FRISCO, Texas – Three weeks ago, Taryn Christion was just looking for a job. Today, he’s got about 10 of them.
Yes, strictly speaking Christion is a quarterback – the fourth one. He was literally the last guy onto the roster for training camp, having worked out just a week before the plane left for Oxnard, Calif.
“I think it was a few days before that workout, is when they called my agent and said they wanted to bring me in for a workout and see what I can do,” Christion said. “I was just excited to be back in the game after getting released by Seattle. Just excited to be back and have another opportunity.”
Following a short stint with the Seahawks, Christion was back at home, working out in Sanford Fieldhouse in Sioux Falls, S.D. Literally days after signing with the Cowboys, he was working toward a different goal – and in more ways than one.
“They came up and said ‘Hey, how do you feel about playing special teams,’” Christion said. “I said ‘Heck yeah.’ I’m all for it. I’m a big team guy, so whatever I can do.”
Christion’s description of the situation is a bit modest. One day he was taking minimal reps as the fourth quarterback, and the next day he was on kickoff team. One minute he was working with the scout team on punt returns, and the next he was playing wide receiver in practice.
“I think they were just giving me a chance to see the field at other positions,” he said. “I think I’m more athletic than I think I’ve gotten credit for throughout my whole career, so it’s definitely fun.”
It might be fun, but it’s also likely his best bet at sticking around. NFL practices are structured in a way that doesn’t allow much work for the third-team quarterback, let alone finding reps for the fourth one. But if Christion can fill a variety of roles, there’s no telling where it might take him – perhaps as far as the practice squad or potentially the active roster.
“If I can make the team better on special teams and things like that and give myself a chance that way, I’m excited about that,” he said.
To this point, it hasn’t translated to a game yet. Christion said he’s been on the kickoff team four times in two preseason games, but three of those four kickoffs went for touchbacks – kind of an anticlimactic start to one’s NFL career.
There’s still plenty of opportunity, though. Christion played receiver and fielded punts during Thursday’s light practice. There are also two preseason games remaining, and the Cowboys’ young players will undoubtedly get plenty of playing time during the finale against Tampa Bay.
“Whenever those chances come, whenever my name is called, I’m just trying to be ready for it,” Christion said.