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FB Nick Ralston has Best Shot at Making Cowboys Roster out of UDFAs

After adding 11 new players through the and others in , the haven’t left much room for their undrafted to get onto the . If any of the undrafted class can make it, Fullback Nick Ralston from Louisiana may have the best opportunity.

When I did my latest 53-man roster projection shortly after the draft, I didn’t have Ralston or any other UDFA making the team. The numbers just aren’t looking good for them as the draft aftermath has already seen Dallas part ways with a trusted veteran in DT and experienced, versatile depth option in G/C .

But unlike the defensive or offensive lines, or pretty much any other spots on the , there are no immediately superior prospects at fullback. After ’s in March, Dallas only had left on the roster as an official FB prospect.

Olonilua, like Ralston now, was an undrafted in 2020. After Olawale chose to opt-out of the season under the policy, Sewo managed to be active for just a couple games and only saw a handful of snaps on . He spent most of the year on the as Dallas elected to go with no fullback for most of the season.

Both Olonilua and Ralston are now up against each other for the job, but perhaps even more the potential that the job won’t even exist. One of them will have to convince the Cowboys that keeping a true fullback is a good use of a roster spot.

Ralston comes into this competition with high praise for his blocking and receiving skills on , plus his work on special teams. While Olonilua was more of a convert to fullback from his college career at TCU, Ralston seems more ready-made for the role right out of the box.

While true fullbacks are an endangered species in the NFL, may be one of the few coaches left who appreciates their value. He made John Kuhn a household name at the position during his Green Bay years and appeared committed to Jamize Olawale in 2020.

The fact that Dallas continues to bring in these prospects indicates they’d like to utilize the position. The opportunity is there for someone who proves his worth and can contribute both on offense and special teams; a prerequisite for any FB to make the team these days,

Only time will tell how Nick Ralston stacks compared to Sewo Olonilua, but the fact they’re both here indicates that the Cowboys still want a fullback on the roster. With no established veterans to contend with, Ralston may have the easiest road to making the team of any of this year’s undrafted rookies.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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3 Comments

  1. If Ralston can play a bit of TE and in-line block reasonably well, you roll with the younger, cheaper, more versatile player. IIRC, there weren’t many tears shed when the WFT moved on from Sprinkle. Keep a TE like Eubanks or McKeon on the PS to move up if needed if Ralston isn’t cutting it at TE or one of the other two can’t play.

    There’s a good chance Sprinkle doesn’t get claimed off waivers or signed elsewhere after final cuts. You can re-sign him or find equivalent talent off the street if need be.

  2. When you look at the absolute best 53 players on the team, no Fullback lands in that list. Here are the best 65 (Roster and Practice Squad):
    Tyler Biadasz C
    Nahshon Wright CB
    Anthony Brown CB
    Trevon Diggs CB
    Jourdan Lewis CB
    Israel Mukuamu CB
    Kelvin Joseph CB
    C.J. Goodwin CB
    Tarell Basham DE
    Chauncey Golston DE
    Randy Gregory DE
    DeMarcus Lawrence DE
    Brent Urban DE
    Quinton Bohanna DT
    Neville Gallimore DT
    Trysten Hill DT
    Osa Odighizuwa DT
    Osa Odighizuwa DT
    Matt Farniok G/C
    Zack Martin G
    Connor McGovern G
    Connor Williams G
    Greg Zuerlein K
    Jabril Cox LB
    Keanu Neal LB
    Micah Parsons LB
    Jaylon Smith LB
    Leighton Vander Esch LB
    Jake McQuaide LS
    Hunter Niswander P
    Garrett Gilbert QB
    Dak Prescott QB
    Rico Dowdle RB
    Ezekiel Elliott RB
    Tony Pollard RB
    Jayron Kearse S
    Damontae Kazee S
    Donovan Wilson S
    Jayron Kearse S
    Josh Ball T
    La’el Collins T
    Tyron Smith T
    Brandon Knight T
    Ty Nsekhe T
    Blake Jarwin TE
    Dalton Schultz TE
    Jeremy Sprinkle TE
    Amari Cooper WR
    Michael Gallup WR
    CeeDee Lamb WR
    Simi Fehoko WR
    Cedrick Wilson WR
    Brandon Smith WR
    Terence Steele
    Bradlee Anae
    Anthony Hines III
    Ben DiNucci
    Brennan Eagles
    Tyler Coyle
    Sean McKeon
    Reggie Robinson II
    Ron’Dell Carter
    Brenden Knox
    Braylon Jones
    Azur Kamara

      1. What makes other UDFAs on your list better than Ralston? You basing that on anything? Plus you’re putting Brandon Smith on over Noah Brown? Really?
      2. Dallas has kept a FB on the roster for years. They’d have probably had one last year too if Olawale hadn’t opted out, plus they even activated Sewo Olonilua for a few games. So clearly it’s a position they see value in. Why would they be carrying to FB prospects on the roster right now if they had no intention of keeping one?

      Remember, I didn’t say that Ralston WOULD make the roster. But I can’t see any of these UDFAs breaking through right now over the current established talent, and so that’s why I think he has the best shot. If Dallas wants to keep a FB, which their own behavior would suggest, all he has to is beat another UDFA from last year to make it.

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