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The Pros and Cons of the Cowboys re-signing Jamize Olawale

The Cowboys brought back fullback Jamize Olawale, but was it a good move?

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As free agency slows down (although the Cowboys still have a few irons in the fire), we’re going to take a look back at their signings and evaluate the good and the bad of each. Today we examine the Cowboys re-signing Jamize Olawale.

Context

The Cowboys use a run-heavy offensive plan and continue to employ a fullback in their offense. In the 2018 offseason, Keith Smith signed a deal with the Oakland Raiders leaving the Cowboys without a fullback. Dallas remedied that by working a trade for the guy Smith was essentially replacing in Oakland, Jamize Olawale. The Cowboys sent a fifth-round pick to Oakland who sent back a sixth-round pick and Olawale.

While still classified as a fullback, Olawale had previously shown a wider range of skills than just a normal “head-first into the blocking scheme” guy. He had been used occasionally out of the backfield as a receiver who could make moves in the open field, and had carried the ball on occasion. But in 2018 with Dallas, he did little of that. He had no rushes and only caught two passes on four targets and famously dropped a wide open touchdown pass against the Colts.

For a team that is insistent on carrying a true fullback, the Cowboys certainly don’t use him much. Olawale only participated on 10.6% of the offensive snaps. Where he showed value besides blocking was on special teams where he was the second-most used player on 63% of the snaps.

The deal

In a surprise, the Cowboys signed Olawale to a three-year deal worth $5.4 million with $2.8 million guaranteed. His cap hit is $1.7 million in 2019 and 2020, and goes to $2 million in 2021. This is a longer deal than was expected, and with more guaranteed money than would have been predicted. Based on this, the Cowboys must have a plan to use Olawale more, maybe utilizing him more in the passing game and as a potential runner in certain situations. It’s hard to believe they paid that kind of money for someone who was essentially a special-teamer in 2018.

Pros

  • If nothing else, he has value as a special teams guy.
  • In a run-heavy offense, having a fullback is good.
  • Olawale has more of a skill-set than a straight-ahead blocker.
  • With this contract, the Cowboys must have plans to use him in more varied ways.
  • Can act as an emergency running back on gameday.

Cons

  • Outside of special teams, made little tangible impact in 2018.
  • In his one big moment, dropped an easy touchdown pass.
  • He will be 30 years old when the season begins.
  • If he is not productive in new ways, the contract is an overpay.

So what’s your call BTB? How do you feel about the signing of Jamize Olawale? Vote in the poll and hit the comments.

Poll

Poll

What grade would you give the signing of Jamize Olawale?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    A - He is going to bust out in Kellen Moore’s offense
    (75 votes)
  • 27%
    B - He can be a valuable tool in various areas.
    (493 votes)
  • 33%
    C - He’s an expensive special teams guy,
    (585 votes)
  • 24%
    D - Too much money for too many years.
    (425 votes)
  • 10%
    F - I give up.
    (184 votes)
1762 votes total Vote Now

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