The Dallas Cowboys really thought they had a shot at signing undrafted free agent running back Thomas Rawls last year.
After losing the league’s leading rusher from 2014, running back DeMarco Murray, to the Philadelphia Eagles last offseason during free agency, it was believed the Dallas Cowboys would select a player to fill his void via the draft.
And although the 2015 NFL Draft offered one of the most talented and deepest classes at that position in recent memory, shockingly the Cowboys opted not to pick a running back at all last year. It was a move that left the Cowboys running game in turmoil at the start of the season.
Luckily, a career resurgence by veteran running back Darren McFadden saved the Cowboys front office from an avalanche of criticism for their gaff. But according to the Cowboys Chief Operating Officer, the issue wasn’t about a lack of desire to draft a talented young back. But more about poor timing.
"“We were after a running back,” Cowboys executive vice president and director of player personnel Stephen Jones responded to Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram when questioned about the team’s strategy during the 2015 NFL Draft. “It just didn’t fall that way for us. It’s always easy to say after the fact ‘that guy, you could’ve picked him’ cause he was still on the board, rather than Chaz Green. You could’ve picked this guy, you know. That’s easy in hindsight. We did have backs we targeted that just weren’t there when we were ready to pick.”"
"“I thought…we thought we had a heck of a chance to get [Thomas Rawls].” Jones continued while attending the NFL’s Scouting Combine this week. “You know, if you want to hindsight yourself to death, should we have used one of those sevens on him? Probably so. And we liked him. And we really thought we could get him.”"
The Cowboys had four seventh round selections total in last year’s draft. But they lost one in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts for defensive end Caesar Rayford. Dallas then selected Wyoming linebacker Mark Nzeocha and Virginia Tech offensive tackle Laurence Gibson with two of those picks. Nzeocha spent most of last season recovering from a college knee injury, while Gibson didn’t make it past final cuts. The Cowboys then traded a sixth round pick in 2016 to get back into the seventh and draft Texas tight end Geoff Swaim.
After signing a three-year, $1.59 million contract with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan last May, Rawls recorded 830 rushing yards and five total touchdowns in 13 games last year. Seven of which he started. Now Rawls appears to be set to replace Lynch as the cornerstone of Seattle’s running attack while the Cowboys once again search for a young back. This time, to pair with McFadden.
Thank you for reading the above article. It’s our sincere hope you’ll visit our site often as we work really hard to provide Cowboys fans with fresh, daily content about their favorite team. Please feel free to take part in further discussions about this topic below in our comment section. All we ask is that each participant is respectful in both their responses and towards others. Thanks again and…Go Cowboys!