Dallas Cowboys: Four free agent running back options for 2018

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 02: (R-L) Running backs Ezekiel Elliott
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 02: (R-L) Running backs Ezekiel Elliott /

The Dallas Cowboys will likely need to add a running back in the offseason. These 4 players will likely be the top running backs in the free agent market.

The Dallas Cowboys will likely need to add a few new backs this offseason to create some depth behind Ezekiel Elliott. With Darren McFadden retiring after his release from the team in 2017 and Alfred Morris’s contract expiring it could be time for the Cowboys to look at some younger backs.

Dallas also has to decide what they will do with Rod Smith as his contract will expire in 2019. While the team should add a speed/receiving back in the draft, a veteran in free agency should also be a solid fit for this offense. There are several players who could fit that bill that we will explore below.

Carlos Hyde: Hyde has been one of the better backs for the San Francisco 49ers in recent memory. Hyde’s skill level made the 49ers comfortable enough to release Frank Gore and while he has had some injury issues throughout his time in the NFL, he will be one of the most sought-after free agent running backs come March.

Hyde recorded eight touchdowns and nearly 1,000 yards in 2017 so he could be one of the more sought-after free agent running backs this year.  The 49ers will likely allow him to walk now that they are rebuilding their franchise and have Jimmy Garroppolo to fall back on.

Jeremy Hill: Hill has been a fairly disappointing back for the Cincinnati Bengals. He scores a lot of touchdowns but really does not eat up yards like most NFL backs. Hill could benefit from being in a run-first scheme that will limit his opportunities and streamline his production.

Hill had a terrible 2017 season not scoring one touchdown, however, the Bengals running attack and offense in general struggled massively all throughout the 2017 season.

He would be an incredibly cheap option to replace Morris or McFadden and should have more production behind the Cowboys line than he did in Cincinnati. The Cowboys could certainly do worse at backup running back than Hill plus his addition could give this offense a new wrinkle to explore.

LeGarrette Blount: This one would just be fun. After winning a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles against his former team, Blount snubs the Eagles and heads to Big D where he becomes a change of pace goal line back.

For plenty of reasons, this seems unlikely however the Eagles do have a lot of talented backs already and paying some of their depth players will be a problem in the offseason. Blount is an older back but still has shown the burst and power that got him several Super Bowl titles in the first place.

More from Dallas Cowboys

Jerick McKinnon: McKinnon was the second back in the Minnesota Vikings offense and had a very productive season in 2017. McKinnon gained 570 yards in 2017 and recorded three touchdowns. 

While these stats are not eye-popping he is a capable change of pace back. McKinnon and Latavius Murray made up a great tandem that helped the Vikings control the time of possession. He could be a low-cost option for the Dallas Cowboys as the free agency period approaches.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: The impact of the Eagles Super Bowl victory

The Dallas Cowboys need to add some offensive weapons to this roster and any one of these backs would make an excellent addition to the team.