January 2, 2012; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks running back LaMichael James (21) is brought down while running the ball against the Wisconsin Badgers during the second half during the 2012 Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

2012 NFL Draft: The Dallas Cowboys Select A Running Back

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We have now reached the end of my position-by-position draft analysis. This last segment is for the running backs of the 2012 draft.  Much like the wide receivers last week, I cannot see a scenario where Dallas picks a running back before Round 5. One of our own even suggested Dallas might take LaMichael James in the first round.

I respect Steven’s opinion and he supported his research. However, with Murray and Jones still apart of this team, Tanner returning from injury and the bevy of other needs at critical positions, I highly doubt Jerry and Jason will be looking in James’ direction. You can never rule anything out with the Double J (unfortunately) but even if they did feel as though running back is a position of need, why draft an unknown? I would rather overpay for Arian Foster, MJD or any of the other proven commodities in Free Agency than mess with James or any other draft pick at RB. For this particular team at this particular time, that is clearly the best option.

That being said, away we go. As always, these rankings are not mine (DraftTek) and I highly recommend you turn down the volume on these annoying videos.

Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmfM5XZaFR0

Richardson is clearly the best back in the draft. The former Heisman Trophy winner seemingly (and statistically) has his best games against his toughest opponents. He is a big body with incredible strength and a nose for the end zone. Every team needs a bruiser like Richardson for in between the tackle running. Dallas would need to use their 1st round draft pick on him and that is simply not going to happen.

David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1bO123KOEM

Wilson has only had 1 full year as a starter but he had a MONSTER season with nearly 1800 yards rushing and 9 TDs. In the combine, he ran a 4.49 forty but it’s pretty clear by watching film that he has game speed. I wouldn’t be scared away by his stats but I am scared away by the 1st round draft pick it would take to get him.

Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (FL)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5tRXa34CGk

Miller is Felix Jones with about 10 extra pounds of muscle and no history of significant injury. Miller will most likely fall to the 2nd round of the draft. If Dallas is truly looking for a running back (for some unknown reason) this would be the first back I would consider.

Miller must learn to run in between the tackles with consistency in my opinion.

LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (my addition)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjljPTvR9b8

I almost threw out DraftTek’s rundown because James didn’t even make the list! Then I realized they incorrectly assumed he would be returning to college.

Anyways, James is a stud that could fall as low as the 3rd round. He is unbelievably fast. He is the type of player that can go the distance on every touch. Again, if Dallas MUST draft a running back (they mustn’t) then the 3rd round would be a good place to start.

If the Cowboys were to draft James, Felix must go in a trade. Plain and simple.

Chris Polk, RB, Washington

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o46hjBKtNw8

Polk had a fantastic season on a so-so team. He is deceptively fast and strong. I would stay away from Polk, however because the Cowboys need a bruiser, not a slasher.

Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4yCMXMK-bY

His size and speed combination remind me of Ray Rice but I would be surprised if he had half the success of the former Rutgers star.

I would like to see Martin play against better competition before I draft him. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. He would be a project that I wouldn’t be willing to adopt until the 5th round.

None of those players make me wish they were Dallas Cowboys. I suppose I’m too frustrated with the Defensive Backs and Offensive Lineman to care about much else. But again, don’t discount JJ’s glory boy tendencies.

Next week we will focus on potential late-round gems in positions of need. That last post will not be position-by-position and will conclude my coverage of potential Dallas Cowboy draftees.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft Dallas Cowboys David Wilson DeMarco Murray Felix Jones Jerry Jones NFL Draft Phillip Tanner Running Backs Trent Richardson

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