Previewing the Training Camp Battles of the Dallas Cowboys (Offense)

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Running Back #20 Tony Pollard of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

2. Dallas Cowboys Running Backs

Tony Pollard is the unquestionable lead running back. One thing that can’t be ignored is the number of carries left after Dallas parted ways with Ezekiel Elliott.

Last season, Elliott had 231 carries. Pollard had 193 carries. If my calculations are correct, Pollard’s carries will increase to 240, equivalent to 15 carries in each of the 16 games. Pollard may see a slight increase of three additional carries per game, or perhaps those carries will be in the form of touches in the passing game.

There are still 188 carries that are not taken into consideration. Who will receive most of the carries behind Tony Pollard?

Ronald Jones’ experience surpasses others, with 61 career games played and 25 starts over five seasons with the Chiefs and Buccaneers.

Jones, who is just 25, provides more speed to the backfield than anyone other than Tony Pollard did last season. The Cowboys have confidence in his ability to contribute behind Pollard.

"“He’s an NFL quality back. His run style fits what we do. He’s young enough to continue to grow and add something to us. And, again, we’re adding an experienced back that knows what it’s like in the NFL, that fits the system well, and he’s got some upside to be able to be a three-down back and some of those things.” – Cowboys’ vice president of player personnel Will McClay on Brandon Jones"

Jones was with Tampa Bay for four years before spending last year with KC. In 2020, he achieved his best year with 192 carries, 978 yards, and 7 TDs with a 5.1 yard per carry average. He appeared in just six games for the Chiefs last year.

Last season, Malik Davis was the third running back for the Dallas Cowboys and had the most touches, with 38 carries for 161 yards and one touchdown. With a year of experience, Davis is fully aware of what is required of him this season.

Along with the aforementioned players, Deuce Vaughn, Rico Dowdle, and undrafted rookie fullback Hunter Luepke will also be joining in the mix.

Deuce is a great fit for the skat back role. His time at Kansas State was marked by his electrifying play, constantly throwing defenders and defensive game plans off balance.

If Deuce can transfer that productivity to the NFL. DEUCE will be screamed by Cowboys Nation on Sundays, I can imagine.

I have already written about Hunter Luepke as a potential X-factor for the Dallas Cowboys running game. Here is a brief recap summary.

"Strengths: A powerful runner, ideal for gaining yards in short distances, and expected to play fullback on Sundays. When running, displays quickness, excellent balance, and footwork. He possesses great power and is quite nimble, making it difficult for defenders to bring him down with a single tackle. He breaks through the hole, gaining a lot of yardage and pushing the pile forward."

If none of the young prospects emerges during training camp and the preseason. The Cowboys may look to add a veteran running back. Whether that is via trade or free agency.

Leonard Fournette believe he still has some gas left in his tank. Former Buccaneers Star Rob Gronkowski can’t stop showering his former teammate with love.

"“Lenny is an absolute tank who’s versatile to be a three-down back and make a big play when you need it the most. His unique skill set in the pass game at the size he is makes him a mismatch at all times.” – Rob Gronkowski told The Score’s Jordan Schultz"

Among veteran free agents, Leonard Fournette stands out as the top power running back. Adding a veteran with Super Bowl experience could be beneficial for Dallas. There’s no need for them to do it right away.

If you’re wondering how this will be sorted out, the answer lies in the training camp practices and preseason games.