In a surprising move, the Dallas Cowboys drafted an additional wide receiver in the fourth round of the NFL draft last month.
With the fourth pick of the NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys chose Ryan Switzer out of North Carolina, who packs powerful speed and excellent kick and punt returning abilities. Switzer was more than a little excited to become a Dallas Cowboy. Check out his tweet the day after he was drafted:
Hold up hold up… WE DEM BOYZ!!!!
— Ryan Switzer (@Switz) April 29, 2017
After spending time acclimating to the excitement of being a member of America’s Team, Switzer immediately set about getting to know his teammates and focusing intently on preparing for the challenges ahead. He’s well known for his toughness and determination. Not only does Switzer boast high octane speed and intense work ethic, he also pours himself into getting to know his teammates. Trust is key for Switzer. Sharing about challenges on the field and how team chemistry comes into play, Switzer stated:
“You’ve got to have some spunk to you. When you’ve got 11 guys running down the field trying to kill you and you’re looking up, it takes some guts. But I know [special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia] coaches those guys up really well. I know they take great pride in blocking, like my guys at Carolina did. So if I’m back there, it will be up to me to make a play and trusting those 10 guys in front of me.”
Given the team has utilized Lucky Whitehead almost exclusively at that spot for the past few seasons (with the exception of having WR Cole Beasley contribute occasionally) seeing the Cowboys pick up a return specialist was unexpected. Head coach Jason Garrett spoke to the media regarding Switzer being slightly smaller than the size the team prefers for a kick returner.
“I don’t know that they’re so different,” coach Jason Garrett stated. “He has a lot of good skills, both as a position player at receiver in the slot and also as a returner. So I would not put that past him.”
Garrett isn’t the only one excited about Switzer’s potential to contribute to the return game. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan elaborated about the versatility and talent Switzer possesses.
“The one thing he gives us is some depth at the slot position, hadn’t really had that,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “If [Cole] Beasley were to not be available we would be in a world of hurt here. So that’s that part. The other part is that gives us the versatility of multiple personnel groupings we can get into. Spread the field, no-back sets where I think Switz can end up gaining some good matchups. He’s an old high school running back, so who knows, we might run a run here or there.”
“On top of his return ability, being able to change the game there, and the ability to play a key position on offense, he’s a big add,” Linehan declared.
After having spent a few weeks as a Cowboy and participating in rookie mini camp, Switzer had this to say on twitter about how he feels being a member of the team. To say he’s blessed to be a Cowboy is an understatement for Switzer.
Thankful man, just thankful
— Ryan Switzer (@Switz) May 19, 2017
Haven’t seen Switzer in action yet? Even though this play was called back, check out the work he put in featured in the highlight in this media clip posted in April:
— Ryan Switzer (@Switz) April 13, 2017
If Switzer is able to contribute in a meaningful way, and more so than veteran WR Lucky Whitehead, the Cowboys may have finally found a powerful weapon on special teams in an area that has lacked depth for many seasons.
Want to see Switzer’s reaction when Jerry Jones called him to let him know he would be a Cowboy? Click here and watch as Jones calls every draft pick from 2017.