Practice squad cornerback Terrance Mitchell hasn’t been told whether he’ll be added to the active roster for Saturday’s game against the New York Jets, but signs are pointing towards the Dallas Cowboys doing that.
Mitchell, who re-joined the Cowboys earlier this month, spent time during Tuesday’s practice working as the slot corner in the nickel defense, and is expected to take over that role from since-released Tyler Patmon.
Coach Jason Garrett also said Tuesday that he liked Mitchell’s versatility as a defensive back with his ability to play outside corner and some safety too. If Mitchell gets called up as expected, he will be ready for his opportunity.
“I’m real comfortable [playing in the slot],” said Mitchell, a seventh-round draft pick by the Cowboys in 2014 who was among the final cuts going into that season.
“I try to pride myself of being a complete defensive back – able to play any position. So it’s fun.”
With the Jets featuring several big, physical receivers such as Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, the Cowboys feel that Mitchell is better suited to defend them than Patmon.
Mitchell also has first-hand experience in defending Marshall. After the Cowboys cut him going into last season, Mitchell landed a spot on the Chicago Bears’ practice squad and went against Marshall and Alshon Jeffery daily.
What’s the key to containing the bigger, physical receivers?
“Just get in their way, just stay in their way,” Mitchell said. “Stay in their way and be in good position to play their hands if they throw it up high.”
Mitchell earned a promotion to the active roster with the Bears midway through last season, and kept that spot going into this season. But the Bears cut him last month, and then re-signed him to the practice squad before releasing him for good a few weeks later.
Mitchell found his way back to the Cowboys, the team that originally drafted the Oregon product into the league.
“It feels like coming back home, you know?” Mitchell said. “They gave me a great opportunity from college going to the NFL coming here, so it’s a blessing to be back.
“I’m just working … working hard trying to learn the plays and just do what the coaches ask me to do.”