Where the Cowboys' RB Depth Chart Stands Heading Into Draft

The Dallas Cowboys desperately need to upgrade their running back room. Here's how their RB depth chart is looking ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.
Rico Dowdle is currently No. 1 on the Cowboys' RB depth chart.
Rico Dowdle is currently No. 1 on the Cowboys' RB depth chart. / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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As the 2024 NFL Draft approaches, the Dallas Cowboys have a lot of room for improvement. The Cowboys saw several key players depart this season between free agency and retirement, leaving Jerry Jones looking to address several positions over the coming days — especially the running back room.

After all, the Cowboys were left without a No. 1 RB once Tony Pollard left to join the Tennessee Titans this offseason. Dallas already has one of the best passing games in the NFL, but a well-balanced attack is crucial to finding championship success. In other words, it won't be surprising if America's Team adds another rusher while it's in Detroit.

In the meantime, here's what the Cowboys' RB depth chart looks like ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.

1. Rico Dowdle

Despite having played 36 NFL games without a single start, Rico Dowdle finds himself atop the Cowboys' RB depth chart following Pollard's exit.

Dowdle, who joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2020, saw his most opportunities to date during the 2023 campaign. The former South Carolina Gamecock turned 89 carries into 385 rushing yards and two touchdowns while also hauling in 17 passes for 144 receiving yards and another pair of TDs.

Unless the Cowboys draft someone like Texas' Jonathon Brooks or FSU's Trey Benson, it looks like they'll opt for a committee approach with Dowdle leading the charge this fall. He did average 4.1 yards per carry last season, leaving time to tell how he fares with a bigger workload.

Slated to hit free agency next spring, the 2024 campaign will play a big role in how Dowdle's career continues. If he can excel in a bigger role, he'll be paid handsomely. If not, it's tough to say if he'll be back in Big D for the 2025 season and beyond.

2. Royce Freeman

As of April 24, the Cowboys have only signed two external free agents with one of them being veteran RB Royce Freeman.

Freeman is an experienced rusher who's played 79 career games between four NFL franchises. He most recently served as a backup RB with the LA Rams in 2023 and made the most of his playing time, racking up 77 carries for 319 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He also finished with 66-plus yards in three of the four games where he saw 12 or more carries.

Interestingly enough, one of his TDs came against the Cowboys in Week 8.

Freeman is a solid backup option, but I doubt he'll be the one to take over the reins as Dallas' starting RB. Despite suiting up in nearly 80 games, the ex-Oregon Duck has only started nine games across six seasons with eight of those opportunities coming in his rookie year.

At the end of the day, Cowboys fans can expect Freeman to be a serviceable secondary option who won't win games by himself.