The Dallas Cowboys really could use another running back.
Does anyone actually believe Mike McCarthy and company are content rolling with Ronald Jones as Tony Pollard's backup? This team has a knack for signing veterans at their price before or during training camp, and Jones was guaranteed just $300,000 on his contract, making him a prime cut candidate.
If Jones was cut, the Cowboys would have two former undrafted free agents in Malik Davis and Rico Dowdle behind Pollard, as well as 2023 sixth-round pick Deuce Vaughn, who, while exciting, doesn't project to get many (if any) touches between the tackles.
Dalvin Cook has been mentioned as a potential Cowboys target if (when) the Vikings ultimately move on. While Cook is still a premium-level back and would give Dallas the best backfield in the NFL, he'd either cost draft picks or a decent-sized salary, or both.
With that in mind, here are three cheaper Dalvin Cook alternatives the Cowboys should target to upgrade their backfield.
3. Kenyan Drake
With J.K. Dobbins struggling to stay on the field, Drake surprisingly became the workhorse of Baltimore's backfield last season. When the dust settled, Drake led the Ravens with 109 carries and posted 483 yards, equating to a respectable 4.4 yards per attempt.
Now 29 years old, Drake is likely the odd man out in Baltimore. The team is hoping for Dobbins to become the lead guy. When healthy, the 2020 second-round pick has looked the part of a high-level running back. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry last year on 92 carries and boasts an insane 5.9 YPC for his career.
Behind Dobbins, the Ravens have Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, both of whom rushed for more than five yards per carry.
Though Drake (presumably) won't return to Baltimore, he's been a serviceable running back throughout his career. At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, he fits the bruiser profile the Cowboys need behind Tony Pollard and he's three years removed from logging 955 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns with the Cardinals.
Drake wouldn't be out first choice, but he'd give Dallas needed physicality and experience in what is undeniably a thin backfield.