We review the results of some of the Dallas Cowboys possible running back prospects following the NFL Scouting Combine.
For just the second time in his eight year NFL career, Darren McFadden managed to play a full NFL season. Probably even more surprising was that these happened back to back; 2014 was his final year with the Oakland Raiders and this season his first with the Dallas Cowboys.
Despite signing Darren McFadden as a free agent, the Dallas Cowboys were expected to add to their running back depth in the 2015 draft in what was an exceptionally deep talent pool. 18 running backs were drafted with only four of those playing less than 50% of the games. The Cowboys staff however were satisfied with a tandem of Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar.
In retrospect, no doubt Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett would’ve added to the teams depth. Joseph Randle was released and is currently in a sorry state of legal affairs, and Lance Dunbar injured once again. A conveyor belt of backs passed through Dallas and non failed to step up to challenge alongside McFadden.
With an injured Tony Romo and wide receivers unable to spark into life with Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore at the helm it was down to McFadden. Despite having only the second 1000+ yard season of his career it wasn’t enough. While it was an honorable season for the running back and I by no means want this to be construed as a criticism – the team requires a little more than just okay.
"“…generally just a straight line runner and won’t make defenders miss with much wiggle. Had some games when he seemed tentative going through the hole, and he looked awful then, so maybe he is just purely a gap-scheme runner.” Dan Turner, Dallas Cowboys Roster Guide 2016"
Jerry Jones stated pre draft last year that the Cowboys didn’t see running back as a priority. Everyone took this to be smoke and mirrors. This week though, VP Stephen Jones did just the opposite, announcing that the team are indeed in the market for a back.
"“Of course we do feel like we need another back to go with McFadden. Where we get that, whether it’s in the draft or whether we do it in free agency, a lot of different ways you can go there.”"
The Cowboys may of course look to take a free agent, but with the combine in full flow it’s the ideal time to consider what’s available. Here’s my current top five running backs in the draft, and how they’ve performed at the combine.
Next: Cowboys Running Back Prospects - Ezekiel Elliott