George Selvie was a longshot to even make the Cowboys' roster. Come Sunday, the defensive end could make his first career start.
"He’s tough; he makes plays," Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher said. "He does what he’s supposed to do. He’s playing as well as anybody in the preseason, and he’s going to continue to do that. He’s just taking advantage of his opportunity. I’m glad he got his second chance at this league. Here or somewhere else, he’s going to continue his path of playing football. I’m just happy for a guy like that. And same as Nick [Hayden]. Nick was on the streets for a year. Why would you even doubt going into a game with guys like that? With their backs against the wall and nothing to lose and been on the streets? How do you think they’re going to play? So why would I be worried about anything?"
Starting left end Anthony Spencer said Thursday he had a "minor setback" over the weekend. He has not practiced since July 25, making it less and less likely by the hour that he will play Sunday.
The Cowboys did even sign Selvie until July 25 after Spencer and Tyrone Crawford were injured. It was the same day they signed defensive tackle Landon Cohen.
But Selvie had three sacks, four pressures and 10 tackles during the preseason in place of Spencer, earning a spot. Cohen also made the final roster.
"I wouldn’t have [predicted this]," Selvie said. "We [he and Cohen] were talking about that. We came in together, and we both made the team. How is that? I was like, 'It’s crazy,' but that’s how things work. We came out here and worked hard and made the squad."
Selvie has faced longer odds, and he has the scare to prove it.
Selvie was 1-year-old when his cousin climbed into a Buick on a jack, and the car fell off and hit Selvie's head.
"It was a miracle that I survived something like that, so God was on my side," Selvie said. "I think about it a lot. I wasn’t supposed to be here with an accident like that. I thank God for that every night."
Selvie was South Florida's first two-time All-American, but he was drafted 211 spots later than line mate Jason Pierre-Paul. Pierre-Paul was a first-round pick of the Giants. Selvie went in the seventh round to the Rams.
Selvie has played only 36 games in three seasons with three different teams. Dallas is now his fourth team in four years.
Yet, the Cowboys insist they have complete faith Selvie can fill in for Spencer.
"When you have a guy that's coming in off the couch, we call him the brick layer," Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware said. "He comes in and lays a brick at a time, being effective. He has built a pretty nice house over there at left end.
"...Now he's an effective defensive end for us, starting this week. So that's a big thing for him. I can't wait to see him play."
-- Charean Williams