IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys are in need of an improved running game and have some issues at cornerback.
Coach Jason Garrett said the team isn't interested in adding a fullback to the roster at this stage of the season despite the struggles of the run game. The Cowboys released fullback Lawrence Vickers prior to training camp with the goal of using more two-tight-end sets. Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said on his twice-a-week radio show the team plans on increasing the use of 12 personnel as the season progresses to help the running game.
"There's been discussions about that really throughout the offseason, leading up to the draft, after the draft but again, a lot of it has to do with the availability of that kind of a player and there aren't that many fullbacks available that we think can upgrade our football team right now," Garrett said. "We don't think it's really the most prominent issue. We just have to execute better."
The cornerback position has some issues as well but it's not because of poor play. The Cowboys kept four corners on their roster at the start of the season, but with starter Morris Claiborne playing with a bad left shoulder, which was separated in the Week 1 victory against the New York Giants, adding one could become a possibility.
Tuesday morning, the Cowboys worked out cornerbacks Junior Mertile, Ryan Steed and Peyton Thompson at Valley Ranch.
Rookie cornerback B.W. Webb is highly thought of in the front office and by the coaching staff, but he's not ready for significant playing time. Webb didn't get any defensive snaps in the Week 2 loss at Kansas City.
Last week, Cowboys executive vice president, Stephen Jones, said the team wasn't in need of a cornerback, but if they added someone it would be a veteran. The Cowboys have safety Micah Pellerin on the practice squad and he could get promoted to play some corner.
For now, with Claiborne bothered by his shoulder, Orlando Scandrick, the slot corner, most likely will start in his place, which was the case in the Week 2 loss at Kansas City.
"Scandrick did some good things," Garrett said. "Orlando’s a good football player. He's one of those guys that sometimes you pigeon hole guys and say, 'Hey, he's an inside guy. He's a nickel. He's got a little something to him.' He always has. A little bit of a chip on his shoulder, kind of like a bolder or a mountain. We think that's good. He brings that with every opportunity we give him, whether it's as a [special-] teams guy or an inside cover guy, as a nickel or as an outside guy. I thought he competed well with some good receivers."
Before the team makes any moves, the Cowboys would have to release a player and the team is pretty heavy at safety (five) and offensive line (10). It would be hard to cut someone from the safety spot because all five players are special-teams performers. The offensive line is a fluid situation because of health reasons. But if newly signed guard Brian Waters becomes a full-time starter and there's still issues with the run game and Claiborne's health doesn't improve, maybe a move at this position could be addressed.