The Dallas Cowboys signed tight end Dante Rosario today, giving them an overload at the position. They already have Jason Witten, James Hanna and rookie Gavin Escobar to take the majority of snaps at tight end, as well as Andre Smith and Colin Cochart on the roster.
As it stands right now, the Cowboys have three tight ends who are locks to make the roster and everyone else will be fighting to make the team. Rosario has the upper hand since he’s played in the league on a full-time basis since 2007, so his experience and versatility gives him an advantage over Smith and Cochart. In fact, it’s his versatility that might push fullback Lawrence Vickers off the Cowboys roster.
It’s well known the Cowboys are moving towards more of a tight end based offense, and that means Dallas has less of a need at fullback in the “12” personnel. The Cowboys lacked a power blocker at tight end until they signed Rosario and his arrival could mean the end of Vickers’ time in Dallas. Rosario has experience as an H-back in the NFL and going back to his collegiate days so it wouldn’t be hard for him to take over for Vickers if he was released. The Cowboys aren’t likely to have enough roster space for both players when the season begins and it’s probably Vickers who will be the odd man out.
Vickers was unimpressive in 2012 for the Cowboys and he’s been missing from OTA’s because of back surgery, which doesn’t help his chances. If the Cowboys cut Vickers, they could be going without a fullback on the roster in September.
Rosario is a good signing by the Cowboys because they needed more of a thumping blocker to help out their talented group of receiving tight ends. Rosario’s played in some run heavy offenses when he spent time with the Carolina Panthers and San Diego Chargers, which should help comfort Cowboys fans who were worried about the need for a blocking tight end. His versatility should be a big help to the offense and his experience as an H-back is an added bonus.
It looks more and more like the Cowboys will have four tight ends on their roster in 2013, the only question is, will it come at the expense of Lawrence Vickers?