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

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1. Ronald Jones II

The Cowboys signed Jones towards the end of March, which gave the team solid depth in the backfield behind Pollard.

Jones was a highly-rated high school prospect in 2015, rated higher than running backs Saquon Barkley and Damien Harris. At USC, he put up over 3,600 rushing yards in three years, including 1,550 yards and 19 rushing touchdowns in his junior season.

But since being drafted 38th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, Jones hasn't lived up to that status. He has zero 1,000-yard seasons in his five-year career and has just 118 carries over the last two seasons, including 17 last year with the Chiefs.

It's been a disappointing career for Jones so far, though, he has shown some flashes of his potential. As the lead back in Tampa Bay in 2020, he had 192 carries for 978 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. Some might remember his iconic 98-yard touchdown during that season as well.

Now with the Cowboys on a one year deal, there's many different scenarios that can play out.

With undrafted rookie fullback Hunter Luepke having a shot at making the roster with his versatility in short-yard situations and the passing game, Jones might very well be the odd man out. Davis and Vaughn could easily back up Pollard.

He isn't a great pass blocker either, and that could hurt his roster spot come September. He was benched in a game in 2019 for missed pass protection blocks and ranked among the worst running backs in that category in 2020.

But there's also a scenario where Jones runs away with the RB2 job in Dallas. Jones doesn't need to run like prime Elliott to replace the former All-Pro running back. He just needs to do enough on offense to contribute.

In three of his five seasons in the NFL, Jones averaged over four yards per carry. He was also a weapon for Tampa Bay in the receiving game in 2019 as he caught over 30 passes for over 300 yards.

Jones, Davis, Vaughn and even Luepke are all fighting for roster spots. No running back -- besides Pollard -- is guaranteed one yet. The Cowboys can go with two of the four to make the roster. They could go with three of them to make the roster.

Luepke has a strong chance to make the roster as the team's primary goal-line/short-yardage back. In Mike McCarthy-led offenses in Green Bay in the past, he used fullback John Kuhn as that type of player.

All four players' roster spots remain a question mark this early into the offseason. But training camp will help in determining which running back gets the RB2 in Dallas' electric offense.

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