New free-agent RB tied to Cowboys may prevent dreaded Ezekiel Elliott reunion

New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

Dallas Cowboys fans have been pushed to their limit this offseason. The sad part about that is that it's not even April. Just this week, we learned Dak Prescott could be allow to reach free agency in 2025 and the Cowboys are interested in re-signing former star Ezekiel Elliott.

Fresh off averaging a career-low 3.5 yards per carry last season on the Patriots, Elliott isn't saving Dallas' rushing attack. Elliott even struggled in short-yardage situations and the red zone, which are supposed to be his calling cards. Both Tony Pollard and Rico Dowdle were more efficient in those areas than Zeke.

Dalvin Cook has been the only other running back linked to the Cowboys. That would've generated excitement five years ago, but Cook is no longer worth the price of admission. You'd be hard-pressed to name five RBs last season that were worse than Cook.

Incredibly, a new name has entered the RB mix for Dallas and it's someone fans have been banging the table for since free agency started.

Cowboys linked with free agent RB J.K. Dobbins amid Ezekiel Elliott interest

A former teammate of Dobbins in Baltimore, Dez Bryant has been campaigning for the Cowboys to come to their senses and sign Dobbins.

The 24-year-old Dobbins has experienced a brutal run of injuries the last three years, culminating in a torn Achilles early last season after he missed eight games in 2022 with knee issues following ACL surgery that cost him the entire 2021 campaign. Finally on the other side, Dobbins was just cleared for football activities by his surgeon and will begin free agent visits in short order.

It's been a tough three-year stretch for Dobbins, so it's easy to forget he's averaged 5.8 yards per carry in his career. He took the NFL by storm as a rookie in 2020 when he rushed for 805 yards and nine touchdowns on 134 carries while splitting work with Lamar Jackson (159 rushes), Gus Edwards (144 rushes) and Mark Ingram (72 rushes).

The Cowboys better move fast if they want to sign Dobbins. Despite the injury history, he took a visit with the Chargers on Thursday. Los Angeles might have the upper hand here as Dobbins would reunite with Chargers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who was his OC in Baltimore.

Dobbins' familiarity with Roman could work in the Bolts' favor, but that doesn't withdraw Dallas from consideration. While the Chargers may have the inside track, it stands to reason Dobbins will take more than one visit.

Even though Elliott and Cook are household names, Dobbins coming off two major injuries offers markedly more upside than the declining veterans. He's still 25 years old and happens to be from Houston, TX.

Hopefully, the Cowboys aren't caught sleeping again.

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