Rumors bounced around Twitter on Monday that former Indianapolis Colt running back Joseph Addai was in town and would possibly work out for the Dallas Cowboys. But Cowboy’s insider and former NFL scout Bryan Broaddus denied the rumor saying Addai would not workout for the team.
Still, the fact remains that the Cowboys could be on the lookout for a veteran presence in their backfield. And who could blame them? With every back on their current roster either currently recovering from injuries or at least having a history of them. Veterans DeMarco Murray, Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar all missed games last season due to injury. Even the recently drafted Joseph Randle out of Oklahoma State was limited in his first OTA’s due to recovering from thumb surgery.
Although I wouldn’t expect a big name free agent to land in Dallas, an Addai type player would not be out of the question. And it fits the Cowboys recent modus operandi. Just look at the acquisition of defensive end Anthony Hargrove last week. Or even the Ernie Sims signing from last season. The Cowboys like giving a second chance to players no one else in the league wants. That’s exactly what made the Addai scenario plausible.
The current free agent running backs still on the market include big names like Cedric Benson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Michael Turner, Beanie Wells and Peyton Hillis. But making a big splash in free agency doesn’t seem to be a priority with this current Cowboys’ regime. Low-key names like Jackie Battle, Kevin Smith, Tim Hightower, Jamie Harper and Javon Ringer seem to be more in the Cowboys’ current wheelhouse of options.
Battle really intrigues me. An undrafted free agent in 2007, Battle’s first NFL stop was Dallas. But he was released in the preseason after then Cowboys’ quarterback Brad Johnson fell on his ankle, causing Battle to suffer a high ankle sprain. The Kansas City Chiefs soon picked him up. Playing for the Chiefs his first five years in the league and then the San Diego Chargers in 2012, Battle was a workhorse fullback/number two running back who often out-shined the starter when given the opportunity. In fact, Battle had three of the four rushing touchdown for the Chargers last season. His most outstanding achievement in the league so far took place in the pre-season. In 2010, as a member of the Chiefs, Battle was the NFL’s preseason leading rusher with 180 yards on 35 carries.
At 6’2, 240 Ibs. Battle is a bruiser who is really a fullback that just happens to possess a surprising burst when penetrating the line. And despite playing since 2007, he has a lot of tread left on his tires. In Battle’s first four seasons in the league, he played in just 33 games accumulating a grand total of 41 rushing attempts in that entire time. In his last two years, Battle has carried the ball 239 times for 908 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
I think Battle would make an interesting addition to the Cowboys’ team. He could make the final roster as both a hybrid fullback/running back. Did I forget to mention that Battle is from Humble, TX? And that he went to college at the University of Houston? Dallas has a chance to bring the seven-year veteran and Texan back home where he belongs, and I think they should.
Update: After this story published, I tweeted it to Jackie Battle. Here’s his response.
But what do you think? Do the Cowboys’ even need to bring in a veteran running back this season?
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