The Dallas Cowboys should know better than most not to draft a running back in the early rounds. Yet, they’re still considering it.
The Cowboys backfield could look far different next year, as Tony Pollard may be on the outs and Ezekiel Elliott’s return is no guarantee.
Zeke would take a paycut in order to keep Pollard around, per reports. Whether publicized or not, an unofficial changing of the guard occurred in the Cowboys backfield last season, and it’s why they’d rather sacrifice their relationship with Elliott than lose Pollard.
Pollard is just 25 years old and a franchise tag candidate in Dallas. The Cowboys could use an early-round pick on another running back, however, further fortifying their backfield.
Would the Cowboys really draft a running back early?
“I think it depends on what part of the first round,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said this week, via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “If you’re up there in the top 10, it’s hard to take them there. You definitely, if you’re taking a player in the top half, you’re hoping you got a player that’s going to be here 10 years. And it’s tough for running backs to last 10 years. There’s not many Emmitt Smiths or guys that play that long.”
If the Cowboys really believe Emmitt Smith is in this draft, then sure, go for it. But first, they need to figure out a plan with Pollard and Elliott. Zeke is a likely contract restructure candidate, or he’ll be released. Elliott would definitely prefer to stay in Dallas.
“We haven’t finalized any decisions yet in terms of what that room’s going to look like, but Zeke’s a tremendous competitor, just a great teammate, a great competitor,” Jones said. “Obviously he’s making a lot of money. He knows that. Obviously, Tony Pollard’s up for free agency, so that’s a challenge. We’ll work through that.”
Drafting a running back would make matters much more complicated for a Cowboys team that ought to focus their attention elsewhere.
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