Cowboys add former Bears RB/FB to the roster ahead of the draft.
FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys signed free-agent fullback Ryan Nall on Friday, adding a core special teams player who can also provide depth in the backfield.
Nall (6-2, 240) originally signed with the Bears in 2018 as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon State. He has played 33 career regular-season games, rushing six times for 12 yards and catching nine passes for 71 yards and one touchdown, but special teams was his calling card in Chicago.
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy also values the fullback role, even if it’s not an extensive part of the offense. Dallas used Connor McGovern as a lead blocker for a few snaps a game when he wasn’t starting at guard.
Fullbacks Nick Ralston and Sewo Olonilua are also on the 90-man roster. Ralston spent most of the 2021 season on the practice squad as an undrafted rookie, while Olonilua was pushing for a roster spot before suffering a season-ending neck injury in preseason. He spent the season on injured reserve.
Cowboys fans are hoping Will McClay can do his magic.
As the free agency period comes to an end and the NFL draft slowly approaches, the Dallas Cowboys sit in a familiar position idly doing nothing as other NFL teams improve their rosters.
The Cowboys re-signed some key contributors on the cheap like Dorance Armstrong, Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, Leighton Vander Esch, Carlos Watkins, Jake McQuaide, and Jeremy Sprinkle. Then they wisely come to terms with current star players Michael Gallup and DeMarcus Lawrence and added some outside low-level signings like James Washington and Dante Fowler, Jr.
While all of those signings were extremely important, the Dallas Cowboys have yet to fully address the losses of Amari Cooper, Cedrick Wilson, Randy Gregory, Connor Williams and La’el Collins. If not addressed through free agency, the best/last/only possibility is in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Will McClay is the only savior for the Dallas Cowboys to stay competitive and return to its glory years.
It’s been a decade (2012) since the Dallas Cowboys have made a big-time free agent signing. In 2012 the Cowboys signed defensive back Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50 million deal. Since then, big splashes have been a thing of the past.
Instead of going for the home run like Jerry Jones used to do, Stephen Jones “bargain shops” for mediocre players on team-friendly contracts.
Mock draft time baby.
1(24): Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
2(56): Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
3(88): Sam Williams, DE, Ole Miss
4(129): Lecitus Smith, OG, Virginia Tech
5(155): Cade York, K, LSU
5(167): Rachaad White, RB ASU
5(176): Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
5(178): Micah McFadden, LB, Indiana
6(193): Kalon Barnes, CB, Baylor
Analysis: I wanted to take a look at what might happen if the Cowboys lose their top guard in the first round. In this scenario, with Zion Johnson and Kenyon Green off the board, I think you have to consider a receiver and Chris Olave would be a home run pick if he’s still hanging around. Unfortunately, that meant I had to wait until the fourth round to address left guard – but snagging a superfreak tight end and a pass rusher that Dan Quinn covets is a nice consolation prize. My top priority on Day 3 was to fix the kicker situation, and I did that by snagging Cade York early in the fifth. Justyn Ross is intriguing because he’s the type of buy-low, sell-high gamble that the Cowboys would love. My other three picks were depth pickups that can help me in the future and potentially on special teams.
Is Chris Olave the best option at WR in round one?
The NFL Draft is drawing closer, and it’s created more conversation about what the Cowboys will do with their No. 24 pick.
If Dallas wants to draft a wide receiver with that pick, look no further than Ohio State’s Chris Olave. Olave enters the draft as one of college football’s best wide receivers in recent years. He holds the Ohio State record for most career touchdown receptions with 36 and is coming off a second consecutive All-Big Ten First-team selection. Last season, in a crowded Buckeyes receiving corps, Olave caught 65 passes for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Olave is the best route runner in this draft. He can separate from defenders like no other prospect and shredded opposing defenses as a Buckeye. Coming in at just 188 pounds, Olave lacks size but more than makes up for that with his high intelligence, awareness and release game. He’s a savvy technician and is dangerous when running routes like slants, curls, comebacks and digs. Olave’s agility is refined, making him hard to stop at the line of scrimmage.
He’s also lightning quick, running a 4.26 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in March. Olave’s rapid footwork matches his top-end speed, coming out of breaks quickly. His burst is just as fast, allowing him to create distance between defensive backs coming out of his route. He’s highly versatile, too. Olave can run screens, reverses, short and medium routes, and anything else you need him to do.
And who says he can’t be a deep threat either?
Where do we think the Cowboys look to add a TE?
The Cowboys had a decision to make with tight end Dalton Schultz after the 2021 season. After back-to-back productive campaigns, Dallas decided to place the franchise tag on him for $10.9 million, giving them until July 15 to sign him to a long-term deal before he has to play at that number for the 2022 season.
There isn’t much to swoon over behind Schultz on the depth chart. Blake Jarwin was released after having surgery that will likely have him sidelined for the start of the upcoming season. Sean McKeon had last summer’s promising momentum derailed by injury, and Jeremy Sprinkle, who was re-signed to a one-year deal, is used mainly as a blocker.
Dallas needs more depth at tight end, and All-ACC performer Jelani Woods and his versatile skill set could make him a steal on Day 2 or Day 3 of the NFL Draft.
Woods scouting report via Oliver Hodgkinson of Pro Football Network:
“There’s a natural and logical place to begin Woods’ NFL Draft scouting report. Size may not be everything, but the Virginia TE is an incredible specimen in this regard. Standing at over 6’7″, he’s distinctive when you turn on the tape. Furthermore, it doesn’t take long for his 34 1/8″ arms — and their legitimate weaponization — to become apparent.
“Naturally, Woods’ size and length make him an obvious red-zone target. The Virginia TE plays exceptionally well above the rim. With a strong, physical upper body, he’s able to box out even the most combative defensive backs. In addition to his natural height advantage in these situations, Woods’ length makes him an almost unfair pass catcher to guard. He has an excellent catch radius that he routinely puts to good use.”
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