The Cowboys have been trying to keep DeMarco Murray, but it seems clear they are not willing to over-pay for his services and that if Murray comes back it will probably only be with a "home-town discount." But if that doesn't happen, what is their Plan B?
"According to multiple sources, the Cowboys are not ready to check in on the middle- to lower-level running backs that are available, including C.J. Spiller and Darren McFadden, at this time."
Dallas could just wait for the draft and try to grab a replacement. That would be counter to their recent paradigm of having no holes going into the draft. So, if we suppose that they want to have someone in place they think could be the answer before the draft, what is their plan?
Could it be they have a lot more confidence in Ryan Williams, who is only 24 years old, than appears on the surface? He does have a good background having been drafted with the 38th pick in the 2011 draft. Here is some of the things that were said about him at that time:
"Williams has a chance to develop into an every down starting running back. Has the vision, toughness, burst, and lateral-mobility necessary to move the chains and make some big plays.
Williams runs with a lot of energy. Has great patience and vision. Possesses enough burst to get through the hole. Excels as a one-cut-and-go back. Runs low and hard, breaks tackles. Creative and very elusive once he gets to the second level. Flashes the ability to be a threat in the passing game."
And also this from here:
"As a freshman at Virginia Tech in 2008, Williams was redshirted. As a redshirt freshman in 2009, Williams took over as starting running back after starter Darren Evans suffered a season-ending ACL injury.Through thirteen games he rushed for 1,655 yards on 293 carries, scored 21 touchdowns, and broke multiple Virginia Tech and ACC rushing records in the process - including Virginia Tech's single season rushing yards record and the ACC single season touchdown record with 22 touchdowns. He began the 2010 season as a starter but injured his right hamstring in a game against East Carolina University and was out for four games before coming back against Duke."
The other options just don't seem to make sense. They probably are not comfortable with Joesph Randle because of his penchant for making poor choices off the field, but he is the only other one besides Williams on the roster that may be able to handle the load of a starter and stand up to the 20-25 carries that might be asked of him.
Lance Dunbar doesn't to have the frame to handle the starting role and is seen as more of a change-of-pace back.
Perhaps the Cowboys are planning a trade for a back from another team that is completely under the radar at the moment or they are counting on doing what it takes to keep Murray. They also could jump back into the free agent market later when the real bargains are available.
What do you guys and gals think is their Plan B if Murray bolts?