Before starting anything, let's give a quick round of applause to the Dallas Cowboys for not matching the massive contract the Philadelphia Eagles gave to DeMarco Murray. You may hate that he's leaving town (especially since he's going to Philadelphia), but it was the right move for the Cowboys.
The contracts handed out to running backs simply aren't what they used to be, which is why a $42 million deal over five years is just too much. The Cowboys made a bold call letting Murray walk, but now they have money to use elsewhere.
Putting all of that aside, the Cowboys have even more important things to focus on, which include finding a replacement running back. While I feel confident that they may look towards the draft to find their future back, there are still plenty of intriguing options left in free agency, even after Justin Forsett was re-signed by the Baltimore Ravens today.
The Cowboys are likely to sign a running back in free agency, even if it's not the player they envision as their future workhorse. Let's check out a few of the top options remaining who the team may look to land.
There are arguments to be made both for and against Spiller. He's dealt with his fair share of injuries throughout his career, but until 2014 had surprisingly only missed three games. On top of that, taking the 2014 season out of the argument as a whole, Spiller has averaged less than 4.6 yards per carry just one time and that was his rookie year.
Over the three-year span from 2011 to 2013, Spiller totaled 2,738 yards with 12 touchdowns. He also averaged 5.3 YPC as well. He only received 107 carries in 2011 compared to 207 and 202 in 2012 and 2013, showing that he's capable of handling a good amount of work.
Placing Spiller behind the Cowboys' offensive line may be a match made in heaven. Let's not forget that Spiller is only 27-years-old and that he's an excellent receiver out of the backfield. He's hauled in 158 receptions for 1,195 yards and six scores over his 70 games played.
Let's also not forget that the Cowboys apparently had
It seems that Ridley is flying a bit under the radar to this point. During his four-year stint in New England, Ridley averaged less than 4.3 YPC just one time, which was in 2014. He only played six games this past year, but before that missed just two games. Ridley's best year came in 2012 when he was the workhorse for the Patriots, running 290 times for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Do you believe that the 26-year-old running back can repeat that type of performance in Dallas? I have no question that he could. If the Cowboys want to save some money and still get a very talented running back, then Ridley may be their man. Expect Dallas to take a long, hard look at the former Patriot.
When Bush hit the free agency market, he immediately became one of the sexiest options available. The reason? He's simply an explosive player. The former Detroit Lion has traveled all over, starting out in New Orleans, heading to Miami and finally stopping in Detroit. His two best years came in Miami and Detroit in 2011 and 2013 when he topped 215+ rushing attempts in each year. He had over 1,000 yards in both seasons and averaged over 4.5 YPC in both seasons.
Bush's ability to catch passes may be the real selling point, as he had 94 receptions in two seasons with the Lions, racking up 759 yards and three scores. The argument against Bush is simply that he's 30 and has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. Over his nine NFL seasons, he's missed 28 games.
If the Cowboys want to take a shot on a player with explosive capabilities, look no further than Bush.
As shocking as this may be, Moreno is just 27-years-old. It's pretty amazing to think about that, but Moreno has dealt with too many injuries to even name. He's missed a total of 33 games through six seasons, but the most recent year that he played a full season (in 2013), he was impressive.
During the 2013 season with the Denver Broncos, Moreno rushed 241 times for 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was the man along side of Peyton Manning and I'd love to see him play with Tony Romo and behind the Dallas offensive line.
If Moreno is able to stay healthy, he could be a complete steal. There's a good chance that the Cowboys wouldn't have to pay much in order to sign Moreno, and even if they choose to make him split time with Joseph Randle or a rookie running back, it could be a great move. Watch out for Moreno as a sleeper choice for the Cowboys.