The Cowboys made a roster move today that probably caught most observers by surprise. After working out two free agent running backs earlier in the day, the went a different route entirely and claimed RB Rod Smith off waivers from Seattle.
Cowboys claimed Rod Smith RB from SEA to fill the vacant roster spot. Team now at 53.— Bryan Broaddus (@BryanBroaddus) October 14, 2015
The Seahawks waived Rod Smith yesterday, ostensibly to make room for an as-yet-unnamed transaction, and were likely looking to re-sign him to their practice squad. Smith was called up from the Seahawks practice squad on Saturday last week as emergency depth after Marshawn Lynch was unable to play for the second straight week and Fred Jackson was gimpy with an ankle injury. Smith played five snaps, got two carries for five yards, one being a 3rd down conversion.
Smith is the prototype of the big, bruising back many fans have been calling for. Listed at 6'3 and 231 lbs he looks more like a linebacker than a running back. But it's unlikely that the 2015 UDFA will be the immediate answer to all the Cowboys' running back issues.
Rod Smith's college career with Ohio State didn't really work out the way it was supposed to for the four-star prospect who was rated the No. 6 running back in the country out of high school in 2010, and he was eventually kicked off the Ohio State team last year.
Over his career, Smith rushed for 549 yards and eight touchdowns, with 101 yards and four scores coming in 2014. The 6-3, 231 pound back from Ft.Wayne, Indiana combined a highly physical running style with very enthusiastic play on special teams, which earned him effusive praise from Urban Meyer this season. However, inconsistency with fumbles, along with off the field concerns and depth at running back, kept him from seeing the field for consistent stretches.
The Seahawks saw something in Smith, and while he doesn't have a draft pedigree, he was a top-ranked prospect at one time. Reports are that he had a strong preseason in Seattle, so there's a chance he could survive in Dallas beyond the bye week.