Dallas Cowboys: Was Not Drafting A Running Back A Big Mistake?


Oh boy. Did the Dallas Cowboys forget something off the grocery list?

In total, 18 running backs were taken in the 2015 NFL Draft. Despite Dallas leading the NFL in rushing last season with former workhorse DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys were not among the 18 teams to select a running back in any of the seven rounds last weekend.

Darren McFadden, you’re up.

The Boys had several chances to address the running back situation with any of their 2015 picks in a draft heavy with quality halfbacks. Dallas, instead, opted to rely on the current core to take over the reigns. If only we could time warp to the future to see if this decision was correct.

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What Passing Over RBs Means:

A) The Cowboys are high on Darren McFadden

• His prior injuries are not a concern

• Coaches and staff believe he can match DeMarco Murray‘s production, maybe even excel it

• Makes you wonder how high Dallas was on Murray? They replaced him with another aging back (though, talented still), and didn’t seek a new ace runner to fill in.

B) Adrian Peterson day dreaming can stop

• If the Cowboys passed on several rookie backs to groom and bloom, they are amplifying their confidence in what they have

• Bye AP talk, say hi to Joseph Randle, Ryan Williams, and Lance Dunbar

C) The Cowboys will live off Tony Romo and the offensive line

• Of the eight picks Dallas owned, the Cowboys selected two offensive lineman (again, no RBs)

• The Cowboys are betting Romo can handle the load if the running attack blows a tire

• With the investment in this offensive line, Dallas is suggesting Hershel Walker can make a come back and run with the rock. I kid. Look, the strength of the Cowboys is their quarterback play and nuclear muscle at the offensive line. The Boys are rolling with it, saying their comfortable with their backfield because they’re extremely comfortable with the group in front of them.

Full List of Running Backs Drafted in 2015:

• Which of these backs should be a Cowboy?

1. Todd Gurley | RAMS | 10th pick, 1ST ROUND

2. Melvin Gordon | CHARGERS | 15th pick, 1ST ROUND

3. T.J. Yeldon | JAGUARS | 36th pick, 2ND ROUND

4. Ameer Abdullah | LIONS | 54th pick, 2ND ROUND

5. Tevin Coleman | FALCONS | 73rd pick, 3RD ROUND

6. Duke Johnson | BROWNS | 77th pick, 3RD ROUND

7. David Johnson | CARDINALS | 86th pick, 3RD ROUND

8. Matt Jones | REDSKINS | 95th pick, 3RD ROUND

9. Jeremy Langford | BEARS | 106th pick, 4TH ROUND

10. Javorius Allen | RAVENS | 125th pick, 4TH ROUND

11. Mike Davis | 49ERS | 126th pick, 4TH ROUND

12. David Cobb | TITANS | 138th pick, 5TH ROUND

13. Jay Ajayi | DOLPHINS | 149th pick,  5TH ROUND

14. Karlos Williams | BILLS | 155th pick, 5TH ROUND

15. Cameron Artis-Payne | PANTHERS | 174th pick, 5TH ROUND

16. Josh Robinson | COLTS | 205th pick, 6TH ROUND

17. Marcus Murphy | SAINTS | 230th pick, 7TH ROUND

18. Kenny Hilliard | TEXANS | 235th pick, 7TH ROUND

Quick Notes:

A) Overall, I love the Randy Gregory pick. If he can bulk up and slam some Happy Meals down before September, the Cowboys got a good steal. (Like a really, really good deal.) Think top 10 caliber talent for the next decade on the Cowboys roster.

B) The more I look into running back Darren McFadden, the more I like the pick up. But I’ll follow-up with a complete article.

C) Having said I like McFadden more and more, note the “liking” him more is still small incremental steps. I still feel the Cowboys should have nabbed a running back in this year’s draft, despite depth in running backs Lance Dunbar, Joseph Randle, and Ryan Williams. In the end, the draft would be complete with a RB pick — especially with the level of talent spread around the seven rounds.

D) Chaz Green is the new Doug Free. How about that? Free just signed a new contract, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have gray hair or that Rogaine will help his play on the field. Green stands at six-foot five inches, and carries close to 315 pounds. Big. Strong. Talented. The Cowboys landed depth, and a potential starter. Win.

E) My grade for the Cowboys is at a solid B. The first four picks are good — if not excellent — but again, not addressing the running back situation in a talented running back draft class docks one letter grade.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: How Byron Jones and Randy Gregory Make Immediate Impacts