Poppinga ready to take the field for Cowboys
NOV 26, 2012 9:49p ET
The 33-year-old linebacker, who has overcome two major knee injuries during his seven years in the NFL, was added to the roster Monday to replace Bruce Carter, who was moved to injured reserve.
On Monday, the former Green Bay Packer and St. Louis Ram chatted with media members for the first time as a Cowboy, and he had everyone entertained.
After describing how he has been staying in shape despite not playing for a team this season, Poppinga concluded his answer by saying, "I was in what you would call Batman shape, meaning, when I get the call, boom, I put the mask on and I'm gone. So I got the mask on and here I am."
Poppinga spent his first six seasons in Green Bay, starting 44 games and posting a career-best 69 tackles in 2008. The 6-3, 252-pounder started 12 games, totaling 51 tackles for the Rams last season.
Outside of a visit with the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this season, no real interest materialized until the Cowboys worked him out this month.
Not playing for 10 months wasn't easy for a linebacker that enjoys delivering a big hit.
"I don't know how many times I just wanted to run through the door and blast somebody," Poppinga said. "But you got to have patience and understand that you're a regular civilian in this world and you can't break laws and break doors. You got to hold your aggression inside of you and get it out when you're lifting weights or what have you, so it's good to be back."
Shortly after that response, which drew some laughter from the group gathered around his locker, the BYU product was asked about his colorful personality and the affect it could have on his new teammates.
"This is just who I am," Poppinga said. "If you want to tap into that, go right ahead. It's for the taking. I'm not trying to hold it in. I am who I am. I love who I am. I'm not afraid to show it. If people want to embrace that they can. If they don't like it, I guess that's great too. I just realize that half the people are going to like you guys and half the people aren't, so you mine as well just be who you are. It's always 50-50. It's easy being who you are, too, by the way."
There's also obvious appreciation for the Cowboys giving him an opportunity and a respect for the tradition that the franchise possesses.
"It's a successful organization," Poppinga said. "They've won some Super Bowls with a lot of great players that have walked through these halls. To be a part of this team it's an honor and a privilege."
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