The Dallas Cowboys are getting set to face the Buffalo Bills in what promises to a fun matchup between explosive offenses. How Sunday's weather report might impact the proficiency of these offenses remains to be seen, however.
The latest weather report calls for temperatures in the low-to-mid 40s, a 90% of precipitation (rain, now snow thankfully) and winds up to 15 miles per hour.
This could force Mike McCarthy to pivot from the Cowboys pass-first offense that's been unstoppable for the last two months. If nothing else, they'll be more dependent on Tony Pollard and the running game. We could see more of Rico Dowdle, too, who scored a TD last week and could leaned on again against the Bills.
With Dowdle still nursing an ankle injury, though, and Sunday's forecast calling for a run-oriented approach, the Cowboys have elevated running back Malik Davis to the active roster from the practice squad.
That means Deuce Vaughn will be a healthy scratch again.
Cowboys promoting Malik Davis vs Bills is bad news for Deuce Vaughn
It's no surprise that Davis got the nod over Vaughn. Though elusive, Davis is more accustomed to running between the tackles relative to the undersized Vaughn.
The 25-year-old Davis lost out to Dowdle in the RB2 competition during training camp and preseason, but that was more of a testament to Dowdle than an indictment on Davis, who's plenty explosive and capable of contributing on Sundays.
The Cowboys are simply flush with talent at running back. It's a great problem to have, but Davis' promotion, shows that Vaughn is clinging to a roster spot. Based on this move, it's fair to say that Vaughn is fifth on the tailback totem pole behind (in order) Pollard, Dowdle, rookie undrafted free agent Hunter Luepke, who's played all 13 games on offense and special teams, and Davis.
While Vaughn is Dallas' backup kick and punt returner behind KaVontae Turpin, Davis' promotion doesn't bode well for the fan favorite RB's chances of sticking with the team beyond this season, even with Pollard and Dowdle set to hit free agency.
The Cowboys will probably retain one of them -- Dowdle being the most likely given his expected price tag -- and look to draft a RB in April. It's unclear where Vaughn is in the 2024 plans, if at all, but the fact he's been active for six of a possible 14 games (including Sunday) isn't a great omen for his future with the franchise.