IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys now have a true fullback on their roster.
The Cowboys signed Tyler Clutts after he was among five running backs to work out for the team. To make room for Clutts, running back Lance Dunbar, who had knee surgery Tuesday, was placed on injured reserve.
Clutts, 6-2, 254 pounds, played in four games earlier this season for the Miami Dolphins before his release. He has played for the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears. He caught eight passes for 48 yards for the Bears in 2011.
The Cowboys did not carry a fullback on their active roster this season and parted ways with veteran Lawrence Vickers on July 12. They had used tight ends Jason Witten and James Hanna and linebacker Kyle Bosworth at fullback in different situations this season.
With a cold weather game coming Monday night at Chicago and another one possible on Dec. 22 at Washington, the Dallas Cowboys could be forced to run the ball more, but coach Jason Garrett does not believe the signing would be a shift from what they have done this season.
“You certainly want to be able to run the ball and be physical in bad weather games,” Garrett said. “Sometimes you’re not able to throw the ball as well as you’d like because of the conditions and the next best thing to do is run it. Being physical, being able to run downhill would certainly help you in those kinds of environments.”
RELATED: Scouting Report – New Dallas Cowboys fullback Tyler Clutts
Tyler Clutts | 6-2 | 254 | 4.94 40-Yard Dash | Fresno State
Game film viewed:
Miami regular season 2013: Cleveland, Indianapolis, Atlanta, New Orleans
Clutts was a defensive end at Fresno State before being converted to fullback when he made the transition to the professional game. He got his start in the Canadian Football League with Edmonton.
He then made stops in the NFL with Cleveland, where he played with current Dallas Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown. Clutts was with the Browns in 2011, then Chicago 2011-2012. He played for Houston in 2012, where he worked in a zone running scheme, before finally heading to Miami for the first four games of the 2013 season.
- Plays as a true fullback in “I” formation; will also line up offset and on the line as a tight end or wing (Editors note: Think Jason Witten’s usual spot or sometimes DeMarco Murray).
- Good path to search out defender. Can locate the correct man on the move.
- Shows a good initial pop and strike, but I thought he needed to do a better job with overall sustain. Likes to grab and hold for control.
- Needs to be careful in the way he uses his hands. Didn’t see any holding calls, but they were always on the outside of the frame work of the body.
- Will try and dig linebacker out of the hole. He had times where he was square to strike at the point, then others where he was on the edge and got him knocked off.
- Thought he needed to do better job of running through his man when inside at the point of attack. Needs to keep his feet working once he is engaged.
- Thought he was a much better blocker when he was leading the play on the outside or to the edge. Just played more comfortably when he could work to the outside, find his man, then try to secure his block. Did a better job of staying with his man this way.
- Will strike his man, then work up the field or into the flat. I did not have the opportunity to see him use his hands catching the ball for the Dolphins (Editors note: Because he didn’t have any with Miami. Only receptions were with Chicago in 2011. 8 for 48 yards with 6 yard average. Included his longest catch of 10 yards). Appeared to be good in getting into his route, really saw no issues here.
- Played on special teams for the Dolphins as the right back in the second line working on the two-man wedge. Was able to work to his spot to execute his assignment. Would like to have seen him do a better job of attacking his man, then catch the block to control. Was told that in the workout for coaches, he worked as a deep snapper but really just an emergency option at best.
- Has the bulk and square build to be a dependable blocking full back, but I would have liked to see more nasty play when he got the opportunity. Didn’t see a guy that just hammered defenders with his play. Will be interested if we see that from his play now that he is on this roster.