One longtime NFL anchor doesn’t understand why the Dallas Cowboys would not select the best running back in the upcoming NFL Draft fourth overall.
The Dallas Cowboys need help at running back. Although current starter Darren McFadden certainly played well last season, recording the fourth highest rushing total in the NFL despite only starting in 10 games, the nine-year veteran’s age (28) and injury history will not allow the Cowboys to lean too heavily on his services as a workhorse back in the future.
Likely unwilling to shell out big money for a top free agent, the Cowboys will probably look to the draft to find their next star running back. And no one prospect shines brighter in this draft class than Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott. The 6-0, 225 pound prospect ran for 1,821 yards and 23 touchdowns averaging 6.3 yards per carry in 13 games for the Buckeyes last season.
Elliott combines a well-rounded running style with excellent vision and a backyard tenacity for the game. He’s also an excellent pass protector, something he takes a lot of pride in. Elliott simply doesn’t have a major weakness. Although not as talented as last year’s running back phenom Todd Gurley, this young back is consider the undisputed top runner in the upcoming draft and a lock as a mid-to-late first round selection.
The Cowboys certainly have a need on their roster for a playmaker like Elliott, who has expressed his mutual desire to play in Dallas. But the team also possess the fourth overall selection in the first round. If the Cowboys wanted the talented runner, they’d have to use that high draft pick on him. And many believe that’s simply to rich for Elliott. But that logic doesn’t make sense to the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen.
"“…If you think Elliott is a LeVeon Bell type of talent, you think he can bring to you what Bell is bringing to the Steelers, and you’ve got Romo for two, three, maybe four more years, and you’ve got Dez Bryant, how do you not pull the trigger on Elliott, and put a star on the side of his helmet, and go to work, see what you can do, and win a championship in the window that you might have?” – Rich Eisen, NFL Network anchor via the Dallas Morning News."
The figurehead of the NFL Network certainly makes some sense here. The Dallas Cowboys went 12-5, were undefeated on the road, and posted their first playoff victory in five years when running back DeMarco Murray lead the league in rushing in 2014. Without a dominant running game, the Cowboys went 4-12 last season.
So making a young, inexpensive runner a priority to pair with McFadden certainly makes sense. But I’m not sure the Cowboys would be willing to do so with the fourth overall selection. They’d likely prefer to trade down for more picks and simply hope Elliott falls to them at their new spot.
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