Cowboys Postseason Analysis: Cowboy Backs

Blake Jarwin and Zac Veatch return in 2016 to anchor the Cowboy Backs position, a hybrid spot made up of former fullbacks and tight ends at Oklahoma State.

The newest innovation in Oklahoma State football for the 2015 season was the term "Cowboy Backs," which was coined in the spring when new assistant coach Jason McEndoo was asked by head coach Mike Gundy what he wanted his title to be. McEndoo thought about a catch phrase or term to fit coaching the fullbacks and tight ends. Several of the players like Jeremy Seaton, former offensive guard Zac Veatch, and eventual first-team All-Big 12 tight end Blake Jarwin could play both positions, so McEndoo came up with "Cowboy Backs" and it stuck.

It's a position that is kind of the "mutt" spot on the depth chart as the top two players at the position are former walk-ons.

Jarwin, as we mentioned, was named first-team All-Big 12 by the coaches, and he finished with 17 catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns. It was Jarwin's touchdowns that likely earned him his honors with his scores at West Virginia and Texas Tech being crucial in both those games. He also earned his toughness award for the Iowa State game when he stayed in the game for one play after taking a hit that resulted in a collapsed lung and several cracked ribs. 

Seaton is a former quarterback who really is the blue print player for the Cowboy Back, and he earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors as a junior and was a preseason all-conference selection following the 2015 season. He finished the season with seven receptions for 88 yards and two touchdowns and nearly a third in the Sugar Bowl. He caught touchdowns at Texas and earlier in the season against Central Arkansas. 

Veatch really surprised folks with the transition from offensive guard to tight end, but it shouldn't have been a shock. He played tight end as a freshman at OSU after playing the position in high school at Broken Arrow. Veatch had six receptions this season for 74 yards. 

There is also Jordan Frazier, who played sparingly this season, future walk-on success stories like Britton Abbott and a scholarship player that has switched positions on a couple of occasions in Dawson Bassett. Cowboy Backs don't have to be pedigree they can be mutts that standout and contribute. 

That said, while the Cowboy Backs caught the ball well and made important plays in the passing game, the blocking could have been better. Like the running backs and the offensive line, the Cowboy Backs have to own the lack of success in the run game. From their spots as either edge blockers up front, off-the-line blockers as an h-back or fullback they can pop open holes and space for running backs to use to spring big plays. It happened, but not enough. 

Losing Seaton will hurt as he was a great example for the rest of the players at the position. But Jarwin learned so much from Seaton and Jarwin's extreme effort will be a great example to the younger players. For next season keep up the receptions and pick up the blocking and the Cowboy Backs will be just fine.

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