OXNARD, Calif. – George Selvie was a man without a team when this week started, waiting around for a phone call.
As the week draws to a close, the defensive end is running second-team for the Cowboys' defense, thanks largely to a slew of injuries along the defensive front.
"It was great to get that phone call – to get another opportunity to come out here and play NFL football," Selvie said. "It felt great, and I was ready to go when they called me."
Oxnard marks the latest opportunity in what has been a dizzying NFL career for Selvie. He was the first two-time All-American in South Florida history just four years ago, as he racked up 69.5 career tackles for loss and 29 career sacks for the Bulls.
Selvie was a linemate of Jason Pierre-Paul's in the fall of 2009. Pierre-Paul used propelled himself to the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft in just one season as a starter, while Selvie was a seventh-round selection by St. Louis.
In the following years, Selvie has made stops in Carolina, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay after a one-year stint with the Rams. But since the Buccaneers released him on May 6, he had remained unsigned, leaving him alone to work on offseason conditioning.
"It's hard – it's real hard, believe that. You've just got to go out there and run, work on the little things like your get offs and stuff like that – just try to get some work in," Selvie said. "But it's hard work when you don't have nobody to tell you what to do or a legit schedule."
There hasn't been a whole lot of time to adapt for either Selvie or defensive tackle Landon Cohen, who the Cowboys also added this week. Thanks to a rule tweak by the NFL, both players were able to practice Wednesday, the same day they signed their contracts.
"You've just got to get in that playbook and go out there and play fast," Selvie said.
In prior seasons, the Cowboys would have had to wait three days to use either player, something Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said put a strain on teams. [embedded_ad]
"It really wasn't as well thought out as the league probably should have thought it through," Garrett said. "This year it's different. We signed them, gave them a physical, they were practicing that afternoon."
Now, Selvie just has to take advantage of the opportunity. Starter Anthony Spencer should return to full health before the team breaks camp, and his backup, Ben Bass, hopes to return from his ankle sprain next week.
"You're out here fighting for a job, and you know there's other guys that want to do the same thing you're doing, and there's some people that might be sent home that want to do the same thing," Selvie said. "They want to take your job, so you've got to come out here and earn one."