Best running backs available for Cowboys on Day 3 of NFL Draft

Notre Dame v Stanford
Notre Dame v Stanford / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys were highly productive on day two of the NFL Draft. They got ball rolling with DE Marshawn Kneeland at pick No. 56 and followed that with the steal of round three in offensive lineman Cooper Beebe, who is expected to compete for the starting center job.

The Cowboys ended day two in confusing fashion, taking Notre Dame linebacker Marist Liufau with the No. 87 pick. While Liufau projects to make an instant impact both on special teams and in the linebacker rotation, running back felt like the more pressing need.

Of course, if there's any position to sit tight on, it's running back. Gems are found on day three every year and there is still a wealth of options for Dallas to choose from. The only downside? They don't pick again until No. 174, meaning they have to wait almost two rounds.

With that in mind, don't be shocked if the Cowboys entertain trading two of their remaining four picks to trade up for a running back. If one of the studs is available, that might be the smartest course of action.

Jaylen Wright, Tennessee

Believe it or not, we thought the Cowboys should target Wright on day two. His slide is slighty surprising, but he should come off the board early on day three. That might take him out of the running for Dallas, but if his slide continues he'd be a steal. Wright's breakaway speed and elusiveness are his calling cards, but he bounces off tacklers at a high clip for a sub six-foot back.

Audric Estime, Notre Dame

Estime has average long speed, but his power profile should make him a productive NFL player. In the simplest of terms, Estime is a bulldozer. Multiple defenders are needed to bring him down. That is evidenced by his 892 yards after contact last season, which ranked ninth in the country. If Dallas wants to continue drafting bullies, they might as well grab Estime on day three.

Braelon Allen, Wisconsin

Despite logging a heavy workload at Wisconsin, Allen is one of the draft's youngest players at 20 years old. In his final three seasons, Allen averaged a whopping 3.66 yards after contact and forced 145 missed tackles, per Pro Football Focus. He doesn't have a great feel for space, but he's deceptively fast and explosive for a plus-sized running back.

Ray Davis, Kentucky

Davis needs to improve his pass protection to be trusted on third downs, but he has everything else in his locker to succeed at the next level. The former Wildcat's vision and footwork are some of the best in the class and he pairs that by finishing his runs with a thump that allows him to fall forward for extra yards. He earned a 96.6 elusive rating last year and finished top-25 among RBs in yards after contact.

Rasheen Ali, Marshall

Ali showed out at the Senior Bowl both on and off the field. He was a top 30 visit with Dallas, so there's definitely interest in the Cowboys' war room. Ali's stock has fallen after he suffered a torn biceps tendon at the Senior Bowl, but he should still hear his name called on day three. In 2023, he rushed for over 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns on 5.4 yards per carry.

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