ARLINGTON (105.3 THE FAN) – There is an obvious reason for various Dallas Cowboys veterans to offer their support of punt-return muffer Ryan Switzer: Because they themselves could use the same level of support for their own mistakes in Sunday’s 35-30 loss to the Rams that have led to a 2-2 Cowboys start.
“He’s just got to keep his confidence up,” said Jason Witten. “That’s a tough position to be in. It’s hard to play that spot.’’
The “spot’’: The Cowboys were up 17-6 and seemingly in control before the rookie muffed a punt-return attempt, the ball slipping through his hands, in traffic, in the shadow of the goalline. The ball was recovered by the Rams and quickly was turned into a touchdown, making it a four-point game.
Then came a mountain of additional mistakes, an L.A. lead, and a loss for Dallas.
“I had a good read on the ball,” said Switzer, who was drafted this year in part due to his brilliance as a returner. “I judged it well. It was just one of those instances where as soon as I had it, I took my eyes off to kind of assess where I was and I didn’t end up possessing it cleanly.
“It’s not the first time I’ve done it and it won’t be the last. Obviously it’s a big play in the game but I thought we bounced back well.”
Well, not really.
But the “bounce-back’’ can happen starting today.
“You certainly don’t want to do that,” said coach Jason Garrett of the gaffe. “One of his strengths as a punt returner and kickoff returner is his ability to catch the ball. He catches with great confidence and handles those situations extremely well. “Obviously that was a big play.”
Dallas committed those sort of errors in all three phases of the game, but supporting one another through the struggles is the best alternative here.
“He’ll get back,’’ Witten said. “He’s a young player. He’ll bounce back.”
Added Ezekiel Elliott: “I told him don’t worry about it. We all got to do better. It wasn’t just his mistake that cost us the game.”