FRISCO, Texas -- The first offensive player the Cowboys selected in the 2017 NFL Draft certainly doesn't lack confidence.
Since his fourth-round selection, Ryan Switzer out of North Carolina has already gained some level of notoriety on television and social media for the "Believe" tattoo on the inside of his bottom lip. He got it in high school and he wanted to put it somewhere that wasn't visible so his mother couldn't find out.
"It's my absolute favorite word," Switzer said in a conference call just after being picked by the Cowboys.
The 5-foot-8 wide receiver believes in his own abilities and expects a chance to prove himself on special teams.
"I think I'm the best returner in the draft, and I think Dallas knew that," Switzer proclaimed definitively.
It was a bold statement, especially in a draft that saw Christian McCaffrey out of Stanford selected eighth overall by the Carolina Panthers in no small part because of his potential returning abilities. But Switzer was a more full-time punt returner than McCaffrey and returned seven punts for touchdowns in his time at North Carolina, which put him just one shy of the NCAA career record. He was a running back in high school and credits that experience for making him a dangerous return man.
"My background as a running back and my vision allow me to make things out of nothing happen," Switzer said.
The Cowboys' last fourth-round selection managed to usurp Tony Romo for the starting quarterback job. Switzer's arrival will mean obvious competition for Lucky Whitehead as the team's primary returner.
But Switzer said that he spoke on the phone with Cowboys' wide receivers coach Derek Dooley and hopes to be a contributing member of the receiving core as well. He went for more than 1,100 yards on 96 receptions as a senior catching passes from the No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky.
"Mitch knew I was going to be open," he said. "I think it was that simple."
Switzer's small stature and quickness lends itself to obvious Cole Beasley comparisons. He's hoping to imitate some level of that success.
"I've studied his tape a lot, and I really like what he does. He's a tough cover one-on-one and he knows how to work zones as well."
Not unlike Ezekiel Elliott last year, Switzer may be bringing a certain level of quirkiness to the Cowboys' locker room. Aside from his tattoo and his confidence, he also has the odd ritual of watching "love" movies the night before every game. He claims that he can get so worked up thinking about games that he needs to unwind to ensure he's able to fall asleep and be rested. A good romance film usually gets the job done. His go-to is "The Vow" starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.
It will be months until anyone has a decent grasp of how exactly Switzer will be utilized as a weapon on the Cowboys. For now, he's just basking in the moment.
"I saw the Dallas area code [when the phone rang] and to hear Jerry Jones on the other end of the line was just surreal."