The Dallas Cowboys have decided to look at some other running backs in training camp, but it's not Steven Jackson, Ray Rice or any other veteran name you can bring up. Instead, they're looking at young, cheap guys who can take turns in the rotation.
According to sources, Ben Malena, who was with the Cowboys during training camp last summer and spent time on the Houston Texans practice squad last year, Michael Hill and Zach Bauman will get to show what they can in a bid to earn a training camp invite.
It's no secret that the Cowboys have been a little banged up in training camp at the running back position, but they are by no means wavering form their commitment to Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar. On the other hand, they don't want to give those guys too many reps in practice and preseason. And Gus Johnson, who was supposed to shoulder some of the load, has instead separated his shoulder. Add all that up and you get a team that wants some bodies in camp, and if they get lucky they may find a diamond in the rough. Maybe that's Gus Johnson, or maybe someone else.
So just who are these guys they're taking a look at?
Of the three, [Michael] Hill is the only one to have played in a regular-season game, appearing in eight of them for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers in 2013. He had nine carries for 23 yards and two catches for 23 yards for the Bucs. He was cut by the Washington Redskins last month. Malena was let go by the Texans in May but recently worked out for them. Bauman spent time last year on the Arizona Cardinals practice squad before he was released in May. He is the all-time leading rusher at Northern Arizona. He had 16 carries for 49 yards in the preseason last year.