Leighton Vander Esch's first day with the Cowboys
Ryan Switzer hopes his stay in Oakland lasts much longer than his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys.
The 133rd overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft by Dallas, Switzer was traded to the Raiders following the Cowboys' acquisition of Tavon Austin.
It was a move that surprised Switzer, who, despite catching only six receptions for 41 yards as a rookie, did find success in the return game (24 kickoffs for a total of 600 yards; 29 punts for 256 yards and a TD). For those efforts, he was named to the 2017 All-Rookie team by the Professional Football Writers of America.
Switzer recently spoke about the trade with Patrik Walker of 247Sports. Here are some of the highlights.
Walker: Did it feel like a gut punch when you got the news from from Jason [Garrett] and Jerry Jones?
Switzer: "Oh, no question it did. You know just because of the preparation that I had been putting in up to this point to be as successful as I could with Dallas. And you know I'm a young kid [so] I've never been traded before, obviously, [and] never had anything like this happen. It was just all new to me, you know, but at the end of the day, you know, I realized the work that I put in isn't [going] to waste. It's just going to be for another team now. I know the work that I've put in will, regardless of me being traded or not, make me a better player. It is what it is now. I understand that the NFL is a business. It's the career that I've chosen and I've got to take everything that comes with it, good and bad."
Walker: What do you think, from your end, you could've done better your rookie season that might've swayed their decision — if anything?
Switzer: "[Laughs] Honestly, man. I don't know. I did everything I could. I was one of those 'get there early, stay late' [players]. You know, I had great practices. When I got my opportunity at the end of the year against Philly, I produced. I never really knew what they were going to do with [Cole Beasley] and I. ... I guess if anything, I wish I could take back the hamstring injury that I got at the beginning of camp, but those are things that you can't control. I thought I bounced back well from that. I thought I was still prepared at the beginning of the season, so, you know, it's just one of those things where it's just something that just happened. From my end, I think I controlled what I could control and I thought I put in the time and the energy needed to have a successful year. I'm satisfied with what I did on my end."
Walker: What is your single biggest regret and what are you most thankful for regarding your time with the Cowboys?
Switzer: "You know, I don't want to say like there's nothing that could've been done differently, but I think 'regret' is a strong word. I think, honestly, I really do think I maximized every potential resource that was given to me in Dallas and I feel like as much as I learned and as much as I grew as a player and person and just one year in the NFL — I don't really have any regrets. Like I said earlier, I gave everything to that organization for 17 weeks during the season. I think I can be at peace knowing this decision wasn't based on anything I did and sometimes things just don't work out. I do believe God doesn't mistakes so there must be something better out there for me if I have to move on. As far as the second half of that question, I feel like the relationships I formed in Dallas with some of the guys like Noah Brown, Lance Lenoir, Dak Prescott, Anthony Brown, Taco [Charlton], etc. — that's something that, when this football is over, those relationships are always going to be there. That's something I'm glad I formed in Dallas in such a short time, in just one year. It's something that I'll miss, being around those guys that I mentioned every day, but I know some of the same relationships can be formed in Oakland and I'm looking forward to seeing where that goes."