Typically if a player signs with a team 10 days into camp, he'll likely have the least amount of knowledge among his position group.
Abram Elam will probably be the exception to that rule. Having played in Rob Ryan's scheme the last two years in Cleveland, the newly-signed safety shouldn't miss a beat. And he'll probably be leaned upon by his teammates as well.
"We're excited about Abe," coach Jason Garrett said. "He's a very good player and very comfortable with this scheme. He's a veteran safety. A lot of starts and snaps. He's not one of those guys that wows you necessarily. But he's the kind of guy you want playing safety for you. He understands what we want to do on the defensive side of the ball."
Secondary coach Dave Campo said Elam's understanding will be an asset to the other players as well.
"(The safeties) have to know the scheme because they run the defense along with the linebackers," Campo said. "He brings that to the table right from the very beginning. And of course, him not being here is not drastic for him because he already knows the terminology."
Elam agreed to a one-year deal late Wednesday night and was not in attendance for the Thursday morning walk-through, although he wouldn't have been eligible to participate with the pending CBA situation. The Cowboys are hopeful Elam, and the rest of their free agents such as Doug Free, Kyle Kosier and Marcus Spears will be able to practice Thursday night if the new CBA is ratified.