Cowboys Round 3 pick: Audric Estime, RB, Notre Dame
Tony Pollard is playing on the franchise tag this season and is closing in on his second-straight 1,000-yard campaign. He just did cross that plateau in 2022 with 1,007 yards and now with three games left to play, he's at 848. He also had a career-high 51 receptions.
The problem is that he's also averaging a personal low in both yards per rushing attempt (4.1) and yards per reception (5.7). The once explosive backup has been slowed some now that he's the primary ball carrier. He's also set for free agency again in 2024 and Dallas might not be willing to extend him — especially since his numbers are already declining and they were burnt recently by Ezekiel Elliott.
Knowing they're a pass-first team, they won't have to overspend to find his replacement. Perhaps they add a free agent with some experience but a day-two pick would also be wise. That's what leads to the selection of Audric Estime from Notre Dame, who recently declared for the 2024 NFL Draft.
Estime is a physical specimen at 5-foot-11 and 227 pounds. After hardly seeing the field as a freshman, he put up 920 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2022 followed by 1,341 yards and 18 touchdowns this year.
He hasn't been used much in the passing game but was effective when the ball did come his way. Overall, this feels like a safe pick. He might not be a transcendent star but he also won't be a bust.