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Scout's Notebook: Fullbacks Failing To Impress

Posted Aug 9, 2014


OXNARD, Calif. – Here are some leftover tidbits from the Cowboys’ Saturday night practice, highlighted by Tyrone Crawford’s progress at defensive end – and the fullback battle.

  • If you are looking for a clue in the running back battle of which guy might have an advantage between Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams, Randle lined up as the personal protector on the second punt team and made a tackle. Putting him in that spot is a pretty big responsibility because that position identifies the front and sets the blocking protection.
  • I have always been a big fan of Tyrone Crawford and his overall ability as a player. If there is an area of his game that I would like to see him improve in, it would be in his technique as a pass rusher. I watch him snap after snap, just waiting for him to throw a combination move with his hands to free himself as he is going up the field. Instead, he takes those hands and tries to plant them in the middle of the tackle’s chest and bull rush him with power. When he chooses this route, he does have the strength to get that push -- but there are also some snaps where he gets stuck on the block and doesn’t get to the quarterback. This bothers me, because I know there is more there but we just are not seeing it now. 
  • In the side of his game that needed the most improvement, Gavin Escobar did a better job at the point of attack, blocking, than at any point of last season. He still has a ways to go, but he was in better position and his sustain during the block has improved which is a good sign.
  • Uche Nwaneri is a much better player than I was willing to give him credit for. My initial thought of him was a veteran player that you could put in these preseason games and not get someone hurt. With him, you could evaluate the younger players because he wouldn’t make a mistake. What I have seen from him at this point, is that there is still some gas left in the tank. The way that he is performing, he is giving this front office and coaches a serious reason to keep him around.
  • In the fullback battle, I have yet to see anything that makes me absolutely want to keep one of them on this roster. I was hopeful that, from our time here in camp and the first preseason game, that Tyler Clutts or J.C. Copeland would have separated themselves -- but that hasn’t been the case. If you asked me right now, I am leaning in favor of carrying that extra running back, receiver or third quarterback at that spot.
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