IRVING, Texas – Defensive end Anthony Spencer had arthroscopic knee surgery on July 25, the same day the Dallas Cowboys signed free agent defensive end George Selvie.
With Spencer needing another knee operation – this time, one that will end his season – Selvie, a temporary starter, has become a permanent first-teamer on the left side.
Selvie, a seventh-round pick by the St. Louis Rams in 2010, is off to a good start, going from camp body to a player who has started all three games, the only starts of his NFL career.
After a year in St. Louis, one with Carolina and two in Jacksonville, the former South Florida standout appears to be an ideal fit for Rod Marinelli’s defensive line group.
“It’s a great scheme,” Selvie said. “You go out there and attack, get after it, strip balls, get sacks, just go out there and have fun, that’s what we do in this scheme. That’s what we love to do and that’s what our coaches encourage us to do every day.”
Through three games, Selvie has excelled at getting to the quarterback, recording two sacks and 12 quarterback pressures, fifth-most in the NFL among defensive players playing in a 4-3 scheme.
“I’ve been in some schemes where I had to drop a lot,” Selvie said. “I’m not the greatest coverage guy in the world. I want to go out there and sack the quarterback.”
In his two months with the Cowboys, Selvie has earned the nickname “Bricklayer” from Marinelli. The 6-4, 270-pounder says it comes from his work ethic, going about his business one play (brick) at a time.
Spencer received his first Pro Bowl invite last season after setting a career-high in sacks (11) and leading the team in tackles (95). It’s unlikely Selvie will duplicate that output, but it sounds like he’ll be more than happy to try.
“The Cowboys have given me an opportunity to rush the passer,” Selvie said, “and I’m grateful for that.”