IRVING, Texas – As Everett Dawkins watched the final minutes of Sunday's game from his home in Minnesota, he couldn't help but feel the frustration as his team dropped another close game at the end.
But as it turns out, the defensive end now finds himself on the winning side of the Cowboys' 27-23 win over the Vikings last week.
See, Dawkins finished last week as a practice squad member for Minnesota. But after being signed to the Cowboys' 53-man roster, the rookie from Florida State said he couldn't be happier with the turn of fortunes.
"That's definitely weird," Dawkins said, "but yeah, I didn't know. Hey, I'm with the Cowboys now. I guess it was a good for *us. *It's a blessing to be here. I always grew up watching the Cowboys. To get bumped up to the roster from being on the practice squad for eight weeks, it's just a blessing. I couldn't be happier."
If Dawkins plays this week, he'll be the 17th defensive lineman to take a snap already this year. He practiced on Wednesday wearing No. 90, which is not only the number Jay Ratliff wore since 2006, but the jersey worn last by Marvin Austin, who suffered a back injury last week and was waived/injured. Dawkins not only replaced Austin's jersey, but his spot on the roster. [embedded_ad]
Dawkins said he was ecstatic about the news to come to Dallas, especially because of the recent situation with the Cowboys, who not only sign defensive linemen during the week, but have shown a willingness to play them right away.
Last week, Everette Brown had a tryout Monday, signed on Tuesday, practiced for three days, played on Sunday and eventually made a big sack and forced fumble in the final seconds of the Vikings' game.
"It's very exciting to know what they've done here," Dawkins said. "They've moved a lot of guys in here. I'm just hoping I'm the one who sticks around and not the one leaving early."
The Cowboys had a third-round grade on Dawkins, who doesn't know why he dropped to the Vikings in the seventh round (229th overall).
"Honestly, I still don't know to this day. That's just the way it goes," said Dawkins, a four-year contributor at Florida State. "At the end of the day, I've always thought I could play on the 53-man roster, even when I was on the practice squad. I had a situation where I had some vets and Pro Bowlers and first-rounders ahead of me. I just had to wait for my chance and go from there."
His chance is here, and it provides a real opportunity for Dawkins to meet a rather simplistic, but very obtainable goal.
"I haven't played on a Sunday yet," Dawkins said. "I played in the preseason, but I haven't played on a Sunday yet. That's something I wanted to do."
Based on recent history, Dawkins will probably get that chance this Sunday night in New Orleans.