Lawrence Vickers is the Cowboys new fullback
The big news of the day was the signing of cornerback Brandon Carr.
With the release of Terence Newman, the Cowboys had to find a replacement and they got the man they had been targeting all along. Carr is young, big and productive. An example of how productive he is comes from Adam Schefter in a tweet:
Over past two seasons, new Cowboys CB Brandon Carr has knocked down 28 passes, second in the NFL, behind only Joe Haden and his 30.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2012
Dallas made some other signings today. The Cowboys were unable to complete a long-term deal with FB Tony Fiametta, so they turned to a veteran. Dallas signed Lawrence Vickers to a two-year deal. Vickers spent last season clearing the way for Arian Foster in Houston but became a victim of the salary-cap purge for the Texans. He spent five season with the Cleveland Browns before going to Houston last year. Vickers has never been much of a runner or a receiver, but is the classical lead-blocking fullback.
This likely means the end of Fiametta's time with the Cowboys. Another player who will no longer be with the Cowboys is tight end Martellus Bennett. Marty B has jumped to the rival New York Giants, signing a one-year, $2.5 million contract. Marty B and Tom Coughlin? That could get interesting.
The Cowboys also have signed guard Mackenzy Bernadeau, formerly of the Panthers. Not much was known about Bernadeau, so OCC put together a little info he found around the web after the jump.
Bernadeau is not a household name, but with the signing, the Cowboys have secured an offensive lineman with some versatility at guard and center. In his four-year NFL career, Bernadeau has started in 20 games for the Panthers, mostly at left guard, but has also seen a lot of spot duty as a fill-in guy for injuries.
The 26-year old Bernadeau is officially listed at 6-4, 308 pounds and was drafted by the Panthers in the seventh round (250th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft out of Division-II Bentley (Mass.) where he played both guard and tackle.
Reports out of Carolina suggest that Bernadeau has a strong work ethic, which would make him a good fit for Jason Garrett's Cowboys. Another thing that makes Bernadeau interesting, the guy is insanely strong: he won the Overtime Sports/DeFranco’s Training “World’s Strongest Athlete” competition twice.
Of note, the Cowboys' defensive line coach Brian Baker spent two years with the Panthers coaching his defensive linemen against Bernadeau among others. It may be that connection that put Bernadeau on the Cowboys' radar in the first place.
For now, it looks like Bernadeau will take Derrick Dockery's place on the roster. Dockery is an unrestricted free agent and will turn 32 at the start of the 2012 season. This move continues this year's trend of talking to (and hopefully eventually signing) young guys. Review your list of free agents on the Cowboys' shopping list and you'll see that none are above 30, and most are in their mid twenties.