Dallas Cowboys: Are Joseph Randle, Ryan Williams On The Bubble?


There has been a lot of talk about the running back position in Dallas. Following the exodus of starter DeMarco Murray this offseason via free agency, the Dallas Cowboys vacant offensive backfield has been a hot topic amongst fans and media alike. But rarely are those conversations about the returning veteran players on the Cowboys’ depth chart.

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Much of the talk instead is about new Cowboys running back Darren McFadden and the speculation surrounding his possible running mate. That unknown player could be a high draft selection in the upcoming NFL Draft or Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

But if Dallas does decide to add Peterson or a new rookie runner, there is likely going to be one or two veteran Cowboys players left out in the cold and off this team’s roster come the regular season.

On the official Cowboys site’s Talkin’ Cowboys show on Wednesday, former NFL scout and current DallasCowboys.com analyst Bryan Broaddus had this revelation on the possible future of two of Dallas’ returning running backs.

"“Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams are guys that are very much on the bubble as far as staying here. If you go out and draft one or trade for one, you’re going to talk about (Darren) McFadden, you’re going to talk about the traded guy or a drafted guy, and you’re going to talk about (Lance) Dunbar. It will be very difficult for Randle or Ryan Williams to make this team because of the trust factor. These coaches have to feel like they trust you. And I’m not just talking about blitz pick-up stuff, I’m talking about the ability to day-in and day-out come in and do your job, be prepared, practice hard and be a productive football player. And being a productive person off-the-field also helps. But coaches, I’ve lived with these coaches before, when they don’t trust you, they move on quickly.”"

What I find most interesting about Broaddus’ statement is the fact he doesn’t specifically point to Randle’s off-the-field arrests or Williams’ injury history. Instead, the former scout refers to their coaches’ trust as the main reason both running backs are on the roster bubble in Dallas.

If Dallas adds another running back to this group, which they are fully expected to do, it appears either Randle or Williams or both could be looking for a new team sometime this offseason.

After his run-ins with the law, I don’t think many fans would be surprised if that player was Randle. But his play on-the-field, 343 rushing yards and three touchdowns on a 6.7 yard per carry average in 2014, makes the third-year runner the most proven back in this group.

And many fans were smitten with the prospect of Williams behind this line after his preseason performance, recording 112 rushing yards and one touchdown averaging 4.5 yards per carry in three games. He also showed his versatility by catching nine passes for 66 yards in that same span. But Williams ultimately spent the entire year on the practice squad.

It will be a tough choice for the Cowboys this offseason. Obviously there’s a lot that can happen between now and when the season kicks off in September. And both of these players should have at least one more chance to prove themselves in the coming months.

But I think we can all agree, Dallas will not keep five running backs on their active roster in 2015.

Next: Cowboys Must Avoid Disaster; No Trading Up For Todd Gurley