Why DeeJay Dallas will make the Seattle Seahawks roster
By Jake Luppino
Seattle Seahawks rookie running back DeeJay Dallas has made a valuable impression on his teammates and coaches.
In the fourth round of the 2020 draft, with the 144th pick, the Seattle Seahawks selected half back, DeeJay Dallas, from the University of Miami. DeeJay Dallas is a versatile player who played multiple positions at the University of Miami. He played three seasons with the Hurricanes and put up the following numbers:
Rushing: 265 ATT, 1,527 YDs, 17 TDs
Receiving: 28 REC, 317 YDs, 2 TDs
Dallas also took place in special teams as a returner for the Hurricanes; that is the one thing I do not expect him to do in Seattle. While Dallas was a fourth round pick, many found it odd that the Seattle Seahawks selected another HB. It seemed as if his chances of making the team would be slim and became even slimmer after signing veteran HB Carlos Hyde in May. As it currently stands, the Seahawks currently have five running backs: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Carlos Hyde, Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas. Last year when both Carson and Penny suffered season ending injuries, the Seattle Seahawks brought back the legend Marshawn Lynch while also giving Homer a chance to prove himself.
Homer proved to be a viable option by running hard, catching passes and even blocking for Russell Wilson. Homer made some big time plays against the Packers in the divisional round, but, he was primarily used on special teams. Homer solidified his spot on the team when he was asked to stepped up and did exactly so.
DeeJay Dallas will make this team if he keeps up the good work. Dallas know’s he coming into a situation where the team is loaded with depth at the half back position. If he wants to earn a spot on the 53 man roster, he needs to make himself stand out. Dallas reminds me a lot of Homer. They are both 5 feet 10 inches tall and are very similar in weight. They both possess the physical attributes that Seattle looks for in their run game.
In the Seattle Seahawks first mock game of training camp, Deejay Dallas impressed his teammates. Here is what Coach Carroll had to say about his rookie half back:
"He’s done a really nice job. He’s a real natural athlete. He’s played quarterback in his background, he’s been a receiver. At the running back spot, he brings some talent and background running routes and getting out of the backfield and feeling really comfortable in situations getting down the field and catching and all. So he’s done a nice job for us to kind of establish that we can count on him already, he has those talents. He’s right in it. He’s getting involved in special teams, that’s going to be a big factor for him."
Dallas’ background as a passer does provide the Seattle Seahawks with a unique opportunity for trick plays, but it is not a critical part of their offense. Last year, one of the only trick plays they had was the flee flicker against the Eagles where Russell Wilson ended up throwing one of his best deep balls in between two defenders too Malik Turner for a touchdown. Speaking of QB1 Russell Wilson, that is another person who Dallas has impressed.
"He’s been one of my favorite rookies, DeeJay Dallas. He’s done a tremendous job coming in with the right attitude-super professional. I remember through the spring, I would host rookie calls with the guys, and group messages, and he was always one of the key leaders in that, which stood out to me. There’s a lot of great rookies, but he was one of the guys who really took charge of it all. He’s caught the ball really well, he’s run it well, he’s got great vision. He’s just got great enthusiasm for the game. I’ve been fired up about DeeJay, and he’s one of my favorite guys on the team as a rookie. He’s been special for us."
High praise from both his head coach and star quarterback. With both Carson and Penny both expected to come back into regular form during the season, no one knows when an injury can strike. If that were to be the case, Dallas will definitely get reps at the running back position and can even make a difference in the passing game.
But, I think Dallas will be primarily used on special teams as most late round rookies are. He will have to earn his way into getting reps at the half back position. I will say though, he’s off to a great start.