With just two preseason games remaining for the Dallas Cowboys, there are still quite a few players anxious to get on the field in order to make a case for themselves to make the final 53-man roster. Wide receiver Ryan Switzer falls into that category after missing the previous three games due to a hamstring injury, but would it be wise on the Cowboys part to sit him for the remaining two?
A lot of Cowboys Nation have really high hopes for the Cowboys rookie fourth-round draft pick, but unfortunately we have yet to see what he can bring to the table in his first year in the league. No one really knows what kind of role he will have as a rookie or even how he should be best utilized. He is still somewhat of an enigma unfortunately.
Even though Ryan Switzer missed the first three preseason games for the Dallas Cowboys, the coaching staff should already have a pretty good idea of his strengths and weaknesses as a player. Switzer received some invaluable playing time earlier in the off-season when Cole Beasley was out dealing with a hamstring injury of his own. Those practice reps alone might just be enough to exclude him from the two remaining preseason games.
If you can’t tell by now, I’m in favor of the Cowboys taking the cautious approach with Ryan Switzer by holding him out until Week 1 against the New York Giants. I just don’t think there’s anything to gain in these upcoming preseason games and I’ll tell you why.
First off, he is just now returning to practice and hasn’t even really been a full participant yet. There’s no need to rush him back from a hamstring injury, because those can sometimes linger throughout the season if not allowed the proper time to heal.
Secondly, this week’s matchup against the Oakland Raiders is going to be the “dress rehearsal” game for the Cowboys. That means the starting offense will likely play the entire first half, which means Switzer likely won’t see the field until the final two quarters, except for maybe as a returner.
Switzer is already expected to be the primary return man in 2017. I don’t think he really needs to prove anything in a game situation that he hasn’t already in practice as a returner. That’s especially true considering the special teams units could possibly be made up of players that won’t to be on the roster when everything is said and done.
Now, I know any playing time he does receive on offense is beneficial to his development and allows him to get a feel for the speed of the NFL. But, he would likely be out there with either Kellen Moore or Cooper Rush at QB, with very little practice time with either. Slot WRs and QBs need a healthy working relationship to succeed, something Switzer probably hasn’t developed with either Moore or Rush.
You could make the argument that the final preseason game would be a better time to allow him to get his feet wet, but I couldn’t disagree more. The fourth preseason game is used by the coaching staff in order to get one last chance to analyze the bubble players and Ryan Switzer is far from a bubble player.
I believe Ryan Switzer’s roster spot is safe, so I don’t see any reason why he needs to get on the field at all the preseason. I would personally allow him a little more time to fully recuperate from his hamstring injury to ensure he is available to start the 2017 season.
He may be nothing more than a return specialist as a rookie, but that’s an area the Cowboys have needed an upgrade at for a few years now. It’s not like they have a lot of options there and Switzer might just end up being one of the best this season in the NFL. He certainly was in college as a Tar Heel.