Frank Walker is ready to contribute

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys, with injuries at cornerback hurting their depth, signed Frank Walker on Tuesday afternoon and he practiced for the first time on Wednesday.

Walker is a former teammate of Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and remembers the battles they had when he was a rookie corner and Garrett was the scout team quarterback.

But that was in 2003, when Walker and Garrett were playing for the New York Giants. Now, Walker is needed to provide anything he can to the Cowboys secondary that will not have Orlando Scandrick (sprained ankle), has a hobbled Mike Jenkins (shoulder) and might not have Terence Newman, who still hasn't practice since suffering a groin injury during training camp.

Newman was projected to return by now, but his absence at Wednesday's practice raises questions about his availability for Sunday's game at San Francisco.

So, the Cowboys turn to Walker, someone the team has wanted for a few years. But each time, somebody had him. The Tennessee Titans had him in training camp this summer until he was one of the last cuts before the season started.

"The situation in Tennessee didn't work out, " Walker said. "I already knew the scouts there and my coaches there said, 'You played excellent, we don't know what it is.' Coach [John] Harbaugh called me, a bunch of scouts from Baltimore called me and said, 'You'll be picked up guaranteed next week.' And Dallas called, Carolina called, and Tennessee. I spoke with some people at Tennessee also."

Walker said he's ready to play on Sunday afternoon and he just needs to learn some of the language in Rob Ryan's defense. When Walker played for the Baltimore Ravens, 2008-09, he played for Rob's brother, Rex, who was the defensive coordinator.

"Well, playing for his brother pretty much things are the same," Walker said. "A lot of different terminology, so basically I have to study a lot and learn fast and pick up on a lot of terminology, but other than that I should be all right."