With a possible suspension looming over starting running back Ezekiel Elliott, the Dallas Cowboys have elected to sign free agent back Ronnie Hillman.
It was reported early Thursday morning that the Dallas Cowboys had agreed to sign former Denver Broncos starter, running back Ronnie Hillman. His addition to the Cowboys roster only furthers speculation that Dallas is preparing for a potential suspension of their superstar second-year running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott has been under investigation by the NFL for over a year concerning an alleged domestic violence incident from 2016. But Hillman’s signing likely has more to do with the fact undrafted rookie Jahad Thomas has been suffering from a hamstring injury and Dallas has an opening on their roster due to the recent release of wide receiver Lucky Whitehead.
Still, the 25-year old Hillman is exactly the kind of young player whom the Cowboys love giving a second chance too. A former third round pick out of San Diego State in 2012, the former Bronco spent his first three seasons in Denver.
Hillman recorded 863 rushing yards and seven touchdowns during the Broncos’ Super Bowl run in 2015. But the following season he found himself jobless and ended up joining the Minnesota Vikings to help fill the void of then-injured All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson.
Unfortunately, the newest Viking struggled with veterans Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata ahead of him on the depth chart. Hillman was waived in late November by Minnesota and immediately claimed by the San Diego Chargers. He rushed for 81 yards while starting in one game for San Diego last season.
Again, Hillman has two established veterans in front of him on the depth chart in Dallas. He’ll have to contend for a spot on the active roster with current back ups Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris and rookie Jahad Thomas, once he’s healthy again.
But if Ronnie Hillman is serious about resurrecting his professional football career, playing behind the Dallas Cowboys offensive line is likely the best place for a running back to find new life in the entire NFL.