Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones Not Drafting A Running Back A Mistake


During a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones dispelled one of the mass assumptions about the Cowboys strategy in the upcoming NFL Draft. That being the fact Dallas must draft a running back.

In fact, Jones appeared to be comfortable with the idea of not drafting at that position at any point in the draft.

"“It’s not urgent. It’s not urgent in the draft,” he said. “We don’t have that as a must to come out of here with a running back,” Jones told a room of media members on Tuesday. “…is running back an area of interest position-wise? Certainly. Certainly it is. But my opinion is we could play with the running backs we’ve got right now and play well.”"

After that statement, you might expect to hear a couple chuckles in the crowd. You didn’t.

Jones, the Cowboys’ front office and it’s coaching staff appear to be satisfied heading into the 2015 NFL regular season with Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams as their running back platoon.

Will they pass on drafting another running back? I still don’t believe so.

Jones insisted that instead helping the defense is a must in the upcoming draft, which begins Thursday night with the first round. But can we really trust what any NFL franchise says this close to the big event?

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Obviously, no team is going to give up their draft strategy, especially not in a room full of reporters two days before the draft. But if this somehow a smokescreen by Jones and the Cowboys, how does it benefit them?

Does it somehow relieve the pressure on teams picking before Dallas in the first round not to take top-rated running backs like Todd Gurley or Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon? Probably not.

Will it allow running backs like Indiana’s Tevin Coleman, Boise State’s Jay Ajayi or Miami’s Duke Johnson to fall to Dallas in the second round at pick number 60? Probably not either.

If this is a smokescreen, it’s the least effective one in NFL history.

No readers, I believe this team really believes that they could still be as good as they were last season on the ground with an aging, injury-prone underachieving veteran, a young back who has been arrested twice in five months, a fourth-year undrafted runner who has yet to score a touchdown in the NFL, and a veteran who has played only five real games in four years due several serious injuries, in their offensive backfield.

That’s either extreme arrogance in your offensive line or a ten-gallon Cowboy hat of delusion. Honestly, I’m not sure I understand the train of thought there, if indeed this is true. If Dallas does not address the running back position at some point in this draft, I believe that would be a mistake.

Chances are you don’t get a full season out of McFadden, Dunbar or Williams. History has proven that much. And I’m not entirely sure Randle will survive the week, pending the outcome of the investigation into his latest arrest.

Even if the troubled third-year running back remains on the roster, there is a chance Randle could be facing s six-game suspension if found guilty of domestic violence charges. And based on the recent suspension of Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, he may not even need to be found guilty by a court of law to be suspended under the all-encompassing umbrella of the league’s personal conduct policy.

But all that aside, you have to trust that this Cowboys coaching staff and front office know more about these players than we do. And if they believe they could go forward without drafting a running back, they’ve certainly earned the benefit of the doubt due to their smart decision-making as of late. Whether that gamble pays off for them in 2015 is yet to be determined.

Next: Running Back Draft Class Depth Gives Dallas Cowboys Options