Did Dallas Cowboys find themselves a late round draft steal?
The Dallas Cowboys have been very hit or miss in the later rounds of the NFL draft. But did they happen upon a real steal in the seventh round this year?
There is little doubt who will be getting the bulk of the carries as the Dallas Cowboys‘ top offensive weapon this upcoming season. Opposing teams should expect to see a heavy dose of third-year running back Ezekiel Elliott in 2018.
But beyond Elliott, the Cowboys only had two other running backs, Rod Smith and Trey Williams, on the depth chart prior to the draft. And last year’s primary backup, veteran Alfred Morris, is still a free agent. Following the draft, Dallas added two new faces to the running back room. Those players being former Los Angeles Ram Tavon Austin and Alabama bruiser back Bo Scarbrough.
A former first round pick, the 28-year old Austin was traded to Dallas in exchange for a sixth round pick. The gadget player was referred to by Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones as a web back. Austin is someone Dallas clearly wants to use all over the field, including at running back.
But it was the addition of Scarbrough, the Cowboys final pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, that had one NFL expert giddy at the possibilities of what this seventh rounder can do behind Elliott and Dallas’ uber-talented offensive line.
"” … Scarbrough is a downhill runner who has the size and demeanor to help the Cowboys continue to impose their will on the ground when Elliott is resting,” wrote NFL media draft analyst Lance Zeirlein for the league’s official website. “I can envision Scarbrough thriving in a complementary role similar to the one the Titans’ Derrick Henry has played behind DeMarco Murray for much of his career. Landing Scarbrough in the seventh round could turn out to be a tremendous steal this season.”"
Scarbrough runs like a freight train once he gets going. And he should find ample running lanes behind the Cowboys offensive line, now bolstering second round pick Connor Williams, presumably at left guard. Scarbrough is a sledgehammer with surprising quickness (4.52 forty) and excellent goal-line leaping ability.
But the 6-foot-1, 228 pound bruiser back slid all the way down to the seventh round for a reason. At Alabama, Scarbrough was primarily a backup due in part to the talented back ahead of him on the depth. But the big back also comes with major injury concerns, stemming all the way back in high school. Finally, the rookie must improve his consistency as a pass blocker and show much better patience when running the ball.
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During his final two seasons at Alabama, Bo Scarbrough ran for a combined 1,408 yards and 19 touchdowns. As the newest member of the Dallas Cowboys, the rookie runner will battle Rod Smith for the primary backup role, a position Scarbrough is very familiar with. Fans can expect to see a lot of the seventh rounder come this preseason. I expect he’ll put on quite a show.