Selvie Recalls Long Road To Dallas; Still Not Satisfied

selvie_061114_650.jpg


IRVING, Texas – Any of the 32 NFL teams could have grabbed George Selvie a year ago.

The free agent joined the Cowboys at training camp in 2013, made the team, quickly compiled 5.5 more sacks than he'd ever had in his previous three seasons in the NFL and is now one of just a couple defensive linemen who can be penciled in as a starter.

Only Jason Hatcher had more sacks last year for the Cowboys than Selvie. Needless to say, he's come further in one season than anyone could have imagined when he joined the team last year in Oxnard, California, in late July as a camp addition.

selvie_061114_650.jpg


IRVING, Texas – Any of the 32 NFL teams could have grabbed George Selvie a year ago.

The free agent joined the Cowboys at training camp in 2013, made the team, quickly compiled 5.5 more sacks than he'd ever had in his previous three seasons in the NFL and is now one of just a couple defensive linemen who can be penciled in as a starter.

Only Jason Hatcher had more sacks last year for the Cowboys than Selvie. Needless to say, he's come further in one season than anyone could have imagined when he joined the team last year in Oxnard, California, in late July as a camp addition.


"I think about it all the time," Selvie said. "I'm very blessed to be here. Last year, I was sitting on the couch, like coach (Rod) Marinelli says watching 'I Love Lucy,' wondering what I was going to do. But to be here playing for the Dallas Cowboys, I'm very grateful."

The journeyman defensive lineman far exceeded expectations in 2013.

Prior to joining the Cowboys, he played all 16 regular season games with the Rams after getting drafted by St. Louis in 2010. He played in four games with the Panthers and seven games with the Jaguars the following season. In 2012, Selvie played another nine games with the Jags.

He spent a month with the Bucs last offseason prior to landing with the Cowboys, where he finally stuck. Selvie quickly vaulted up the depth chart, and after some injuries on the outside, ended up with seven sacks while starting at defensive end.

Selvie, who hopped from team to team and never had more than 1.5 sacks in a season prior to coming to Dallas, attributes that jump in production to a couple reasons.

"Getting playing time," he said. "I was backing up people, third on the depth chart. I got a chance to start, and I did what was asked of me. I went out there and made plays. That's basically it."

That, and it helped to have a line coach in Marinelli who got the best out of him and trusted him enough to put him on the field in key situations.

"He believes in all his players and he coaches every player, so I'm very grateful to have him as my coach," he said. "He tells you what he wants, he's going to let you know what he wants. All you can do is take it in. Either you take it or you don't, and he'll get you out of here if you don't."

Selvie took it in, and seven sacks later, on a defensive line that lost DeMarcus Ware and Hatcher, he's one of the more tenured Cowboys linemen on a team full of players with more potential than past success.

But Selvie's far from feeling established. He still believes there's a lot left to prove.  

"I really do," Selvie said. "It's one year. Everybody can say, 'Oh, that's a fluke, he got that because DeMarcus Ware was getting all the attention.' So I've still got to go out there and prove myself every day."

In an effort to make that happen, he's been watching more film this offseason with Marinelli. Having an offseason at all is a somewhat new experience for Selvie, even after four years in the NFL.

"When I came in, I was a rookie, wasn't really doing too much," he said. "Then we had the lockout, then I was sitting out for a year. I finally have an offseason to get better, work with my coaches and do football, so that's always good.

"This part is very important. You get a head start on everything. You learn the defense, you learn what the coach wants from you, you learn how to play the technique. This is where you do all the learning, get to know your teammates, everybody starts to jell together."

If there's a position group on the Cowboys that needs to do that, it's the defensive line. [embedded_ad]

More than half of the Cowboys' defensive linemen are new to Dallas. Whether they're rookies or veterans still attempting to make a name for themselves, they've all got something to prove with the Cowboys.

For that reason, even if most people slot Selvie in as a sure-fire starter, he's not feeling complacent.

