Cowboys future focus: FB Chris Gronkowski

January, 24, 2011
1/24/11
12:00
PM ET
Future Focus
CHRIS GRONKOWSKI

Position: Fullback
Height: 6-2. Weight: 245
College: Arizona
How acquired: Undrafted free agent

[+] EnlargeChris Gronowski
Mark J. Rebilas/US PresswireWhile seeing plenty of action as a rookie, Chris Gronkowski missed two key blocks that led to injuries for Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.
What he did in 2010: He was active for 14 of the 16 games and started eight times as a rookie. He finished the year with 17 yards on five carries and caught seven passes for 35 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys elected to go with him as the lone fullback after cutting an injured Deon Anderson but he missed a blitz pickup that ended up with Tony Romo breaking his collarbone. He also missed a block that led to Dez Bryant’s fractured ankle on a kick return.

What to look for in 2011: Early in his first training camp Jerry Jones told Gronkowski he reminded him of Daryl Johnston. It was a heady tribute and one that Gronkowski still has to earn. He will go to camp as the starter in part because there is not another fullback on the roster. The return of tight end John Phillips from a knee injury could cut into his playing time or slice his roster spot altogether. What helped his cause in the battle with Anderson was his versatility. He has decent hands and was not bad in short yardage situations.

Quotable: “He’s an average lead blocker at best but he has some athletic ability. He got better the more he played, but he’s not a banger.” – NFC scout

Bryan Broaddus’ Scout’s Eye: I had a lot of hope for him coming out of camp but to me he’s not a true fullback. Early on he was more of a one shot blocker – hit and then fall off. He got better at sustaining but there were too many times where he was unable to get his guy out of the hole. The good thing about him is as a pass catcher, but to me this team probably needs to go get a real fullback.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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