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In More Ways Than One, Converted FB Catching Garrett's Eye

The phrase "the more you can do …" has never seemed to apply more to one player than it does for Keith Smith these days.

Just last year, he was a linebacker trying to make the team as a special teams player. The Cowboys signed him this summer with the hopes of turning him into a fullback. But head coach Jason Garrett couldn't stop raving about Smith this week after his performance Friday night – as a running back.

Ironically, the Cowboys went into camp thinking they had too many tailbacks. And here they are trying to finish the Week 2 preseason game with the Dolphins with a former linebacker taking handoffs.

And how did he do?

"He did a damn good job. No, he really did," said Garrett, who told reporters he mentioned Keith Smith's performance to the team in a meeting. "Think about his arc, as a linebacker playing special teams and we move him to fullback and then all of a sudden at the end of the game he's got a Dallas Cowboy uniform on against the Miami Dolphins and he's running the ball as a running back and really doing a good job of it. And a tribute to him, the preparation he's gone through to handle that situation as well as he did."

Smith's chances of making the team are improving, but he's not there yet. The Cowboys will likely go long at tailback with Zeke, Morris and then perhaps Dunbar, McFadden and rookie Darius Jackson all have a chance to make it. While the Cowboys use a fullback in the offense, it's not often.

Smith's main competition, Rod Smith, missed last week's game with an injury, opening the door even more for Keith Smith, who has never backed away from an opportunity.

"Smile on his face ready to go every day," Garrett said. "(He's) ready to pounce on any opportunity we give him. When you have guys like that you have a good chance at having some success."

  • Nick Eatman
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