Dec 21, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running backJoseph Randle
(21) carries the ball as Indianapolis Colts free safetyLaRon Landry
(30) defends in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Running Back (4)
Barring a major injury, the top three halfback spots, and the one fullback spot, is all but guaranteed to make the 53-man roster. Joseph Randle turned in a fairly impressive performance running behind the Cowboys make-shift offensive line on Sunday. He showed burst, speed, and big play ability.
In the past Randle has struggled, and continues to struggle, with pass-protection. The first series in the game he gave a half-hearted effort in picking up a blitz, and was flagged for holding on the play.
Later on the Pick-6 in the second quarter, Randle stepped up to deliver a textbook block. This was by far the best I’ve seen from him (in his entire career), and it’s too bad the interception overshadowed it.
The Gus Johnson hype has hit a stall with his injury-induced absence. The 5’10” 215lbs, “Bus” was thriving as a first-team goal line back, but with his injury, and the return of the top three RBs, Johnson may have missed his window.
Johnson’s running style isn’t exactly suited for the Cowboys’ brand of zone blocking scheme (ZBS), but he still can serve a purpose on the team. The Cowboys still use man blocking on roughly 30% of their plays, and Johnson has a skill set unique amongst his peers.
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Johnson would be a nice player to keep, but with so much talent on the defensive line and linebacking corps, the Cowboys may not be able to afford to go long at RB. Signing a veteran RB remains a possibility, but doing so before week 1, will automatically guarantee him money. If the Cowboys wait until after week 1 of the regular season, they pay for a veteran on a week-by-week basis.
The Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Garrett loves the fullback position and it’s become very apparent Tyler Clutts is going to make the team.
"“He’s a physical guy,” Jason Garrett said. “He’s a smart guy. He can play on (special) teams. He’s shown he can play on some third down situations as a protector, which is an important thing with your running backs. Sometimes you want to keep a couple of your guys out of that situation as much as you can. Maybe you have an injury, and you have a guy like that who can go in and understands protections and kind of get you out of a game. That’s a really significant role.”"
Next: Too Many Tight Ends?