While traditional fullbacks don't seem to be growing off trees anymore, they haven't changed into 6-5, 260-pounders either.
But whether he's the fullback or tight end prototype, John Phillips has been called upon to fill in as the team's lead blocker on running downs as Tony Fiammetta has been out and will likely miss his second straight game Thursday against the Dolphins, still suffering from an illness with concussion-like symptoms.
That means Phillips will be called upon again. And even he admits it's not ideal considering his taller frame than traditional fullbacks.
"It's a little bit tougher. Obviously I have to drop my hips a lot lower than traditional fullbacks because of the height," said Phillips, a third-year tight end drafted in the sixth round in 2009. "It's a position I feel comfortable playing and it's anything I can do to help the team out."
For those might say, blocking is blocking, Phillips begs to differ.
"It's completely different blocking as a tight end, where you're a lot closer and usually on bigger guys. You just use different techniques. After one or two steps, you're hitting. At fullback, you get about five yards to lead. It's different and you just have to adapt to it."
Technique or not, Phillips said a complete attitude adjustment is needed when knowing he will serve as the Cowboys' lead blocker.
"It's definitely a different mindset to play fullback. You know you're going to be banging all day. You have to get your mind right early in the week when you know you're going to be doing that."