George Selvie – starting left defensive end
Something of a known quantity six weeks into the season, Selvie burst into the Cowboys nation consciousness with two sacks against the Dolphins in the August Hall of Fame game. College football fans may remember him as part of a devastating pass rush duo that put the tiny South Florida Bulls in the big-time college rankings. His line mate: future Giants first-rounder Jason Pierre-Paul.
As a sophomore Selvie set a Big East Conference record and led the NCAA with 31.5 tackles for loss; he also finished second in the NCAA in sacks with 14.5 in 13 games. The next year, Pierre-Paul transferred to South Florida from community college, and Selvie’s production dropped while Pierre-Paul’s soared.
Some have put forth the notion that Pierre-Paul benefited from opponents double-teaming Selvie, whose production suffered as a result. Whatever the case, after glittering college careers, in 2010 Pierre-Paul went 15th overall to the Giants, and Selvie sank to the lowly St. Louis Rams in the seventh round.
Selvie was waived after one year with the Rams, played for the Panthers and the Jaguars the next season, and was waived by the Jags after 2012.
Where you land matters in the NFL. Pierre-Paul landed in New York, a spot known for valuing and developing defensive linemen. Selvie landed in St. Louis with a team that had gone 1-15 the year before and a coaching staff on the hot seat. Then he bounced to Carolina, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay before finding a home in Dallas.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has built the kind of competitive culture and Rod Marinelli has provided the kind of guidance under which a promising pass rusher can thrive. Selvie was once an elite college talent with big-time NFL prospects, and the 26-year-old appears to have landed in a spot where he can grow into the potential he showed in leading the nation in stuffs as a sophomore. Where you land matters.