The Dallas Cowboys have been linked to certain players in the NFL Draft. However, free agency will play a major factor in who the Cowboys will draft with the fourth-overall pick in the coming weeks. Looking at the free agency period this offseason, there are a few players that could come in immediately and improve this football team. One of those players that could make an immediate impact is Lamar Miller.
While running back may not be the biggest need for the team, Dallas has been connected to Ezekiel Elliott, even as high as the fourth-overall pick. And despite the lack of a pressing need, drafting a running back does make some sense. Todd Gurley was drafted in the first round by the St. Louis Rams. He came back from injury and immediately established himself as one of the best backs in football, despite playing behind a shabby offensive line and next to poor quarterback play. Imagine what Elliott could do behind one of the best quarterbacks in football in Tony Romo and behind the league's best offensive line.
Enter Miller, a 24-year-old back who has still yet to experience the best part of his career. It was reported early Tuesday morning that Miller would likely not be returning to the Miami Dolphins:
Increasingly unlikely that Lamar Miller returns to Miami. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 8, 2016
Last offseason, the Cowboys decided to bypass on retaining DeMarco Murray for a pricey cost. While it may not be in the $10 million range, the Cowboys could very well dish out around $6-7 million to the former Dolphin if they feel that he is worth the money and the cap hit. According to the Miami Herald's Armando Salquero, the Cowboys are one of the possibilities:
Miller to Dallas is quite the interesting possibility. Darren McFadden exceeded just about every expectation imaginable in 2015 and while he has all the right in the world to be the starting back come Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season, the fact remains that the Cowboys could really use a dynamic weapon to take pressure off of Romo. What Murray did in 2014 was quite impressive, but he was used a ton. In Miller, the Cowboys could get a ton of production in a smaller amount of carries.
Running in Dallas, Miller would be running behind three guys who have combined for six Pro Bowl appearances, two 1st Team All Pros, and four 2nd Team All Pros in just the past two years. That's quite the accomplishment for an offensive line. Add a promising player entering his second season in La'el Collins and it's clear that any running back is going to find success behind this offensive line.
The perks of Miller are simple. There isn't much wear-and-tear on his body. He'll be 25 entering the regular season. He's an excellent receiving option out of the backfield and he isn't that bad of a blocker for his size. Also, he fits the zone scheme extremely well, something the Cowboys would like out of their running backs going forward. Another thing is that signing Miller means the Cowboys can use their picks on other positions of need.
Miller makes perfect sense for the Cowboys. However, many teams are probably thinking the same of the things I said in the last paragraph. As it looks now, the biggest competitor next to the Cowboys is the Houston Texans, according to the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson:
Texans have strong interest in running back Lamar Miller, per sources, remains to be seen if that will develop into a deal — Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 8, 2016
Dallas may lose some of their spending that could go to upgrades on the defense, but adding a weapon like Miller to pair with an already-dynamic offense might just be too much for the Cowboys to pass up on. It's going to be costly, but if the right deal is put into place, the Cowboys' front office would be wise to bring in such a talented option in Miller.