Over the next two weeks, DallasCowboys.com dives deeper into the talented group of undrafted rookies that will battle for a roster spot this offseason.
- Name: Sewo Olonilua
- Position: Fullback
- School: TCU
- Height/Weight: 6-3/240lbs
- Awards & Recognition: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, NFL Combine Invite, Cheez-It Bowl Offensive Most Valuable Player
The Good: Olonilua (Oh-lon-IH-loo-uh) has an opportunity to be a legitimate niche back in the NFL with his size and ability to block agile defenders. He has an innate ability to get to the next level and utilize his frame to lock on and create space, or to sit back in pass protection and move laterally to protect his quarterback. As a ball carrier, he was made for short yardage situations as he packs a punch when he lowers his shoulder to mow down a potential tackler.
The Project: Unlike his college (and now professional) teammate Darius Anderson, Olonilua takes a bit more time to get up to speed. He's not going to be a 'touchdown every play' sort of back because he's limited to running in between the tackles and struggles to find the edge with a lack of explosiveness. If the game comes down to a crucial fourth-and-1 or a goal-line situation where you just need a few feet, he's your guy. If you need a three-down back who can eat up a ton of carries, not so much. At the moment, Olonilua just doesn't possess the shiftiness to make defenders miss on a normal basis and it severely limits what he can do with the football.
The Summary: As is the case for many undrafted free agents, Olonilua specializes in one specific area and has holes in his game in others. Luckily the role of a punishing fullback and someone who can block in the backfield is something that's needed on this current Cowboys roster. Jamize Olawale has filled that position for the past two seasons but could ultimately concede the spot should someone better enter the conversation. One thing that is on the side of Olonilua is that in today's NFL, the fullback or third running back needs to be a threat in the passing game. Despite his large frame, he showed that he can still break out wide and become a receiver if needed during his time at TCU with 24 receptions. Olawale has only caught two passes with the Cowboys in 32 games. It'll be interesting to see which type of back head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore will prefer come training camp.
The Cowboys have a rich history in signing undrafted rookies from Drew Pearson to Tony Romo. Check out this year's group of 15 rookie free agents that have agreed to terms.