FRISCO, Texas – A few weeks ago, Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones was asked about using these final games as an opportunity to try and win and get back in the NFC East race, or perhaps take the chance to evaluate younger players.
Obviously, Jones playfully suggested that his desire would be to do both.
With one game to play, the Cowboys are still alive in the division race after winning the last three games.
And in the process, some of the younger guys are finding ways to contribute.
It took a while, but fourth-round pick Reggie Robinson is now in that mix, having an increased role on special teams last week.
In fact, Robinson nearly made a game-changing play when he forced a fumble on a kickoff that was recovered by C.J. Goodwin, only after he had stepped out of bounds.
Turnover or not, Robinson is just grateful to be on the field after being inactive for the first 11 games of the season.
"It honestly felt amazing. It was just a play that ended up happening just by effort," Robinson said on his tackle in the second quarter. "So I was excited that it happened. Right now (special teams) is where I've been getting my reps. So I'm trying to make the most of them."
Drafted in the fourth round out of Tulsa, Robinson was expected to make a big impact on special teams. He created a reputation in college for a game-changer in the kicking game, mainly for his ability to block kicks and cover punts and kickoffs.
But this year, Robinson's progress was stunted like many other rookies due to Covid-19 and the lack of offseason and preseason games.
Robinson also switched positions from cornerback to safety and so despite the Cowboys' continuous issues in the secondary, he never got the chance to play until a few weeks ago in Baltimore.
But even though he watched others in his draft class such as CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs, Tyler Biadasz, Neville Gallimore and even Ben DiNucci play and contribute, Robinson said his confidence never dipped.
"Nah, I went into this knowing like where exactly I was, what the depth was, and how my coaches talked to me about everything," Robinson said. "So I would say I've kind of been even the whole way through."
Robinson said he has officially moved to safety, but has yet to get meaningful snaps at the position. Perhaps that could change this week depending on the health status of veteran safeties Darian Thompson and Xavier Woods.
"It's been a long season. I just got to kind of sit back and watch the older guys, just learn from them and learn the role," Robinson said. "I've been put in a role so I just know what position I'm in, do the most I can to my ability and then when things happen, they happen, so I'm just ready for that."