Rod Smith combined with Ezekiel Elliott form a youth movement in the backfield which makes it easier for the Dallas Cowboys to part with Alfred Morris.
They say you never really know what you got until it’s gone. Well, I want to jump the gun and say thank you to Dallas Cowboys running back Alfred Morris. Seems premature to say goodbye, but Morris is scheduled to become a 30-year old, unrestricted free agent next year. Will Morris be able to fit in with the Cowboys next year?
To show the limited market for older running backs in the NFL, former Cowboys running back Darren McFadden retired this season at the age of 30. Thanks to Scout Fantasy, I found a list of 22 NFL running backs that were 29 or older on the opening day of the 2017 NFL season. Five players on the list aren’t on NFL teams and McFadden isn’t listed, perhaps due to his retirement.
It’s been fun having Morris play for the Cowboys because I am from Washington DC. Morris is one of those fan favorites that the Redskins’ fanbase still support. Personally, it was fun watching my friends that hate the Cowboys support him as he rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown against his former team.
The sad part is seeing Morris being wasted for most of two seasons. I have been an advocate for him to get more playing time since he joined the Cowboys. Even worse, when Morris would relieve Elliott, the Cowboys would call a passing play. It was the worst offensive tell, since the empty backfield formation.
Finally, I have been crying for offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to find a way to use running back Ezekiel Elliott and Morris at the same time. In September 29th, 2016, my favorite writer wrote – “In the age of bell cow running backs, Elliott and Morris could be an insane one – two punch. Linehan hasn’t scratched the potential of this duo.” On July 20th, 2017 – “Linehan never devised any play with Morris and Elliott in the backfield together.”
The Cowboys haven’t figured out how to utilize two backs since Marion Barber and Felix Jones were our version of “Thunder and Lightning”. Unfortunately, the six week suspension of Elliott has helped the Cowboys discover the potential of running back Rod Smith (25 years old). Smith combined with the 22 year old Elliott form a new youth movement in the backfield. This also makes it easier for the team to part ways with Morris.
We have one game remaining before the return of Ezekiel Elliott. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rod Smith got the start over Morris. This could lead to Smith passing Morris on the depth chart when Elliott returns. So until that happens, I wanted to show some appreciation before he’s gone.
Thank you Alfred Morris, it’s been a pleasure to see you in “The Star”.