FanPost

Off-season Priorities Pt. 5 [Running Backs]

This is the Fifth part of the weekly fan-post in which I evaluate the Dallas Cowboys Off-season Priorities. This week I will be focusing on the Cowboys Running Backs and draft prospects. If you want to check out any of the previous articles published, the links are below.

Archive: Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 | Pt. 3 | Pt. 4 |

The 2012-13 season was a very disappointing one for the Cowboy RB's to put it nicely. Our "Offensive Line" couldn't block and open holes, but our running backs couldn't stay healthy either. DeMarco Murray was drafted to be the No. 1 back in 2011, but has not stayed healthy in either season to label him a durable back. Felix Jones has had his fair share of injuries and is not likely to return. Dunbar & Tanner split carries throughout the year but neither really shined in a game to give the Cowboys FO faith that they are set at the RB position. DeMarco Murray started off good against the Giants with a huge game and many thought he would have a breakout season, unfortunately for the Cowboys & Murray that did not happen. After week 1, Murray never could get into rhythm primarily because of the offensive line woes. Then, he was sidelined for almost 7 weeks with a foot injury suffered against the Baltimore Ravens. Felix Jones was then entered into the starting lineup but also suffered injuries to both his knees and neck.

Dallas Cowboys Running Backs:

Name

Attempts

Yards

Touchdowns

Yards Per Carry

Games Played

DeMarco Murray

161

663

4

4.1

10

Felix Jones

111

402

3

3.6

16

Lance Dunbar

21

75

0

3.6

12

Philip Tanner

47

61

0

2.4

14

As you can see from the graph above, The numbers aren't exactly overwhelming. The offensive line will have to get better for these numbers to improve, & Murray will have to stay healthy. The pressure will be on Murray next year to eclipse the 1,000 yard mark after two sub par seasons. Overall, the running backs did not provide a boost to the offense as needed and Stephen Jones has hinted that they will be drafting a RB somewhere in this draft to provide the Cowboys a steady backup should something happen to Murray. When Asked if the Cowboys could draft a replacement for Jones, Stephen Jones said the following.

"In this league, you have to have more than one back," he said. "Obviously, we developed DeMarco Murray but you also have to look at the fact he hasn’t been healthy yet in terms of for a full season. I think we need a back. I like [Lance] Dunbar and I like [Phillip] Tanner but I think they’re more third backs than second backs."

This draft has some interesting prospects with Eddie Lacy leading the bunch. The only sure starter next year of the 4 backs on the roster is DeMarco Murray. Felix Jones will be wearing a different jersey next year, and Philip Tanner could very well be cut after being passed by Lance Dunbar on the depth chart. Below I will focus on my top 12 propects that could be available to draft & my top UDFA RB.

Name | College | Height | Weight | | Rd Drafted |

1. Eddie Lacy | Oklahoma | 6'0 | 220 lbs. | 1-2 rd |

2. Giovani Bernard | North Carolina | 5'10 | 205 lbs | 1-2 rd |

3. Jospeh Randle | Oklahoma St. | 6'1 | 200 lbs | 2-3 rd |

4. Andre Ellington | Clemson | 5'10 | 190 lbs | 2-3 rd |

5. Montee Ball | Wisconsin | 5'11 | 212 lbs | 3-4 rd |

6. Stepfan Taylor | Stanford | 5'11 | 215 lbs | 3-4 rd |

7. Marcus Lattimore | South Carolina | 6'0 | 218 lbs | 4-5 rd |

8. Jonathan Franklin | UCLA | 5'11 | 195 lbs | 4-5 rd |

9. Christine Michael | Texas A&M | 5'11 | 213 lbs | 4-6 rd |

10. Le'Veon Bell | Michigan St. | 6'2 | 244 lbs | 4-6 rd |

11. Ray Graham | Pittsburgh | 5'9 | 195 lbs | 5-6 rd |

12. Mike Gillislee | Florida | 5'11 | 209 lbs | 5-6 rd |

My Top UDFA Steal is

* Spencer Ware | LSU | 5'11 | 225 lbs | UDFA |

I did not include any of the Free Agent RB's available because the only one I like (Chris Ivory) might get tendered and will demand money since he is fairly young.. If you want to check the free agent RB's, the link is Here. (Updated)

Leave your comments below on who you think the Cowboys should should draft or acquire in FA. Thanks for reading. - Moses

Part 6. Will evaluate the Wide Receivers

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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