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Glass Half Full at Fullback

I've taken some grief for promoting fullback as a need position this offseason. Sunday's Super Bowl shows it's value, as Seattle and Pittsburgh respectively feature Mack Strong and Dan Kreider,two of the better remaining fullbacks in the game.

Look at the fruits of their labors. Shaun Alexander has set touchdown records with Strong leading his way. The Steelers have maintained one of the best running attacks in football with backs less girthy than Jerome Bettis. Kreider is one big reason why.

When we talk about talent levels, consider how long it has been since Dallas had a good masher at the fullback position. Daryl Johnson retired in 2000 but 1996 was the last year we saw the vintage Moose, with the speed to make plays receiving as well as blocking. Think how his decline and the team's paralleled one another.

It's odd that a franchise that has lined up Don Perkins, Walt Garrison, Calvin Hill, Robert Newhouse, Scott Laidlaw, Ron Springs, Timmy Newsome and Johnston at fullback has neglected the spot for so long. It's even more unusual when you consider that Bill Parcells has always relied on a big fullback. He had Maurice Carthon with the Giants, the aptly named Sam Gash in New England and a throwback FB in Richie Anderson when he helmed the Jets.

Parcells has long declared his desire to put a power running attack into operation. We've noted his inability to reshape the right side of the offensive line. We should add fullback to the list. He did import Anderson but the version we saw in 2003 and 2004 was a shell of his younger self.

I can't say if Dallas will fill this need in free agency or in the draft, but it will be filled somehow. You can't have a bruising attack with two backs who are not big enough to open their own holes. And Julius Jones and Marion Barber won't get any more effective around the goal line with converted defensive linemen like Marcus Spears leading the way. If Parcells is serious about pounding the football, he needs a thumper to lead the way.

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