Ronnie Hillman, Running back
Former Denver Broncos starter, running back Ronnie Hillman, is exactly the kind of free agent the Dallas Cowboys have taken a chance on in recent years. He’s a young player (25) who is a former high draft selection (3rd round, 2012) with a history of solid production and can be signed to a very team-friendly deal. Hillman simply checks all the boxes.
After being used sparingly his first three seasons in Denver, Hillman exploded 863 yards and seven touchdowns during the Broncos’ Super Bowl run in 2015. Despite signing a one-year extension the following year, the young back was waived prior to the start of the 2016 season.
Hillman joined the Minnesota Vikings in late September of 2016 to help fill the void of injured All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson but was lost in the mix behind veterans Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata. The Vikings eventually waived him in late November and both the San Diego Chargers and Broncos put in a waiver claim for him.
The veteran back joined the Chargers and posted 81 rushing yards while starting in one game for San Diego last season.
Signing a player like Hillman is about trying to find a diamond in the rough. If the young man is serious about resurrecting his career, playing behind the Cowboys’ offensive line is the most attractive landing spot in the entire NFL.
With questions swirling around the availability of the NFL’s reigning leading rusher in second-year running back Ezekiel Elliott due to a possible suspension for allegedly violating the league’s personal conduct policy, adding another player to the position might be wise. Especially when you consider the other running backs on the depth chart in Dallas.
Veteran running back Darren McFadden is coming off an elbow injury that limited him to just three game appearances last season. And Alfred Morris was rumored to be on the trading block prior to April’s NFL Draft.