PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Dallas Cowboys FB Lawrence Vickers

Dallas Cowboys FB Lawrence Vickers - The Boys Are Back blog

Position: Fullback  Size: 6-0, 250  Age: 29  College: Colorado

Drafted: Sixth round, 180th overall pick, in 2006

Experience: Entering his seventh season

Contract status: Signed a two-year contract with the Cowboys in March. According to Spotrac.com, the deal is worth a total of $2.4 million with Vickers making a base salary of $800,000 in 2012.

2011 review: While playing in 14 games for the Houston Texans, Vickers caught four passes, recorded one rushing attempt and one start. However, Vickers played a significant role in clearing space for Texans running back Arian Foster, who rushed for 1,224 yards and 10 touchdowns.

2012 Outlook: Although Vickers has become known for briefly exiting organized team activities earlier this month because of fire ants in his pants, during the 2012 season, the veteran will be identified as the lead blocker for DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones.

Before landing in Houston last year, Vickers spent his first five NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns doing similar work. The Beaumont native rarely carried the ball, something he’s done only 34 times in 90 career games, instead, Vickers occasionally caught passes [45 career grabs with three going for scores] and blocked for several running backs.

“I want to do the dirty work,” Vickers said in a 2010 interview posted on YouTube. “I want to do that job that most people can’t do. And most people can’t play the fullback position. It’s hard. It’s not like blocking on the line. It’s a collision. It’s a gut check.”

In 2008, Vickers was named as a second alternate for the Pro Bowl. Two years later, he led the way for Peyton Hillis to rush for a career-high 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns.

When the Cowboys were healthy at fullback last season, Murray had success. But when fullback Tony Fiammetta, who is currently with the New England Patriots, was sidelined because of illness, Murray, who eventually had his rookie season ended prematurely because of a broken ankle, wasn’t as productive.

Can Vickers help Murray find similar success? Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones must think so. After all, Jones recently said: “This can be the best we’ve been at fullback since Daryl [Johnston].”

Murray wasn’t about to make any bold predictions last week when asked about the addition of Vickers. Like Murray pointed out, because players weren’t wearing pads at OTA and mini-camp practices it’s difficult to know how everything will unfold when both sides start hitting.

“So far so good,” Murray said. “I’m loving the enthusiasm he brings to the running back group and brings to the practice field and what he brings to this team, so I’m excited to see what he’s going to do in training camp.”

Dallas Cowboys fullback Lawrence Vickers (47) and running back Darrell Scott (35) work on blocking technique during Dallas Cowboys football mini-camp at Valley Ranch - The Boys Are Back blog

Lawrence Blanchard Vickers, Jr. (born May 8, 1983 in Beaumont, Texas) is a fullback for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played college football for the University of Colorado at Boulder Buffaloes.

Early years

Four year letterman at Forest Brook High School in Houston, Texas.

College career

He played for the University of Colorado Buffaloes during his college career. Vickers saw limited playing time as a true freshman in 2002. He saw action in 11 games, including the Alamo Bowl (no starts), seeing time on both offense (at fullback) and on special teams; he was a regular at the end of the year in CU’s Stack-I formation (two fullbacks). He had seven rushes for 25 yards on the year, and also caught one pass for seven yards. In 2003, he played in 11 games on both offense and special teams, started six of those games at FB and finished with 100 yards on 28 carries with one TD. He also finished with 15 receptions for 123 yards and one TD. As a junior in 2004, Vickers started seven games and finished with 63 carries for 252 yards and two TD’s, and 28 receptions for 290 yards. He remained the Buffs No. 1 FB and backup RB as a senior in 2005, when he finished with 258 yards and nine TDs on 73 carries and 152 yards and two TDs on 26 receptions. He was an Ethnic Studies/Sociology major. It has also been revealed that he is allergic to ants.

Professional career

Cleveland Browns

Vickers was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 6th round, pick 11 (180th overall) of the 2006 NFL draft. Serving as the team’s backup fullback behind Terrelle Smith, Vickers started one game, earning three rushing attempts for two yards and catching six passes for 60 yards. He saw significant time on special teams, having five kick returns for 84 yards. He made his NFL debut versus the New Orleans Saints on September 10.

Vickers took over the fullback position in 2007 and played in every game with 14 starts. He was Jamal Lewis’ primary lead blocker, helping him rush for 1,304 yards and 9 touchdowns. He also had 15 carries for 43 yards and 13 receptions for 91 yards and 2 touchdowns. For his efforts, Vickers was named as a second alternate for the 2008 Pro Bowl at fullback.

In his four seasons, Vickers has scored 3 touchdowns, all on short-yardage receptions. All of his touchdowns were scored against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

Houston Texans

On August 3, 2011, Lawrence Vickers signed with the Houston Texans. Vickers was released by Houston on March 13, 2012.

Dallas Cowboys

Vickers was signed to a two year deal by the Dallas Cowboys on March 14, 2012.

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