NFC East running back rotations ranked from worst to best in 2023

Tony Pollard is the lead back finally for the Dallas Cowboys, but they're no longer the top running team in the NFC East.
Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys
Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages
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1. Philadelphia Eagles

D'Andre Swift, Kenneth Gainwell, Rashaad Penny, Boston Scott

Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles had the third-most rushing attempts (544) for the fifth-most yards (2,509) with the most touchdowns on the ground (32). Their lead back was Miles Sanders, who actually replaced Saquon Barkley at Penn State before going 53rd overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Sanders had the best season of his career with 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns and ended up leaving in free agency.

Even before the Eagles elected not to offer him a big contract, they started to shift away. In the playoffs, Sanders was out-gained by Kenneth Gainwell, who had 181 yards in the playoffs compared to 148 for Sanders.

Now heading into 2023, Gainwell is expected to have an even larger role in the offense but he's still not going to be the No. 1 guy — and might not even be No. 2 when everyone is healthy.

D'Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny were added in the offseason and they're both more than capable of putting up big numbers. Swift, a former second-round pick in 2020, had 1,680 yards on the ground and 1,198 as a receiver in three seasons with Detroit. Penny had 1,918 yards and 13 touchdowns in five seasons with Seattle.

His best campaign was in 2021 when he had 749 yards and six touchdowns in just 10 games. But that highlights the issue with Penny — he's constantly missing time. The same can be true of Swift, who has never played a full season.

Having said all of that, the talent in Philly is incredible in the backfield and they could be even better in 2023 — which is a scary proposition.

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