Archer | Anderson will try fullback, halfback
Notebook: Anderson will try fullback, halfback
Last season's leading receiver expected to be third-down back
10:56 PM CDT on Saturday, July 31, 2004
By TODD ARCHER / The Dallas Morning News
OXNARD, Calif. – Richie Anderson is one of the more dependable fullbacks in the NFL, but as he enters his second season with the Cowboys, his role will change.
On the first day of training camp Saturday in Oxnard, Calif., Anderson did not line up as a fullback, spending his time in the tailback rotation with Eddie George, Julius Jones, Aveion Cason and ReShard Lee.
"I'll be doing a little bit of everything," Anderson said.
Anderson led the Cowboys with 69 catches last season and also ran a career-high 70 times for 306 yards. Anderson is probably best suited to be the third-down back, running certain draw plays and being set up on screen passes.
"All I know is Richie is going to be in the mix," coach Bill Parcells said. "Exactly how the rest of this sorts out at the respective positions – fullback and halfback – will really determine what he does unless he's really just off the cliff physically, and I don't think he is because he trains so hard."
Parcells asked Anderson to drop weight during the off-season because he intended to play Anderson more at tailback.
Once George signed, however, the plan changed a little, so Anderson will have to know both positions.
"I'm going to do whatever is asked of me," Anderson said. "[Parcells] knows what he's doing. I'm going to trust his judgment. They know I'll be ready."
Number change: In high school and college, Drew Henson wore No. 7, but when he was traded to Dallas, he was given No. 11 because Chad Hutchinson had No. 7.
With Hutchinson gone, Henson, who is hoping his return to football after a pro baseball career is better than Hutchinson's, is in No. 7 again.
"People ask me about it all the time," Henson said. "I liked John Elway, but it was just a number I've liked. It's a good quarterback number, so that's the one I picked."
Position change: Being a little light on the defensive line after the release of Willie Blade and a little heavy on the offensive line, the Cowboys have moved Dave Volk to defensive tackle.
Volk earned All-NFL Europe honors as a guard for Amsterdam this spring but was wearing a blue No. 72 jersey, signifying the change to defense.
"We talked to him about this last year a little bit, so I'm just going to look at him for a couple of days there," coach Bill Parcells said. "It's just now is the time I can afford to do it."
Javiar Collins was a defensive tackle in college before moving to tackle with the Cowboys in 2001. Former Pro Bowler Mark Tuinei made the successful switch from the defensive line to offense.
Summer vacation only: The Cowboys have the option of returning to Oxnard next year, but owner and general manager Jerry Jones shot down any chance of a potential full-time move of the franchise to Los Angeles.
"It's just not a consideration," said Jones, who added the club might have more comments to make regarding the stadium situation in Arlington later in camp.
Briefly: Rookie running back Julius Jones, who caught Bill Parcells' attention in the morning drills, will work on kickoff and punt returns. ... Center Gennaro DiNapoli is wearing a walking boot to protect his right ankle. He rode the bike during practice.