IRVING, Texas - Like many offensive linemen in the NFL, especially for the Cowboys, Pat McQuistan wouldn't be described as chatty.
A man of few words, he was rather precise when asked about his role with the Cowboys, who signed him to the roster on Monday.
"Get in here ... compete, give depth and be ready," McQuistan said. "I'm excited to be back."
The Cowboys added McQuistan to bring some depth and experience to the offensive tackle position, but his ability to play guard, and possibly even as a blocking tight end, also played a factor in bringing him back.
"One of the things we like about Pat is his position flexibility," head coach Jason Garrett said. "When he was with us before, he played some guard. He's played in games and his experience and his ability and flexibility really made him an attractive guy to bring back in our organization."
While he would obviously prefer to be an every-down starter, McQuistan knows the value of versatility.
"You can be a starter and that's all you're going to do – play one spot you're whole career," McQuistan said. "But if you're not that, you're a jack of all trades and master of none. The more you can do, the better chance you have of sticking around."
McQuistan was a seventh-round pick in 2006, the last draft class of Bill Parcells with the Cowboys. He spent four years in Dallas, but never started and played mainly on special teams. It wasn't until he was traded to Miami in 2010 that he got a few starts under his belt. But McQuistan said those eight starts with the Dolphins, coupled with a stint last year in New Orleans, make him a more confident player as he returns for his second stint with the Cowboys.
"I think so. Anytime you stick around for a while, you're going to get better at it," McQuistan said in reference to his confidence. "It's almost two years now since I've been here. I've been with two different O-line coaches in that time and learned things from all of them. I know I can do it. So coming back here with another O-line coach (Bill Callahan), I'm behind a little on this playbook, but I know once I get up to speed I'll be alright."
The starters appear set with Tyron Smith at left tackle and Doug Free moving over to the right side, but the backup spots are still wide open. Third-year pro Jermey Parnell is the incumbent "swing" tackle but he doesn't have McQuistan's experience. Behind them, the Cowboys have three undrafted rookies in Jeff Adams, Tyrone Novikoff and Levy Adcock.