Dallas Cowboys

Rod Smith ready for role at FB to stay on Cowboys with his brother

Dallas Cowboys running back Rod Smith (45) didn’t play much at tailback last season but hopes to have a bigger role at fullback.
Dallas Cowboys running back Rod Smith (45) didn’t play much at tailback last season but hopes to have a bigger role at fullback. Star-Telegram

Rod Smith has never played on the same team with his younger brother Jaylon Smith. After the Cowboys made Jaylon, a linebacker, their second-round choice, Rod will get a chance to do just that.

But he will have to make the team first.

To that end, the Cowboys asked Rod to move from tailback to fullback and compete with converted linebacker Keith Smith for the job.

“I’m embracing it,” Rod Smith said Wednesday at the Cowboys’ annual golf tournament for sponsors. “I’m up for the challenge. I’ve always been an athlete, so I’m never afraid to try out new things, try out new positions.”

Rod Smith has never played fullback, though he has served as a lead blocker. The Cowboys did not re-sign fullback Tyler Clutts, who participated on 13 percent of the team’s offensive snaps last season. Clutts remains a free agent.

But it became clear when the Cowboys signed free agent Alfred Morris and drafted Ezekiel Elliott in the first round that they didn’t have a spot at tailback for Rod Smith.

“The first time I heard it I probably will say at the captain’s workouts [before the official offseason program started],” Rod said. “So that’s the first time I heard it. It was kind of like shocking. At the same time, I was just happy to still be on the team.”

Smith stands 6 foot 3 and was listed at 226 pounds last season. He said he played at 227-228. He now weighs 235.

“[I have to] keep reminding myself I’ve got to get in a three-point stance,” Smith said. “Other than that, it comes naturally. It’s being an athlete. It helps you to play different positions and be able to move around at different positions. So I’m looking forward to it.”

Smith played with Elliott at Ohio State. He played 31 games for the Buckeyes before being dismissed after five games in 2014, reportedly for a failed drug test.

The Cowboys claimed him off waivers from the Seahawks on Oct. 14. He played in 10 games last season but only 21 offensive snaps.

 

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