Dallas Cowboys Could Find Their Kick Returner And More In Chris Polk


The Dallas Cowboys got a good look at running back Chris Polk last season while he was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. But due to the additions of free agent running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews to their roster, the Eagles elected to rescind their restricted free agent tender on the 25-year old back on Friday, allowing him to sign with any team he wants.

Last year, against the Cowboys, Polk had some of his most successful outings. In their Week 13 matchup, the fourth-year running back ran for 49 yards on a season-high 11 rushing attempts. A mere two weeks later, Polk would score twice against Dallas on two short-yardage runs.

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Outside of the 5-11, 222 pound back being a short-yardage specialist, Polk’s real value comes on special teams. As a returner, he was in the top ten in the NFL last season in kick return average. Polk also had a 102 yard kick-off return for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in Week Three.

Polk’s 30.9 yards per return was good enough for eighth best in the league. The Cowboys’ former primary kick returner, Dwayne Harris, averaged just 24.7 yards per kick return, ranking him 39th in the NFL in 2014.

The exodus of Harris this offseason out of Dallas due to free agency, signing with the Cowboys NFC East foe New York Giants, is just another reason Polk deserves at least some consideration from Dallas.

Undrafted out of the University of Washington in 2012, Polk was named the top running back not drafted that year by The Sporting News. Here’s their explanation of why:

"“For a running back with good size (5-11, 222) and toughness between the tackles, Polk has deceptively quick feet and the ability to accelerate to top speed in a hurry. He has the talent to be a good starting power back in the NFL. Polk likely slid through the draft due to rumors of major shoulder injury concerns.”"

Prior to the 2012 NFL Draft, Polk was projected by some to be a second round pick. But three shoulder injuries and two surgeries (torn labrum, knee) during his time at Washington scared teams enough to elect not to use a draft pick on the talented young back.

But Polk has spent the past three seasons steadily working up the Eagles’ depth chart, spending his rookie season as the fourth running back on their roster. In 2013, he moved up to third on the depth chart. And last season, Polk actually started to see some real action behind starter LeSean McCoy and primary back-up Darren Sproles in Philadelphia, recording 172 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Seen as a talented up and coming player, Philly’s offensive backfield simply became too crowded this offseason with the additions of Murray and Mathews in free agency to keep Polk around. But that could potentially be good for Dallas, as America’s Team currently lacks both a kick returner and short-yardage specialist on their roster.

Things for the Cowboys could certainly change after next week’s NFL Draft. But if it doesn’t, don’t be surprised if Dallas brings in Polk for a once-over.

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