Tony Romo fumbled a snap on his first possession of the preseason and at one point the Cowboys trailed the Ravens, 34-10, Saturday night at AT&T Stadium. Squinting for something positive? Zach Minter introduced himself loud and clear.
Wait, Zach Minter?
With a depleted defensive line that we’ve said many times during training camp may be the worst in the NFL, the Cowboys signed the tackle only last Thursday. But after just one practice, he made enough memorable plays to be remembered, if not make this roster.
The start wasn’t impressive, as Minter was bowled over on Lorenzo Taliaferro’s touchdown run that gave Baltimore its 24-point lead. But then in a dominant five-play span in the fourth quarter, Minter produced a quarterback pressure, a tackle for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble. He finished with four tackles, two sacks, a hurry and the forced fumble.
Not bad for a guy signed – let’s be honest – so the Cowboys could survive a pre-season game with enough healthy bodies.
“We talk a lot about how life’s all about opportunity, creating them and taking advantage of them,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said after the game during his press conference. “You think about a guy like Minter who just showed up, I don’t know how many plays he played, but I bet it was over 50 percent of the plays that he was in there, he had some kind of an impact on the football, whether it was a tackle for a loss or a sack. He just seemed to be all over the place, so he had a chance to show us what he can do in a short period of time, and he certainly flashed at us.”
Minter, from tiny Montana State, caught on with the Bears as a free agent last summer and also spent time with the Bengals before the desperate Cowboys rang his phone last week. Last summer, in a similar situation, it was George Selvie who took advantage of his quirky opportunity, made it stick, and started all 16 games.
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The Cowboys need help along the defensive line. Perhaps they just found some in Minter.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.