The Dallas Cowboys made some questionable decisions when trimming down their roster to reach the league-mandated 53-man limit. At the top of the list, or pretty close to it, was the odd decision to keep just two running backs on the active roster. If you’re looking for a reason as to why they chose to go this direction, look no further than Fullback Jamize Olawale.
You may have forgotten, but the Cowboys acquired Jamize Olawale back in March via trade with the Oakland Raiders, one of several trades Dallas made this offseason. He brings a unique skill set to the FB position, but it also looks as if he will be serving as the RB3 behind Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith as well.
It may surprise you, but Olawale isn’t exactly what comes to mind when thinking about a prototypical fullback in the NFL. He has the versatility to play several different positions. It just so happens that FB is where he has found a home in the NFL.
While with the Oakland Raiders, Olawale was not only their starting FB, but also played a little tight end, wide receiver, and yes… running back. His versatility doesn’t end there. He is also a core special-teams player, which only adds to his value.
Jamize Olawale is a Swiss Army knife if you will. I think that’s the best way to describe him and it’s a tool that could come in handy in 2018 for the Dallas Cowboys offense. In fact, I believe they are counting on it. Otherwise they wouldn’t be heading into uncharted waters by carrying just two RBs.
The Cowboys are obviously walking the tight rope here by taking the risk of carrying just two running backs on the roster. Even though Zeke will handle almost all of the workload and Rod Smith will pick up the scraps, it’s still obviously a risk. Injuries happen all the time. We will just have to hope for the best and pray the worst never rears its ugly head.
As far as Jamize Olawale is concerned though, I think he is more than capable of picking up the slack.
In his six years with the Oakland Raiders, he has 55 carries for 206 rushing yards, averaging 3.7 yards per attempt. But, where he’s made the most impact is in the passing game. He’s accumulated 39 receptions for for 425 receiving yards, averaging an impressive 10.9 yards per catch. He is also an excellent pass protector, ranking second among FBs last year in 2017.
I know that doesn’t look like a lot of production, but remember we were talking about a fullback who doesn’t receive a lot of opportunities on offense. That will probably still be the case in Dallas, but I think he does provide yet another weapon for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense if and when they decide to call on him.
Unfortunately, with the vanilla game planning in preseason we didn’t get to see how Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan plans to utilize Olawale’s versatility, but I expect that to change once the season gets underway. I personally believe he will add yet another dimension to the Cowboys offense.