The Dallas Cowboys released the only true fullback on their roster on Friday afternoon, Lawrence Vickers. The eight year veteran was signed as a free agent just last year. After blocking for running back Peyton Hillis in his breakout year in 2010 and running back Arian Foster in 2011, Vickers was part of a Dallas rushing offense that ranked a lowly 31st in the NFL last season.
Despite playing every game last season, Vickers had only six starts as a Cowboy. The 30-year old also had back surgery in the off-season, but he was expected to be ready for the start of training camp next week.
This move isn’t all that shocking when you consider the Cowboys have been trying out second year linebacker Caleb McSurdy at fullback during the mini-camps this off-season. The addition of tight end Dante Rosario, who was signed as a free agent in the off-season, also foreshadowed Vickers’ release. Rosario has played the H-back position before.
The Cowboys will save around 1.2 million in salary cap space due to this move. But don’t expect them to sign a free agent fullback with that money. After the signing of Rosario and the drafting of tight end Gavin Escobar in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft, it’s no secret that Dallas’ offense is going to play a lot more tight end sets that will not require a fullback. And if they do need one, they have two candidates in-house already who they think can get the job done.
It’s just another nail in the coffin that is the modern day fullback position. If you have a drink today, pour out a little for Daryl “Moose” Johnston first. He may be the last great of a dying breed.