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Training Camp | 2021

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Ralston Looking To Show His Versatility & Value


FRISCO, Texas – In the last two games Nick Ralston has played at AT&T Stadium, he's had a combined 56 carries.

Now, two of those occurred last Saturday against Houston and the previous 54 in one game, a double-overtime thriller in the state finals for Argyle High School in 2014.

But as the Cowboys prepare for Sunday's preseason finale against the Jaguars at AT&T Stadium, it could be a different setting once again for the rookie fullback.

Don't expect the Cowboys to actually feed the ball to Ralston like he's done in the past, but more opportunities could come his way.

"I'm ready for whatever they give me," Ralston said. "I feel like I can do a lot of different roles. If they need me to (carry the ball), I can do that."

Ralston is still listed as a fullback on the Cowboys' 80-man roster. But if he's going to survive the cuts to 53, he knows it will be because of the other things he can do, and the other positions he can play.

"I'm a football player, especially at that fullback position." Ralston said. "It epitomizes what a football player should be – tough, gritty. Get those tough yards and do the dirty work. I've played everything from running back, fullback, H-back, tight end and linebacker – all through college. I see now, it helped get a skill set from each position group. I feel like I'm pretty valuable because I can play so many different positions, especially on special teams."

And that's where Ralston has already made a mark, flying down on the kickoff team in Week 2 against Arizona to make a big tackle.

Last Saturday vs. Houston, Ralston got two short-yardage carries, even churning through what he called a "muddy" defensive line to get the first down on third-and-1.

This week, Ralston could get even more carries. Don't expect Ezekiel Elliott or Tony Pollard to play in the fourth and final game, and with the recent injury to Rico Dowdle, who is out for the season, the Cowboys will likely turn to rookies Brenden Knox, JaQuan Hardy and Ralston to run the ball.

Ralston is the only fullback on the roster, especially after Sewo Olonilua was moved to IR with a neck injury.

And with a good game, Ralston knows he has a shot to achieve that ultimate goal.

"Obviously it's to make the 53," he said. "I know in order to get there, I had to maximize each rep, each moment. That's been my main focus. I don't wander things about the future. I have to care of things right now."

And it doesn't get much more "right now" than Sunday's final preseason game.

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