Cowboys release redundant free agent signing in obvious move

This Cowboys released one of their offseason signings.
Aug 1, 2023; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ronald Jones (32) during training camp at
Aug 1, 2023; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ronald Jones (32) during training camp at / Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys offense proved in Sunday's win against the New York Jets that it can be explosive when necessary. Dak Prescott was efficient through the air and was unstoppable when targeting CeeDee Lamb.

The rushing attack wasn't as successful, but game script and a lopsided scoreline allowed the Cowboys to feed Tony Pollard a career-high 25 carries. Pollard was also targeted six times as a receiver, so it's clear he's viewed as a workhorse back.

Behind Pollard, Rico Dowdle -- who won the RB2 job over Malik Davis in camp and preseason -- provided great balance to the running game. He carried seven times for 26 yards and even Deuce Vaughn six touches as the third back.

A simple reading of the tea leaves made it (somewhat) obvious that the Cowboys would release Ronald Jones after his two-game suspension.

Sure enough, that's what happened Monday afternoon.

Cowboys release veteran running back Ronald Jones

Jones' days in Dallas were seemingly numbered the second his contract details were announced. With the Cowboys slow-playing Tony Pollard's return from offseason ankle surgery and following Ezekiel Elliott's release, Jones was likely signed for experience behind Dowdle, Davis and Vaughn ... and added competition.

It stands to reason that Jones would have been part of the 53-man roster crunch if not for his suspension.

The Cowboys kept four running backs on the roster (undrafted rookie Hunter Luepke is the fourth) and it would have made little sense to expose one of the three youngsters to waivers to make room for the veteran Jones.

Pollard is a reigning Pro Bowler and Dowdle hasn't given the coaching staff any reason to think he'll slow down with his bruising running style. Further, we saw the Cowboys get Vaughn get meaningful snaps after he hardly saw the field in Week 1, and Luepke has delivered some big blocks in the running game.

Jones' presence became redundant during preseason. Even before the suspension, a groin injury prevented the former USC star from proving his worth in preseason. The writing was on the wall here for quite some time.