"We've still got training camp," Selvie said. "We've got a long way to go and we've got a lot of competition on our defensive line. We've got (Anthony) Spencer coming back, we've got Tyrone Crawford, we've got Jeremy Mincey coming in. So we've got a lot of competition. I think everybody's going to be willing to work together, but we've got to go out there and see who's going to be the starters first."

Selvie said it can be weird to hear linemen come up to him and ask what Marinelli wants on a certain play or how to play a specific technique. But now he's one of the veterans of the group, even after just a year, and he said he's willing to lead when called upon.

He's also not satisfied with his performance from last year, despite the career-highs.  

"There's a lot of plays I left on the field," he said. "I can go from having seven sacks to maybe 10 or 11. That's what I'm doing, always getting better."


"I think about it all the time," Selvie said. "I'm very blessed to be here. Last year, I was sitting on the couch, like coach (Rod) Marinelli says watching 'I Love Lucy,' wondering what I was going to do. But to be here playing for the Dallas Cowboys, I'm very grateful."

The journeyman defensive lineman far exceeded expectations in 2013.

Prior to joining the Cowboys, he played all 16 regular season games with the Rams after getting drafted by St. Louis in 2010. He played in four games with the Panthers and seven games with the Jaguars the following season. In 2012, Selvie played another nine games with the Jags.

He spent a month with the Bucs last offseason prior to landing with the Cowboys, where he finally stuck. Selvie quickly vaulted up the depth chart, and after some injuries on the outside, ended up with seven sacks while starting at defensive end.

Selvie, who hopped from team to team and never had more than 1.5 sacks in a season prior to coming to Dallas, attributes that jump in production to a couple reasons.

"Getting playing time," he said. "I was backing up people, third on the depth chart. I got a chance to start, and I did what was asked of me. I went out there and made plays. That's basically it."

That, and it helped to have a line coach in Marinelli who got the best out of him and trusted him enough to put him on the field in key situations.

"He believes in all his players and he coaches every player, so I'm very grateful to have him as my coach," he said. "He tells you what he wants, he's going to let you know what he wants. All you can do is take it in. Either you take it or you don't, and he'll get you out of here if you don't."

Selvie took it in, and seven sacks later, on a defensive line that lost DeMarcus Ware and Hatcher, he's one of the more tenured Cowboys linemen on a team full of players with more potential than past success.

But Selvie's far from feeling established. He still believes there's a lot left to prove.  

"I really do," Selvie said. "It's one year. Everybody can say, 'Oh, that's a fluke, he got that because DeMarcus Ware was getting all the attention.' So I've still got to go out there and prove myself every day."

In an effort to make that happen, he's been watching more film this offseason with Marinelli. Having an offseason at all is a somewhat new experience for Selvie, even after four years in the NFL.

"When I came in, I was a rookie, wasn't really doing too much," he said. "Then we had the lockout, then I was sitting out for a year. I finally have an offseason to get better, work with my coaches and do football, so that's always good.

"This part is very important. You get a head start on everything. You learn the defense, you learn what the coach wants from you, you learn how to play the technique. This is where you do all the learning, get to know your teammates, everybody starts to jell together."

If there's a position group on the Cowboys that needs to do that, it's the defensive line. [embedded_ad]

More than half of the Cowboys' defensive linemen are new to Dallas. Whether they're rookies or veterans still attempting to make a name for themselves, they've all got something to prove with the Cowboys.

For that reason, even if most people slot Selvie in as a sure-fire starter, he's not feeling complacent.

"We've still got training camp," Selvie said. "We've got a long way to go and we've got a lot of competition on our defensive line. We've got (Anthony) Spencer coming back, we've got Tyrone Crawford, we've got Jeremy Mincey coming in. So we've got a lot of competition. I think everybody's going to be willing to work together, but we've got to go out there and see who's going to be the starters first."

Selvie said it can be weird to hear linemen come up to him and ask what Marinelli wants on a certain play or how to play a specific technique. But now he's one of the veterans of the group, even after just a year, and he said he's willing to lead when called upon.

He's also not satisfied with his performance from last year, despite the career-highs.  

"There's a lot of plays I left on the field," he said. "I can go from having seven sacks to maybe 10 or 11. That's what I'm doing, always getting better."

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