3. Dallas Cowboys
Tony Pollard, Deuce Vaughn, Malik Davis, Ronald Jones
For years, the Cowboys were the best running team in the East, but that changed in 2022. Not only did the Eagles vastly improve their ground attack, but Ezekiel Elliott took a step in the wrong direction.
He still had 12 touchdowns but was overshadowed by Tony Pollard who put up 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns on 5.2 yards per carry. Pollard was rewarded this offseason by getting slapped with the franchise tag, but he's open to an extension.
As for Elliott, he's been let go and is still looking for a home in 2023. There were rumors the two sides could discuss a reunion but that was recently rebuffed.
This means it's Pollard's show and while he has the potential to do great things in a lead role, he's also coming off a broken fibula. So far, there's no concern about this in 2023 but the depth behind him is questionable.
Malik Davis looked impressive as a rookie but the former undrafted free agent from Florida is still inexperienced overall. Ronald Jones is there and he has a lot of experience, even gaining 978 yards for the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. However, he's coming off a 70-yard campaign with the Chiefs and might not even make the 53-man roster.
The one player who could change their fortunes is Deuce Vaughn, a sixth-round pick from Kansas State. He has the potential to produce some highlight-reel plays but pinning their hopes on a late-round pick to be a difference-maker might not be a great bet.