New Fullback Gets Advice On Transition

Isaiah Greenhouse isn't the first player the Cowboys have converted from linebacker to fullback over the years, but he's the latest. The team moved him to offense barely more than a week ago.

Attending Wednesday night's practice was the most succesful player to make that transition, Robert Thomas, who moved over to fullback as a backup to Daryl Johnston in 1999, and soon replaced the long-time starter when injuries finally caught up to him.

Thomas, who started three years and led the way for Emmitt Smith's record-breaking run in 2002, reached out to Greenhouse after practice to offer a wise word.

"I had to teach myself to slow down," Thomas said. "Defense is aggressive-aggressive. Offense is passive-aggressive. I had to learn how to control my body instead of just running full speed, and that's something he's going to have to learn. You're taught as a linebacker to read and react ... well, on offense you have to be more influential, almost like an actor. That's what he's going to have to learn, he's going to have to persuade a guy to move into position and then attack him."

Thomas said the ability to learn an offensive playbook comes down to the individual. But he knows that when the team transitions a player to a new positions, it means they're looking for a reason to keep him.

"I'm living proof that it can be done," Thomas said. "If you really want this - if this is really what you want to be, an NFL player, you take your time out when everybody is going to lunch, and you take your book and study it. It's a career changer, but it can be for the better.

"I took it as an honor, because I learned they were trying to find a way to keep me, and all I had to do was learn my job."

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