Eric Frampton was brought in to spell Danny McCray on special teams, but the ex-Viking, Raider and Lion said he is studying his defensive playbook.
"I’m going to cram," Frampton said Wednesday. "I’m going to definitely studying the playbook and studying as if. If something happened, I’d be the next guy up."
The Cowboys signed Frampton on Tuesday after working him out, along with four others. He will replace Barry Church, who went on injured reserve with a torn Achilles tendon that required surgery, on the 53-player roster.
"We felt good about his experience as a [special] teams guy and his productivity, and similarly, we feel like he can go in and play defense," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "We felt like he was the best of the options available to us."
The Cowboys went into last week's game against the Bucs without Gerald Sensabaugh, who injured his calf in the Week 2 loss to the Seahawks. They lost Church after 36 of 60 plays. McCray, the team's best special teams player, will start in Church's place. Frampton will inherit some of McCray's special teams duties.
"Special teams has been what I’ve been since I’ve been in the league," Frampton said. "I’ve excelled at it. I just go out and do what I do."
But Frampton also is fourth on the depth chart at safety by default. Rookie Matt Johnson injured his back while rehabbing from a hamstring injury and has yet to play a down.
"We're going to try to teach him as quickly as we can," Garrett said. "We have an extra day this week. Obviously,the health of our other players will affect how much he will play, but we’d like to get him ready to play both on defense and on special teams."
The Cowboys also re-signed Mario Butler to the practice squad. Butler, a corner by trade, also can play safety. He was released Saturday to make room on the 53-player roster for Orie Lemon.
-- Charean Williams