When Lawrence Vickers missed offseason workouts after back surgery, the Cowboys were left without a fullback.
Unfortunately for Vickers, the Cowboys ended up deciding going without a fullback was manageable. The Cowboys released Vickers last week, leaving them with six tight ends but not a fullback.
“There’s no guarantee that we’ll continue in that mode, but we feel good about the four, five, six tight ends we have on our roster right now, how they can compete and how the whole thing looked,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told the club’s website in a story published Thursday.
The Cowboys begin training camp in Oxnard, Calif. on Saturday.
According to Pro Football Focus, Vickers played 305 snaps in 2012. Per NFL data, he played most often in one-RB, two-WR, one-TE formations, logging 64 snaps in this package. Overall, Dallas attempted 33 rushes and 31 passes out of this set, according to NFL statistics.
Also, per NFL data, Vickers logged 22 snaps in a one-RB, one-FB, three-TE formation (with a sixth O-lineman as third tight end). Eleven of these plays were with featured back DeMarco Murray in the lineup, and Murray converted six first downs and scored a TD out of his formation. Moreover, Dallas scored a pair of TDs in the same formation with the now-departed Felix Jones in the lineup. Overall, the Cowboys attempted 21 rushes and just one pass out of this formation in 2012.
It’s in these sort of obvious-run formations that an experienced fullback like Vickers can make a difference, even if it’s just one play a game. If Dallas can succeed without a traditional fullback on these sorts of plays, perhaps the club continues to go without a dedicated blocking back. But if the Cowboys struggle here, perhaps then a fullback is re-added to the roster.