Predicting which Cowboys running back will be Tony Pollard's backup this season

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The Dallas Cowboys will look a little different on offense this season.

They'll have the usual offensive superstars in Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, and Tony Pollard. But players like Dalton Schultz and Ezekiel Elliott will be absent after being vital parts of the offense over the years.

Elliott's departure from the team came earlier in the offseason when the Cowboys decided to cut the veteran. It wasn't a surprising move considering Dallas saved $10.9 million in cap space, and the running back was coming off the worst season of his career.

Elliott finished the 2022 season with a career-low 231 rush attempts, 876 rush yards, 17 catches, and 92 receiving yards. He also averaged just 3.8 yards per carry, another career-low.

Unless Elliott took a pay cut, he was likely not going to be a part of Dallas' roster in 2023. But despite his poor showing last season, he was a big part of the team's goal-line offense. He had the second-most rushing touchdowns in a season of his career (12) and did the heavy lifting on short-yardage situations.

The Cowboys will now have to replace that in 2023.

Tony Pollard isn't known to be a goal-line back at just 209 pounds. He will be the Cowboys' primary back heading into the season, but who will backup Pollard? Who will get the goal-line touches at running back?

Let's take a look at which Cowboys running back will back up Pollard this season.

3. Deuce Vaughn

The newest member of Dallas' running back group will be a tough matchup for many opposing defenses. Dallas drafted Deuce Vaughn in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Despite Vaughn's size -- 5-foot-6, 172 pounds -- the former Kansas State product is a versatile runner and might be a steal of the draft. He's a player that is extremely hard to take down in open space and will bring a lot more speed to Dallas' offense.

Vaughn ran for 1,558 yards and nine touchdowns in 2022 and 1,404 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2021. He had 4,884 scrimmage yards and 43 total touchdowns through his three college seasons at Kansas State.

The talent is there for Vaughn and he'll surely be a part of Dallas' running back room in 2023. In the Cowboys' OTAs on Thursday, the rookie running back caught a 45-yard pass down the field from Will Grier.

The rookie running back might not be the direct backup to Pollard to start the year and could begin as the third-string option. But, there's a strong chance he makes the Week 1 roster, given his talent and explosiveness.