and goal-line situations for a few weeks, but it wasn’t until Sunday that he got to play on that side of the ball. Bosworth, who makes his living as a linebacker, got to play three snaps at fullback against the Washington Redskins.
It’s the first time the Plano West graduate has been on offense since high school.
“It was a great experience,” Bosworth said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve played fullback. I know they want me to be versatile and as a utility player as possible. It was just the next step in the process. It was really exciting I got the three plays.”
The Cowboys lack a true fullback on their roster after cutting Lawrence Vickers in the off-season. Bosworth is a perfect fit in the team’s jumbo package, which also utilizes an extra offensive tackle in Jermey Parnell.
“I think we had three short-yardage plays in the game, and he did a good job,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of Bosworth. “He’s learning. He hasn’t really done it before. But I thought one was particularly good. I thought a couple of other runs were OK. I think he’s just learning how to do it. He’s not afraid to stick his nose in there. We know that. That’s a positive thing.”
The Cowboys converted on all three plays Bosworth played. DeMarco Murray had a 1-yard run on third-and-one on the fourth snap of the game. On the Cowboys’ second drive, Murray followed Bosworth into the hole for a 2-yard gain on third-and-one. Then, on their third drive, Phillip Tanner gained 2 yards on a third-and-1 behind Bosworth.
“I was pleased with the second and third [plays],” Bosworth said. “The first one could have been better. But I was 3-for-3 in getting the first downs, so that’s good.”
Bosworth laughed when asked if he’d start lobbying to get a pass thrown his way.
“Man, I have great hands,” he said. “I know coach throws me a lot of balls when we’re in scout team and stuff like that, and I haven’t dropped one yet. Knock on wood. But progression. I hope that comes, because that would be just unbelievable. But in time. I’m good with blocking right now.”
Bosworth played three plays on offense, 19 on special teams and none on defense against the Redskins.