Emmitt Smith unsure Cowboys need to draft a running back

August 23, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) hands off to running back Darren McFadden (20) during the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
August 23, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) hands off to running back Darren McFadden (20) during the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi /

With three veteran runners returning to the Dallas Cowboys lineup, Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith is unsure the team needs to draft a running back.

There has been a lot of speculation that the Dallas Cowboys could be in the market for a running back in the upcoming NFL Draft, which is scheduled to take place at the end of this month.

That’s despite the Cowboys starting running back from last year, Darren McFadden, returning for another season in 2016. And the fact Dallas just signed former Washington Redskins free agent Alfred Morris and re-signed veteran scat back Lance Dunbar in March.

Still, the Cowboys appear to have major interest in this year’s crop of talented running backs, with headliners like Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott, Alabama’s Derrick Henry and Notre Dame’s C.J. Prosise (as well as others) reportedly making pre-draft visits to Dallas earlier this month.

But one famous former Cowboys running back is unsure Dallas actually needs to draft a runner at all this year.

"“You know that’s like having five cars and I’m gonna go buy another one,” three-time Super Bowl champion Emmitt Smith responded when asked about the Cowboys drafting a running back this year via the Star-Telegram Tuesday. “I can only drive one at a time. You got two good cars…So, you may as well roll with what you have…We got Alfred Morris. We got McFadden. And we got Dunbar coming back. So from a running back position and stand point, I’m not sure if we need to go after a running back.”"

Smith makes a good point. McFadden ran for 1,089 yards last season despite only starting in 10 games for the Cowboys. And Morris is a two-time Pro Bowler who has recorded three 1,000+ yards rushing seasons during his four-year NFL career. It would appear the Cowboys have two veteran running back with the ability to carry the load in 2016.

Where the legendary Cowboys running back may be off the mark is the fact McFadden has an infamous injury history that should concern Dallas enough to prevent them from relying on him as their workhorse back. The veteran is also in the final season of a two-year deal.

Morris is coming off the worst statistical season of his professional career, which many have blamed on the fact he was forced to split carries with rookie running back Matt Jones in Washington. Unfortunately, Alfred will be asked to do the exact same thing in Dallas alongside McFadden. And Morris only signed a two-year deal in Dallas as well.

Finally, it is uncertain Dunbar will even be available for the majority of the year as he could very well open the season on the PUP List as he recovers from tearing the ACL, MCL and patellar tendon in his left knee last October.

Bottom line is the Cowboys could certainly elect to stand pat with the current stable of veteran running backs. But injury concerns, potential for poor play, availability and expiring contracts are all reasons the Cowboys might want to add a rookie runner to the mix.

You can watch this portion of Smith’s interview with the Star-Telegram below.

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