The Dallas Cowboys had been pretty healthy this offseason until a few weeks ago with the injury to defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and his elbow dislocation. Now the team has been hit with COVID. Players are having to sit out quality practices, and then they lost running back Rico Dowdle to a season-ending injury. This may not seem like a big deal, but for the Cowboys it’s a big deal that they have to take seriously.
Dowdle has been one of the more impressive running backs in the Cowboys preseason games and was going to be asked to contribute on special teams. He would have also been the first man up if for some reason Ezekiel Elliott or Tony Pollard went down with an injury. They’ll need to find another body to put in the special team's role, and backing up starters is too important to disregard. The Cowboys are going to have to see what they have on the roster, but their best bet may be to look outside of the roster for players whose current position with their respective teams may not be safe.
Here are three that could make sense if the Cowboys do decide to pick up the phone or wait for their possible releases.
Career Stats: 2,245 yards rushing, 19 rushing touchdowns, 361 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns
When actually given the opportunity, Barber has been a productive running back in the NFL. Unfortunately for Barber, he was on a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that was more focused on pushing the ball downfield. He also had to contend with Ronald Jones who would eventually take over the starting role with Barber’s release in 2020. He would go on to sign with the Washington Football Team where he is now in a battle for the third-string running back position. He is going up against rookie Jarret Patterson and the WFT can save money by cutting Barber.
Career Stats: 1,293 yards rushing, four rushing touchdowns, 1,518 receiving yards, three receiving touchdowns
The Cowboys could also go with a player like Richard, who has been used with the Las Vegas Raiders through the air more than on the ground, giving Richard more tread on the tires. He could give the Cowboys another dual-threat running back who’s proven he can make plays with the ball in the air. We know that the Cowboys want their running backs to be able to catch the football so why not bring in one of the better pass-catching running backs who’s also shown he can run the ball pretty well too.
Career Stats: 794 yards rushing, 6 rushing touchdowns, 84 receiving yards, 0 receiving touchdowns
While Snell’s stat line may not excite you, he’s been a go-to player for the Pittsburgh Steelers with the often injured James Connor on the roster. Snell is another running back that has shown flashes of his talent but not enough to garner the carries thanks to the team's focus on pushing the ball down the field. On the Cowboys, Snell would still be a backup but would give this team another reliable option if one of their top two running backs were to go down. A position he’s been in and wouldn’t shy away from.
Any one of these running backs coming in would have the NFL experience you’re looking for and could hit the ground running. It’s all a matter of the Cowboys believing they need to find another back or if they think they have one on the roster now.