IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive end George Selvie will make his 13th start of the season Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. He played more than nine games in a season just once in his career before 2013.
Defensive tackle Nick Hayden will also start his 13th game Sunday. He started 13 games for his career before this year.
Selvie has one sack in his last six games. Hayden has not been credited with more than two tackles in a game in a month. He had just two of those games in the first nine games.
When the Cowboys signed Hayden in February, they hoped he would be part of a defensive line rotation. When Selvie signed in July the hope was initially he helps the Cowboys get through practice, nevermind make the roster.
Neither was expected to be a core defender. Are they starting to wear down?
“We feel like those guys are our starters and have been all year long,” coach Jason Garrett said. “You’re always trying to rotate the defensive linemen like we’ve talked about, particularly in this scheme, so you’re always trying to find what that balance is.”
Selvie is tied with DeMarcus Ware for second on the defense with six sacks.
“I think he’s a good consistent football player and has been all year long for us,” Garrett said. “He was around the quarterback a little bit the other night in the ballgame. He comes to work every day. He’s not a dynamic, dynamic, dynamic pass-rusher, but to me every game he shows up and somehow positively impacts the game.”
Linebacker Ernie Sims will play starter snaps for the sixth time this season. Starter Jeff Heath will make his fifth start after making the team as an undrafted free agent. Sterling Moore wasn’t with the team two weeks ago but he will be the team’s third corner Sunday.
The Cowboys found out last year that for as well as players off the street can play for a short time, over a longer time they can be exposed.
“I think the biggest challenge for guys is acclimating themselves initially,” Garrett said. “I think our guys have done a good job of that, to step in here and play on a moment’s notice. It’s always better when you have your starting players in there -- we recognize that -- and having our starting players healthy and ready to go. Having said that, every team in the league is dealing with injuries, so that’s not something we talk about a lot. We just have to get these guys ready to play as best they can play; a tough challenge as a coaching staff.”