Speaking on KRLD-FM 105.3 "The Fan", Dallas Cowboys executive vice-president and chief operating officer Stephen Jones addressed the possibility of the team making some roster changes during the "mini-bye" that falls between the traditional Thanksgiving game and the Cowboys Monday night visit to Chicago.
"Yes I see us making several moves. I could see us making three or four moves this week… I could certainly see a situation where we might replace Dunbar or a different type of player. But we’ll see how it goes. We’re going to have some guys in here working out. - Stephen Jones
This morning, thanks to a tweet from Bryan Broaddus, it became clear that one of the "different type" guys that the team had brought in for a workout was a fullback, Tyler Clutts, formerly of the Dolphins, Texans, Bears, and Browns. Considering that Dallas had chosen to enter the 2013 season without a true fullback on the roster, this could have signaled that the staff now sees a need to change its philosophy. Jason Garrett was asked about that during his Tuesday presser.
"I don't know that you ever need anything. What we've been doing is we've been playing mostly 12 personnel and sometimes James Hanna or Witten will go into the backfield. Kyle Bosworth has been a short yardage fullback for us as has Phil Costa at different times."
Now, instead of resorting to using someone else to fill the role, the Cowboys have brought in Clutts to serve as the lead blocker on a "full-time" basis.
Like we talked about this morning on Talkin' Cowboys. The Cowboys have signed FB Tyler Clutts. Going to grab a look here in a bit.— Bryan Broaddus (@BryanBroaddus) December 3, 2013
This move will now give the team additional options in the running game. With Dallas having a pair of critical games where inclement weather could play a factor (the upcoming road games in Chicago and Washington, DC) the team does need to have other options available to deal with unforeseen situations.
"You certainly want to be able to run the ball and be physical in bad weather games. Sometimes you're not able to throw the ball as well as you would like because of the conditions, and the next best thing to do is run it. Being able to run downhill in those conditions certainly would help." - Jason Garrett
Garrett made it clear that, even though the team did add a fullback, it does not signal a complete shift in his offensive strategy.
"We have never majored, majored, majored in any one position group."
He emphasized that the offense would still be mostly "12" and "11" groups with some "13" packages thrown in for good measure. This move will just give the offense another option to fall back on. Although we have not seen a lot of "21" personnel this season, as the teams head down the home stretch, it does not surprise me in the least to see the Dallas Cowboys being prepared for the possibility that they may have to resort to a power-running game due to prevailing conditions. For that, common logic says that the team is going to need a lead blocker to help clear the way for DeMarco Murray. Rather than trust someone who normally plays another position, the Dallas front office has wisely chosen to bring in a true fullback.
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