47) Can The Offense Operate Without True Blocking Fullback?

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IRVING, Texas – As the Cowboys focus on the offseason, training camp is still in sight.

Coming off two straight 8-8 seasons and three full seasons removed from the playoffs, the Cowboys have plenty of question marks surrounding them as they prepare for the 2013 season.

As we count down the days to camp, the writers of DallasCowboys.com will take a different question each day that is hovering over this team.

With 47 days until the Cowboys take the field in Oxnard, Calif., today's question centers on the fullback position.

47) Can The Offense Operate Without True Blocking Fullback?

The addition of a fourth tight end this week, coupled with the back injury to Lawrence Vickers, suggests the Cowboys might be thinking about the possibility of playing without a true fullback this year. Vickers started last year and has reunited with coach Gary Brown, who coached the running backs in Cleveland. [embedded_ad]

But if the Cowboys are planning to play more "12 personnel" which operates with a second tight end and no fullback, it could mean the offense plans to simply get by on the short-yardage situations. The Cowboys didn't exactly thrive with Vickers in the game, rushing for just 79.1 yards per game.

Vickers is currently the only fullback on the roster, although the Cowboys did try linebacker Caleb McSurdy and center/guard Kevin Kowalski at fullback in goal-line drills on Tuesday. Neither player will likely make a permanent move but it could be more of a situational plan, which could prevent them from keeping a fullback on the roster.

With the signing of Dante Rosario, the Cowboys now have Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar and James Hanna in the rotation, along with the newly-signed veteran, who has experience on special teams with special teams coach Rich Bisaccia.

Sticking with our numerical journey to training camp, let's take a closer look at the number 47:

  • Michael Irvin had 47 career games with 100 yards receiving or more, the most in franchise history.
  • Marion Barber scored 47 rushing touchdowns, which ranks third-most in Cowboys history.
  • In 1997, Arizona quarterback Kent Graham threw 47 passes, the third-most against the Cowboys without an interception.
  • In 1993, the Cowboys allowed just 47 interception return yards, the fewest ever in club history.
  • The Cowboys' record for fewest penalties in a season is 47, set in 1961.
  • "Bullet" Bob Hayes averaged 47 yards on three punt returns in a playoff win over Cleveland in 1967.
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