With the release of Ezekiel Elliott, the Dallas Cowboys running back position is surrounded by quite a bit of intrigue and mystery heading into the 2023 season. The only thing we know for sure right now is Tony Pollard will be taking over as the full-time starter, but beyond that everything is completely up in the air.
As things stand right now, the Cowboys seem to be taking the “wait-and-see” approach to see how things play out in training camp and preseason before making any decisions as to who will become Tony Pollard’s primary backup in 2023. Whether that’s the right direction to go or not remains to be seen.
Fortunately for them, the Cowboys can afford to take this approach due to the fact there are so many options, both in-house and available on the open market in free agency, to sift through. There’s still plenty of time left prior to the 2023 season opener to evaluate the position before any final decisions are made.
In Malik Davis, Deuce Vaughn, Rico Dowdle, and Hunter Luepke, the Dallas Cowboys have some young, intriguing options to evaluate throughout training camp and preseason. Any one of these four running backs could emerge and prove themselves worthy of backing up Tony Pollard the season. They also have signed veteran Ronald Jones who could work his way into the RB2 slot. If none of those options work out, Dallas can still turn to free agency for the solution.
As things stand right now, there are still a handful of veteran running backs who could step step in right away from Day 1 who would complement Tony Pollard very well. The return Ezekiel Elliott shouldn’t be completely ruled out, however, it does seem as if both sides are more than willing to explore their options at this point of the offseason.
Even if Zeke isn’t an option any longer, players like Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt, and maybe even J.D. McKissic are still out there and could be the Dallas Cowboys answer at RB2 if the in-house options don’t pan out. But, if the Cowboys really want to upgrade the position they could do so by signing the four-time Pro Bowl RB, Dalvin Cook.
The former Minnesota Vikings RB has been one of the most explosive and dangerous threats in both the running and passing game past several years. Both in size and skill set, he is similar to what the Cowboys already have in Tony Pollard. Pairing these two together would arguably give the Cowboys the most explosive backfield in the entire league.
While signing a player of Dalvin Cook’s caliber is probably unlikely due to the money it would take, he still should remain an option like all of the other running backs previously mentioned up into the point they are no longer available or Dallas is convinced they like what they are ready on the roster. Hence their current “wait-and-see” approach.
Regardless of what happens between now and the start of the 2023 season, it’s going to be really interesting to see how all of this plays out behind Tony Pollard. As such, the RB battle throughout training camp and preseason should be one of the most entertaining position battles to keep track of.