Dallas Cowboys need to sign a veteran running back


The Dallas Cowboys are about a month away from playing against the Giants at AT&T Stadium for week one of the season. We know that Joseph Randle will likely be the starting running back, and we know that Lance Dunbar will be the back up.

After that, well, it’s murky.

Darren McFadden still has yet to practice during training camp thanks to a hamstring injury, while undrafted rookies Gus Johnson and Lache Seastrunk are fighting to make the roster.

McFadden was supposed to the veteran guy that could at least help replace DeMarco Murray, even if the plan was always for Randle to start. With him still yet to practice, his future on the roster is far from a sure thing. That leaves Randle and Dunbar as the only sure running backs to make the roster, and if one of them gets hurt, Dallas would be in a world of trouble.

Dallas needs to bring in a veteran running back as soon as they can. No, they can’t replace Murray with anyone that’s out there right now. But, a veteran running back would stabilize the rotation, and might be able to contribute something running behind that offensive line for a few snaps a game.

So, who’s out there?

A lot of the talk will be centered around Ray Rice. But, if I’m the Cowboys, or any other team for that matter I’m staying away from him. The Cowboys already took a chance on Greg Hardy, and I don’t think it’s worth taking a chance on Rice. There comes a point where you can only bend the “right kind of guy” rule so much.

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Chris Johnson has expressed interest in playing for Dallas, but it doesn’t seem like the Cowboys feel the same way. The Arizona Cardinals offered Johnson a one year deal a few days ago, but Johnson hasn’t committed to anything yet.

This isn’t the Johnson that ran for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns in Tennessee. Last season for the New York Jets, Johnson played in all 16 games and ran 155 times for 663 yards and one touchdown. That’s not terrible for a guy that would be your No. 2 back, and the fact he played in 16 games means he’s still durable. There are some off the field concerns with Johnson as well, but I think Dallas would rather take a chance with Johnson and his issues rather than Rice and his.

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Steven Jackson has also expressed the desire to come play in Dallas. Like Johnson, Jackson isn’t the same player he was a few years ago, but could do some really nice things in the No. 2 back role behind Dallas’ offensive line.

Jackson played in 15 games last year and carried the ball 150 times for 707 yards and six touchdowns. Johnson had more yards a carry than Jackson did, but Jackson was far more effective at getting in the end zone with his six touchdowns.

Of course, there are other factors like how they handle pass protection, and whether someone like Gus Johnson or Seastrunk impresses Dallas a ton, that will go into any decision to bring one of these two in.

But, if I’m Dallas, I would take a chance on Jackson. He’d be an effective No. 2 back, and would bring veteran leadership to guys like Randle and Dunbar. You’re not betting on him to replace Murray by any stretch, but he would at least stabilize what is an uneasy situation.

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