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Will Mike McCarthy’s Offense Get More From Cowboys FB Jamize Olawale?

Jamize Olawale has played 32 regular season games as the Cowboys’ fullback and has just two catches since coming to Dallas. Will the arrival of Mike McCarthy as the new head coach change how Olawale is utilized and make him a bigger part of the offense?

Jamize went undrafted in 2012 but has stayed in the NFL this long thanks to his all-around game. Olawale is a classic “jack of all trades, master of none” player whose value comes from versatility over any one exceptional skill.

For two years Dallas has really only used Jamize as a run blocker and on special teams. He hasn’t received a single carry and has been targeted just six times as a receiver, resulting in two catches for 13 yards.

Unfortunately for Olawale, the one play most remember is a dropped pass during Dallas’ blowout loss to the Indianapolis Colts in 2018. But given that he’s only been thrown at a few other times, it’s not like he’s been given an opportunity to redeem himself.

Olawale proved that he could be an occasional offensive weapon during his years with the Oakland Raiders. In one season he had 24 carries for 110 yards and a touchdown, and in another he had 12 receptions for 227 yards and a score.

For whatever reasons, those skills have not been utilized by the Cowboys. But now Mike McCarthy will be influencing the offense and he has a long track record of getting the ball into his fullbacks’ hands.

John Kuhn, Mike McCarthy, Packers
Former Packers fullback John Kuhn & Coach Mike McCarthy

John Kuhn was the Packers’ fullback from 2007-2015, which covered all but a few of McCarthy’s seasons in Green Bay. He made the Pro Bowl three times and was a consistent contributor on offense.

In his best overall season in 2020, Kuhn rushed 84 times for 281 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 15 catches for 97 yards and two scores. That led to Kuhn’s first trip to the Pro Bowl, and also was the year that Green Bay won the Super Bowl under McCarthy.

In 2016, Aaron Ripkowski replaced Kuhn as the Packers’ fullback. He turned in 34 rushes for 150 yards and two touchdowns plus another 46 yards and a touchdown on nine receptions.

So clearly, Mike McCarthy knows how to get production out of the fullback position. And Jamize Olawale has proven he has way more to offer than what the Cowboys have asked of him so far.

When Dallas re-signed Olawale last year they made him one of the five highest-paid fullbacks in the NFL. It’s hard to argue that that contract has been justified thus far, but perhaps McCarthy can help turn that around.

With Jamize turning 31 in April the Cowboys could be looking for a younger player at the position this offseason. But as long as the physical tools are still there then Olawale seems like a great fit for this new coaching regime.

Hopefully, this shift gives the Cowboys another weapon on offense in 2020.

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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  1. Can we please STOP wasting a coveted position on a fullback. It makes no sense to put in valuable practice & game plans yet carry one full back (in the military we call that a single point of failure). Just stop already, use the TEs, use two backs, whatever, but pleas STOP with the fullback. yes its working for the 49ers, and watch what happens when he is out of the game…

    • The fullback should not be omitted from the gameplan, but a physical one should be added to this roster. Jamize Olawale, is one of the softest fullbacks I’ve ever observed. To make a comparison to John Kuhn, is laughable. Darryl “Moose” Johnston is the barometer, that the Cowboys should be aspiring to, when finding a real fullback. 49ers have nasty, physical tight ends, that can pancake defensive ends. Not tight ends that just get in the way, just enough. Also, the running backs dont tape dance in the backfield(like Zeke). They get going to the line of scrimmage fast and emphatically.

      • I’m as big a Moose fan as ever was but that’s not what we need. He was from a different era. We need more of an offensive weapon who can block when asked, but whose real threat level comes when he can be a receiving threat. Running pass plays of run formations is when some of your best matchup opportunities present themselves.

    • I agree that we should stop wasting the roster spot if we’re not going to get more out of the player. But the right FB can be a valuable tool that a smart offensive coach will get value from.

  2. Olawale should also go to the Giants, apparently Garret liked him. I can’t think of any other reason he is on the roster! We should send all of our castoffs to the Giants. I’ll be glad to make up a complete list.

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