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Instinctive Tyler Patmon earning playing time

LONDON -- Tyler Patmon wasn’t big enough or fast enough to be one of the 39 cornerbacks invited to the the NFL scouting combine. He wasn't drafted or signed as a priority free agent.

But the Dallas Cowboys gave him a tryout at their rookie minicamp, and he earned an invitation to training camp.

Patmon doesn’t have the measurables the NFL wants. He’s only 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, and he’s not particularly fast. Patmon, though, has excellent instincts and he’s earned his spot on this team.

He played 14 snaps against Arizona, his most extensive playing time of the season, and contributed a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter.

He’s behind Orlando Scandrick, Brandon Carr and Sterling Moore on the depth chart, which means he usually only plays when the Cowboys are in their dime defense, which uses six defensive backs.

“He’s one of those guys who’s really good for your team,”
 coach Jason Garrett said. “He just came in and showed us that he deserved to play. All throughout training camp and the preseason he just showed us that he needed to be part of the team.

“We believe it’s a meritocracy. It doesn’t matter where you were drafted. It matters what you do when you get here. Sometimes guys aren’t prototypical. They don’t impress everybody when they walk across the stage and get measured or when they run a 40 but they’re good players and we believe in having good players on our team.”