Cowboys 2021 draft: 3 late-round running back targets

Iowa State Cyclones running back Kene Nwangwu (3) (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Iowa State Cyclones running back Kene Nwangwu (3) (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

The top of the Dallas Cowboys running back depth chart is set as Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard make up one of the top rushing duos in the entire NFL. Yet, possessing 10 selections in this week’s NFL draft, the Cowboys do have an opportunity to add more young talent to the position.

While the presence of Elliott and Pollard makes it unlikely Dallas will address this need early, selecting a running back on day three of the draft is certainly not out of the question. With that in mind, here are three running back prospects the Cowboys may elect to target in the later rounds.

Kene Nwangwu, RB – Iowa State

Kene Nwangwu is likely the perfect running back candidate for the Cowboys to draft. He’s an amazing athlete that can also contribute on special teams as a returner and a gunner. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound running back ran a blazing unofficial time of 4.29 seconds in the forty at his pro day.

What Nwangwu doesn’t possess is much production as he was used sparingly at Iowa State as a backup running back. Last season he recorded a career-high 61 carries for 339 yards and four touchdowns. But as a kick-off returner, Nwangwu racked up a total of 92 kick returns for 2,470 yards and one score while averaging 26.8 yards per return over his college career.

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB – Oklahoma

What the Cowboys are really lacking at the running back position is a powerful runner not named Zeke who can pound the ball between the tackles for short-yardage gains and goal-line situations. At six feet tall and 246-pounds, Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson fits the bill physically.

But when watching his game tape, Stevenson is also a sneakily shifty runner who uses his cutting ability surprisingly well for a man his size. He posted 665 rushing yards and seven touchdowns while averaging an impressive 6.6 yards per carry in just six games for the Sooners last season. He’s also a capable receiver in the backfield bringing in 18 catches for 211 yards in 2020.

Chris Evans, RB – Michigan

It would be poetic if a running back that shares the same name with the actor that has played Captain America in the Marvel films ends up being drafted by America’s Team. But this late-round flier by the Cowboys would be more about finding untapped potential rather than landing a player ready-made to contribute on day one.

Michigan running back Chris Evans showed potential over his first three seasons with the Wolverines, averaging 5.8 yards per carry and racking up a total of 1,722 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns over that span.

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Unfortunately, Evans was forced to sit out in 2019 due to an academic issue. He returned to the field last season but only received 16 carries as a senior. Likely a late day three pick at best, the selection of Evans would be made to see if he can fulfill the potential he flashed early in his college career and if that chip on his shoulder will motivate him to another level in the pros.