Dallas Cowboys: It’s “next man up” at fullback

Jamize Olawale #49 of the Dallas Cowboys . (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Jamize Olawale #49 of the Dallas Cowboys . (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Jamize Olawale has opted out of the 2020 season for the Dallas Cowboys leave the FB1 spot vacant

The Dallas Cowboys have not had a lot of players opt out of the 2020 season due to COVID as of yet. Jamize Olawale was one of the players to opt out and immediately the questions were about what the Cowboys will do at fullback without him. The question is fairly easy as they have a rookie on the roster who will most likely be the fullback, maybe.

According to Sharp Football the Cowboys ran two running backs 127 times last season. This puts the Cowboys toward the upper half of the league, but not in the top 10. Now, not all of these including a fullback, but it is simply two running backs on the field at the same time. For reference, the Packers, in the last year of Mike McCarthy, ran 168 plays with two running backs on the field. What does this mean? Well, if we look at tendencies, then Mike McCarthy ran more two running back sets than Jason Garrett.

However, with McCarthy a year removed to study the league, it is difficult to say he will implement the same philosophy. Odds would say that he will probably keep a fullback or at least a fullback option on the team. With Jamize Olawale now out, the next logical option would be rookie undrafted free agent Sewo Olonilua. Jordan Chunn might have had a chance, but the Cowboys released him.

Olonilua is a 6’3” 232 pound running back out of TCU. I wrote about Sewo right after the draft and thought he could be in the mix for fullback as he doesn’t have the speed you would want in a typical running back. You can find my write-up here. His strength seems to be, well, strength. At TCU his blocking was uninspired and he needs work show more if he wants to be the fullback on this team. If he can get it going, he has the size to punish rushers.

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If the Cowboys do in fact keep a fullback Olonilua has the inside track if he can develop his blocking. However, will the Cowboys end up keeping a fullback? According to Over the Cap only fourteen teams had long-term contracts with fullbacks as of last year. On the flip side, the two teams who used fullbacks the most were New England and San Francisco, the last two undefeated teams of 2019. So while fullback usage is dwindling, there is still some teams who use them heavily.

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Now none of this means a lot until we see what Mike McCarthy is actually thinking for 2020, but with his past tendencies and the still fairly standard use of a fullback, there is nothing to say the Cowboys won’t have at least a hybrid player to be their third running back and fullback. That player right now is Oloniula, until something changes, expect Sewo to get a lot of looks at training camp.

  • Published on 08/04/2020 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 08/04/2020 at 06:35 AM