The Dallas Cowboys’ booming first week of free agency did well to overshadow the release of Ezekiel Elliott. That obviously isn’t to say the news wasn’t met with far-reaching sorrow, but Cowboys fans undoubtedly left the opening week feeling better about the team than they did before it started.
Unfortunately, the Elliott discourse isn’t going away. In fact, it’s likely to ramp up with Dallas already looking to the future.
Per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys will host three free agents for a visit to kick off the new week. One of those free agents is running back Ronald Jones, who profiles as a like-for-like Elliott replacement.
The other two, per Gehlken, are OL Chuma Edoga, and linebacker Travin Howard. All three players are set to undergo physicals at The Star.
Cowboys to host free agent Ronald Jones days after releasing Ezekiel Elliott.
Linebacker and offensive line depth are two undeniable needs, but Jones is the big takeaway here for obvious reasons.
Jones has evolved into a journeyman after the Buccaneers drafted him in the second round of the 2018 draft. His third year marked the only season he received a bell-cow’s workload and the returns speak for itself: 192 carries for 978 yards and seven touchdowns for the eventual champion Buccaneers.
Jones starred at USC in college, but his Texas routes stem back to high school, where he played at McKinney North.
His physical style of running would be a great pairing alongside speedster Tony Pollard, and he can likely be had at a bargain after he managed just 70 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in six appearances for the Chiefs last season.
By the time the playoffs rolled around, Jones was a non-factor. He totaled one carry in three games for the champion Chiefs. He ever looked like a fit in Kansas City’s offense, and was merely kept for insurance purposes. Had he been waived, odds are Jones would’ve found a new home in short order.
This highlight clip will give fans a taste of what to expect from Jones if he leaves Ford Center a member of the Cowboys.
That skillset would be a fun addition to an already-stacked offense.
Of course, there’s a debate to be had about whether the Cowboys should sign a veteran running back before the draft, however.
Gelhken’s reported noted the club “seems likely to draft a running back next month,” and in a previous report shared “a person with knowledge of the club’s thinking didn’t rule out signing a veteran in the coming weeks of free agency.”
Maybe Jones is atop Dallas’ wishlist. Maybe he’s the first of a handful of free agents they plan on hosting this week.
Either way, it seems like the Cowboys are going to use some of their remaining cap space after the Brandin Cooks trade on a replacement for Elliott.