Cowboys updated RB depth chart after Ezekiel Elliott signing

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It was pretty easy for Dallas Cowboys fans to predict Ezekiel Elliott rejoining the team after Jerry Jones openly praised Elliott during the NFL Draft. The Cowboys owner was asked about Elliott multiple times throughout the three-day event after both sides met before the draft to discuss a reunion.

On Monday, less than two days after the final pick of the draft, Elliott and the Cowboys agreed to terms on a one-year deal. The contract is worth up to $3 million with $2 million guaranteed, per Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Jones is adamant that Elliott can still be a starter. Most fans do not agree, but perhaps Dallas has enough conviction in its revamped offensive line that Elliott can be passable as the lead dog in the backfield.

Then again, Zeke wouldn't be RB1 in most backfields. That speaks to the state of the Cowboys' running back rotation, so let's take a look at where things stand post-draft now that the Elliott reunion is officially official.

Cowboys updated RB depth chart after Ezekiel Elliott signing

  • Ezekiel Elliott
  • Rico Dowdle
  • Royce Freeman 
  • Malik Davis
  • Deuce Vaughn
  • Snoop Conner 
  • Nathaniel Peat (UDFA signing)

Royce Freeman signed with Dallas weeks before the NFL Draft. With 471 career carries, he has significantly more experience than Rico Dowdle. However, Dowdle impressed as RB3 last year and knows Mike McCarthy's offense. He was also among the first free agents that the Cowboys brought back.

Good luck predicting how the rest of the depth chart shakes out. Malik Davis is a more talented rusher than Deuce Vaughn. Davis' ability to play special teams could give him a leg up on the beloved Vaughn. If the RB room stays as is through training camp, it could come down to Davis and Vaughn for the final roster spot unless third-year pro Snoop Conner or 2024 undrafted free agent addition Nathaniel Peat shines in training camp and preseason.

The Cowboys certainly could have gone to greater lengths to add more talent, but isn't there something to be said that they're finally committing the bare minimum resources to the position? With Zack Martin, Tyler Smith and 2024 third-round Cooper Beebe leading the way, Dallas' offensive line is going to get a ton of push inside for the running game.

Of course, that shouldn't dissuade them from adding to the RB room. The free agent market leaves something to be desired, but there are some intriguing names that could be had via trade if Dallas plays its cards right.

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