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Role Call: Local Star Aims to Make Roster


(Editor's Note: With the offseason program in the rearview mirror, it's time to look ahead. As part of the preparation for training camp, this series will introduce 25 key players who are new to the Cowboys' roster, rookies and veterans alike. The series continues today with undrafted free agent Nick Ralston.)

How He Got Here: Ralston makes his way to the Cowboys from Argyle, Texas, about 30 miles north of Fort Worth, though he spent his college career with the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns. One of the more prolific high school football running backs to come from the metroplex in the last decade, Ralston led Argyle to a 2013 UIL State Championship and tallied over 6,300 yards with 100 touchdowns in his prep career.

He initially elected to continue his career at Arizona State and stayed with the program for four years as part of a loaded depth chart. During his final year with the Sun Devils, head coach Herm Edwards flipped Ralston to linebacker where he earned starting reps by the end of spring practice but rarely played in the regular season. He then transferred to Louisiana where he played one season as a tight end and linebacker over 14 games in 2019.

What's Next: Making the roster for Ralston would mean he had the best offseason and training camp of the blocking tight end/fullback hybrids. His main priority is being a bulldozer for guys like Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard while also contributing on special teams or other short yardage scenarios. Listed at 6'0 and 237 pounds, he is built to take hits and maybe play a bit of a role in the receiving game, but very rarely. His main competition for making the roster is his fellow UDFA from 2020, Sewo Olonilua, who bumped back and forth between the active roster and the practice squad last year. If Ralston would like to ultimately take Olonilua's role, he'll have to do multiple things well. The last time the Cowboys carried a true fullback on the roster was 2019 with seven-year veteran Jamize Olawale before he opted out of the 2020 season and was released this past March.

Bet You Didn't Know: If you're not up to date with undrafted free agent twitter accounts, then you may have missed Ralston's creative offseason workouts. The pinned tweet on Ralston's twitter account (@NickRalston22) is a video of him single-handedly pulling a semi-truck, with the hashtag "make fullbacks great again." He even obtained a retweet and a "good luck" from Cowboys legend and fellow fullback Daryl "Moose" Johnston.

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