Most fans will read this headline and let out an emphatic: “No!”. That is understandable. The Dallas Cowboys have a plethora of needs on defense and hell, they don’t run the ball that much anyway! I urge you, however, to consider the argument.
About the Cowboys
1. DeMarco Murray is great, but a player who is especially prone to injury needs a good back-up and an occasional rest.
2. Lance Dunbar is coming off a big injury, and appears to do best as a change-of-pace scat back. Even though there were some flashes of brilliance, he just doesn’t seem to be built for a heavy workload should Murray go down.
3. The Cowboys don’t seem to be big believers in Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle. I have always liked Tanner, but after three years his role hasn’t changed very much. Randle may get another chance, but if early indications are that he has not evolved from his upright, one-speed style of running, the team may elect to cut ties or package him in a trade for a late round pick.
4. While Dallas has claimed a pass-first identity, the injuries suffered by Tony Romo over the last few seasons magnify the importance of having a balanced attack. As #9 gets older, and the run-blocking ability of the offensive-line continues to improve, look for Garrett and company to finally feature running backs more often.
About the Draft
1. There aren’t many teams who need a starting running back. Some may draft them highly due to questions surrounding their current starters, such as the Jaguars, Titans, Ravens, Falcons, and Dolphins . Only the Cleveland Browns, however, are nearly sure to look for an instant starter in the 2014 draft.
2. This means that a top five talent could fall to the 3-4th round.
3. Insert Andre Williams. In 2014, the Boston College Eagle became only the 15th player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season. Such an accomplishment won him the Doak Walker Award, labeling him the nation’s best collegiate running back. The 230-pounder can be seen hitting holes and bullying defenders on just about every highlight.
Williams may not get picked until the middle rounds due to a perceived lack of speed and the small school – small competition notion. That’s fine for a team like the Cowboys, though, who would use him as a third-down runner and primary back-up to DeMarco Murray.
In my opinion, Andre Williams is the only running back worth a Dallas pick ahead of the fifth round. Certainly there are other backs who would do a fine job, but they’ll likely be gone before the ‘Boys are comfortable taking a back. If the ‘Boys miss out on him, they should maybe even wait until the seventh round or post-draft to look at a running back. In that case, keep in mind a guy like Toledo’s David Fluellen.
If Andre Williams falls to the third or fourth round, do you think the Cowboys should pull the trigger? Are there any other running backs that Dallas should consider? Sound off the in the comments below!