Eric Frampton gets hard hat

IRVING, Texas -- Each week, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett hands out a hard hat award to players who do an outstanding job on Sundays.

In the Carolina game, safety Eric Frampton earned the special teams hard hat award. In 18 special team snaps, Frampton had three tackles.

As a unit, the Cowboys special teams allowed just four punt return yards and despite giving up a kick return for a touchdown the previous week at Baltimore, the Cowboys held the Panthers to 48 kick returns yards.

"When there's a (problem) one week, there is a great sense of urgency I’ve learned around here, to really get it fixed," said Frampton, who signed with the Cowboys on Sept. 25 after safety Barry Church was lost for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. "I think we responded well across the board on special teams. I was glad to be apart of it to be honest with you."

Frampton also got a season-high 13 snaps on defense. The Cowboys gave more snaps to Frampton because he's developed a comfort level with the defense and they wanted some of their better tacklers on the field in the game against Carolina because of how Cam Newton can escape the pocket and run up field.

That was a main reason why cornerback Mike Jenkins played only one snap.

But rookie Matt Johnson and Frampton were sharing some reps at backup safety in some defensive packages. With Johnson down, yet again, with a hamstring injury, it gave defensive coordinator Rob Ryan more reason to look toward Frampton.

"Maybe it had something to do with timing," Frampton said. "Being here four weeks and that gives me some time to really study the playbook and understand kinda how the defense is called and so that would attribute to it."