3 Cowboys whose stock is soaring after the NFL Draft

Nov 23, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Rico Dowdle (23) runs the ball in
Nov 23, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Rico Dowdle (23) runs the ball in / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Rico Dowdle

Rico Dowdle's firm grip to win the starting running back job was all but guaranteed after the draft, but it was short lived. A few days later the Cowboys brought back Ezekiel Elliott, much to the surprise of few considering Elliott's total yards has declined every year he has been in the league. Despite the return of Zeke, Dowdle's stock has gone up this offseason as one of the main backs for this offense.

The only other transaction Dallas did to address running back draft wise was bring in Nathaniel Peat from Missouri as an undrafted free agent. However, just bringing him in does not guarantee him a spot on the roster considering how crowded the running back room is now. While Zeke is a fan favorite and a lot of fans are happy to see him back in Dallas, this is not the same guy who first came to this team in 2016. Dowdle will be fighting for touches, but he brings what Tony Pollard did when he first started to take touches away from Zeke.

Last year the team was looking for a complimentary back to Pollard and they found one in Dowdle. He finished 2023 with over 350 yards rushing with two touchdowns and two more through the air. With Pollard leaving, Dallas brought back Dowdle on a one-year deal to keep some consistency in the running back room from last season.

Zeke is expected to be more of a mentor than every-down back like he used to and there is no guarantee that guys like Royce Freeman or Snoop Conner will make the final roster. While Dowdle might not be an exact copy of Pollard, he brings a good change of pace to the offense with speed and quickness.

The Cowboys running game in 2023 was a bit underwhelming with Pollard sill recovering from injury and the team struggling to find a secondary back until towards the end of the season in Dowdle. Despite the acquisitions of Freeman and Elliott, Dowdle should feel confident going into 2024 as a key component of this running game.

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