Cowboys’ Next Big-Name RB Target Just Became Available

The Dallas Cowboys haven't done much to address the running back spot this offseason. However, the Cowboys should consider a former first-round pick who had his fifth-year option declined.
Jan 14, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy before the 2024 NFC
Jan 14, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy before the 2024 NFC / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys woefully neglected the running back position this offseason after seeing Tony Pollard leave in free agency to sign a three-year deal with the Tennessee Titans. 

With Pollard out the door and the free agent running back class being the best it has been in years, fans thought this was a prime opportunity for the Cowboys to grab Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, Saquon Barkley, or Josh Jacobs.

To no one’s surprise, the Cowboys did none of those things as they went with the running back by committee approach this offseason, re-signing Rico Dowdle, signing Royce Freeman, and bringing back Ezekiel Elliott.

With none of these running backs being the long-term answer for Dallas, the team will be on the lookout for upgrades during the 2024 season and in the next offseason. One running back who could be on their radar is Najee Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steelers reportedly declined Harris’ fifth-year option on Thursday, which means that the former first-round pick can become a free agent next offseason or Pittsburgh could trade him if things go south.

If I’m Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, I’d be leaning towards the first option being more reliable as we just saw a bunch of teams let their star running backs hit the open market this offseason.

Harris would be a significant upgrade over what the Cowboys currently have at running back as he’s 26 years old and has rushed for 1,000 yards in three straight seasons. Last season, Harris posted 1,035 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 255 carries.

The 6-foot-1 running back also recorded 29 receptions (38 targets) for 170 yards, which was his lowest total in his career. Steelers fans have mixed feelings about Harris, but he could be what the Cowboys need in the backfield if they want to be long-term contenders.

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