OXNARD, Calif. -- So much of training camp for young players fighting for a roster spot is momentum.
Rookie safety Ahmad Dixon built momentum based off his 12-tackle performance in the Dallas Cowboys' preseason loss to the San Diego Chargers last week, but a concussion has kept him out of practice the last few days and coach Jason Garrett said the team hopes to have him “back by the end of the week.”
That would allow Dixon, one of the team’s five seventh-round picks, to possibly play against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday, but without any practice time. Dixon took some first-team work in the Saturday walk-through, and the coaches had hoped to increase his workload with the regulars to see if he could handle more.
Dixon was the only defender Garrett cited for positive play in the Chargers game. While he was not perfect, the effort was what the coaches wanted.
“He is a run-and-hit guy who showed up on defense in college,” Garrett said. “He showed up in the kicking game in college. It’s hard sometimes to see those traits in practice. Sometimes you see a player like that, you see his flaws. You see the things he doesn’t do well, and then he doesn’t have the opportunity to be the physical that you have seen and you want him to be.
“So again, that’s why these preseason games are important because you play it real. There is a part of me that was going to think that, ‘Hey, I saw four or five really good plays by him and the rest was bad.’ There were about 10 more that were really good. He has his issues like all young players do, aligning and making the adjustments and all that, so he has a long way to go in that area. But it’s important to recognize and validate the kind of performance he had. It’s important for everybody else on our team to see that.”