FRISCO, Texas -- It's easy to marvel at how Dak Prescott handled the situation he found himself in at quarterback when Tony Romo went down in the preseason almost a year ago. The stakes were certainly high. But recently signed quarterback Zac Dysert has learned time and again that even when the stakes are considerably lower, the pressure and intensity can remain quite high.
Dysert was claimed off waivers by the Cowboys on June 5th and was immediately asked to take snaps as the third quarterback on the roster. That means he is quarterbacking plays with and against veterans and young players who need as many valuable reps as possible.
"All [the coaches and front office] have really asked me to do so far is learn the offense as fast as I can," Dysert said. "Just get comfortable."
'Get comfortable' sounds like an encouraging bit of advice, but it isn't exactly an easy thing to do when you're trying to learn a playbook on the fly with unfamiliar faces. When asked if anyone on offense or defense had impressed him on the field thus far, Dysert said he was still focused on catching his bearings with more practical matters.
"Right now, I'm trying to get used to everybody," Dysert said. "I'm trying to learn everyone's name and everything like that."
Dysert isn't new to new environments. Since being drafted by Denver out of the University of Miami in 2013 he had been signed by six different NFL teams before being claimed by the Cowboys. He has never taken a regular season snap.
The 27-year old will go to training camp as the Cowboys third team quarterback and although the team has expressed faith in Kellen Moore as the backup to Prescott, they will surely keep an eye on what Dysert is capable of proving with the reps he's given.
An opportunity may await him at training camp, but Dysert says that in order to survive he has to focus on the little things the Cowboys need from him during OTAs.
"For me right now, It's just come in and get better," he said. "Learn the playbook as fast as I can. Learn the offense, the guys, the receivers. Just study as much as I can and get myself as ready and comfortable as I can come training camp."
Prescott and Moore immediately reached out to Dysert upon his arrival to lend a helping hand.
"They welcomed me when I got here and they also said if I ever need anything I got their numbers so I can text them if I have any questions. Same thing for [Quarterbacks] Coach [Wade] Wilson and Coach [Scott] Linehan."
A month into OTAs Dysert sat in a locker room full of young players and veterans who had finally started to fall into the routines designed by their coaches. He didn't know all their names, and he was still on his way to knowing all the plays he was supposed to be helping them run. He admitted the situation was stressful.
"Oh definitely. But I'm a big guy. You control what you can control."