3 running backs Cowboys must target in 2024 NFL Draft after losing Tony Pollard

Dec 24, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) runs the
Dec 24, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) runs the / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 4

3. Jonathon Brooks, Texas

Brooks is rated as the best running back prospect according to most, but any team who takes him may be taking a risk. Brooks tore his ACL in a game against TCU and was lost for the rest of the Longhorn's season on their way to the College Football Playoff. Before the injury, Brooks looked like the best back in the country. He rushed for over 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Texas back did not participate at the combine due to his injury which leaves him a question mark to most teams. Drafting a player coming off a major injury in college is a huge risk, but Dallas has done it before. They drafted Jaylon Smith in the second round in 2016 after he suffered an injury in his last college game and would not play until 2017. While Smith had his moments, most consider him an underachiever due to suffering that major injury.

While Brooks has had more time to heal, he might not be ready to hit the ground running. Since the Cowboys could be looking for their new starting running back in this year's draft, that would not bode well for them. However, the upside is there. NFL analyst Lance Zierlein even compared him to fellow Texas back Jamal Charles. Not a bad player to be linked with due to the success Charles had in Kansas City. Brooks also benefited from not being the bell cow back for Texas during his playing days there, which could help extend his NFL career.

Brooks to the Cowboys makes sense in many ways, but the injury could steer them away. He will most likely not go in the first round maybe the first two rounds. One way or another, some team will take a chance on him so why not Dallas. If the Joneses take a chance on Brooks and he has a solid rookie season replacing Pollard, It could be the steal of the draft.

Like the scenario if they were to take Corum, the Cowboys should still get another back in case Brooks is not healthy enough to start by week one. Despite the bad signals, Jerry is a gambler and taking Brooks would not be surprising.

Full coverage of Cowboys free agency