On Tuesday morning the Dallas Cowboys signed their old nemesis, former Washington running back Alfred Morris, to a two-year contract. Although this could be a great fit for both team and player, the largest benefit could be that the Cowboys have addressed nearly all of the holes in the roster prior to the NFL draft. So instead of chasing a running back early, the team can allow the board to come to them. By waiting until the fourth round, they might just find the back with the brightest future.
It's not often that a 1,000 yard rusher from the University of Notre Dame flies under the radar, but C.J. Prosise is the exception to that rule. Prosise was recruited to the Fighting Irish to play safety, but he never played a down on defense and was switched to wide receiver after his red-shirt year. In two seasons as a wide out, he made little impact on the offense, but was a key contributor on kick coverage with 11 special teams tackles. With a shortage at running back heading into his junior year, the coaches asked him to switch to the backfield. It was a move that worked. Prosise entered the season as the primary backup to starter Tarean Folston. After Folston suffered a season-ending knee injury in week 1 against Texas, Prosise became the lead back.
Prosise responded with 1,032 yard and 11 touchdowns on just 156 carries. It was a very impressive effort for a player getting his first carries at the college level. Prosise showed patience in letting the blocks develop in front of him, and he also is a player that is football fast. He ran 4.48 in the 40-yard dash at the combine in February, but he has more burst than a lot of backs and hits the hole hard without hesitation. He still has to learn NFL pass protection schemes, but he is a natural pass catcher who can be dynamic in space. With two experienced and accomplished running backs already on the roster, Prosise would be afforded the opportunity to assimilate without having to take on a large share of the workload.
If the Cowboys are lucky enough to find Prosise still on the board in the third round, then the team would be wise to take a shot at developing a runner who is light on usage and long on athletic ability. He doesn't have the same kind of resume as some other backs in the 2016 draft class, but C.J. Prosise is a case of a football player who needed to find the right fit. Now that he has found it, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to do whatever is possible to fit him into their plans.