Rico Dowdle's cryptic response to Ezekiel Elliott signing has Cowboys fans confused

Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys
Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys may have brought Ezekiel Elliott home, but running back is still a polarizing storyline surrounding the franchise. While Elliott can still fill a role in a backfield committee, he no longer boasts the long speed and ability to make defenders miss to be a lead back.

You know who would have been a perfect complement to Elliott's short-yardage prowess? Tennessee running back Jaylen Wright, who ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and ranked among the top RBs in the country in yards after contact and forced missed tackles.

The Cowboys reportedly loved Wright going into the draft, but they didn't have a fourth-round pick to bring him to Dallas.

Time will tell if Jerry Jones trades for a running back, but Rico Dowdle is currently in line for a significant role this season. Despite that, Dowdle had a cryptic reaction on social media after the team signed Elliott.

Rico Dowdle had cryptic reaction to Cowboys signing Ezekiel Elliott

Dowdle's reaction isn't a dig at Elliott whatsoever. The South Carolina product is an ultimate competitor and is dripping in self confidence. Those intangibles speak to why Dowdle has made it this far as a former undrafted free agent.

Dowdle likely believes he can lead Dallas' backfield. Fans might push back on that, but it's not farfetched to think Dowdle is better than Elliott at this stage of their respective careers.

There's no comparing the Cowboys and Patriots' offenses last season, but Dowdle averaged 4.1 yards per carry to Zeke's 3.5. Dowdle also posted more yards after contact per attempt than Elliott and fewer fumbles, per Pro Football Focus. Furthermore, he was right behind Zeke in explosive runs and missed tackles forced despite logging 75 fewer carries.

Dowdle must understand that Zeke could replace him as the change-of-pace and power rusher in the Cowboys' backfield. At worst, Elliott will be RB2 this season. There's a strong chance that Dallas brings in another running back, too, most likely to be their starter or 1A to Elliott.

That would demote Dowdle to RB3 duties. That's nothing to sneeze at, but it's a far cry from what Dowdle envisioned for himself after Tony Pollard signed with the Titans. He outplayed Pollard for large stretches in 2023 and he parlayed that into a one-year deal to return to the Cowboys.

As a former UDFA who's had to scratch and claw just to make the 53-man roster and has battled multiple injuries since turning pro, Dowdle will once again embrace the underdog mindset that's kept him around the team in some capacity for the last four years.

That could be a blessing in disguise for the fan favorite RB.

More Cowboys coverage