What Options Do The Dallas Cowboys Have At Running Back?

Dallas is banking on its massive offensive line to keep the running game alive, but just in case they want to bring someone else in there are options.

Last season the Cowboys finally became the contender Jerry Jones always claimed they were thanks to the emergence of something that had been missing—a running game. DeMarco Murray stayed relatively healthy for the first time, and behind the team’s massive offensive line he went on to become the league’s rushing champion.  

Now he is in Philadelphia, and to fill the void the Cowboy singed injury prone Darren McFadden who is starting training camp injured (shocker). It is early in the season so maybe this is nothing, but maybe it’s something. Maybe the team should be concerned.

Maybe they should bring in someone else—but if so, who?

Chris Johnson comes to mind, and only because he keeps talking about his desire to play in Dallas. If the team is smart he will be the last person signed. Ever since he had his 2000+ yard season his production has decreased. If you ask him his decline has nothing to do with him. It’s everyone else’s fault, which is exactly why Dallas shouldn’t sign him. Johnson is a ‘me first’ type of player that will not hesitate to throw anyone and everyone under the bus. No team needs that kind of disruptive force.

Wednesday afternoon Steven Jackson let it be known that he would like to play for Dallas as well. Throughout his career he has been quite the work horse. While he played well for the Rams he never quite caught on in Atlanta. Now he’s 32. Running backs typically start to decline when they are 31. There is little reason to believe that he has anything worthwhile left in the tank.

There are plenty of other running backs available that were good at one time, but have all had injury issues like Peyton Hillis, Knowshon Moreno, and Ahmad Bradshaw.

The best option out there may very well be the worst one—Ray Rice. Rice is the youngest available veteran back and has the most upside. It was not too long ago that he was one of the premier backs in the league. However, signing him would be a PR disaster. The team has shown that it is willing to go out on a branch for a talented player no matter how much baggage he comes with (right Greg Hardy?), but would Rice's baggage be worth it?

The Cowboys may very well have to go with what they have. McFadden has good numbers, but there is no telling how much he’ll be available. Lance Dunbar has not done much in his three seasons with just 80 carries for 324 yards. Joseph Randle has shown some flash here and there, but he has never been asked to carry the load.

That leaves Lache Seastrunk. He had a great college career at Baylor averaging over seven yards a carry during the ’12 and ’13 seasons. He was drafted by the Redskins in 2014, but never made the roster. He did spend time on the practice squad for the Redskins as well as the Panthers and Titans. So basically while he is promising he is unproven at the NFL level.  

So—what are the options for the Cowboys at running back? It looks like they are stuck going with an injury plagued veteran, an unproven player, or a rookie. Hopefully that offensive line is as good as advertised.

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