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Cowboys countdown to kickoff: #34 Malik Davis

The Dallas Cowboys face the New York Giants in Week 1. And we’re counting down to it by jersey numbers.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 34.

RB Malik Davis
Born: 26th November 1998 (24) - Tampa, Florida
College: Florida Gators
Draft: 2022, UDFA, Dallas Cowboys

2022 Stats:
Snaps: 255
Offensive Snaps: 80 (7%)
Rush Attempts: 38
Rush Yards: 161
Receptions: 6
Receiving Yards: 63
Drops: 0
Touchdowns: 1
Penalties: 0

Malik Davis joined the Gators in 2017 and played seven games before a season-ending injury against Georgia. He still racked up 526 yards which was second-most for Florida that year, and scored two touchdowns. His sophomore season saw him play three games before again being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury.

In 2019, he appeared in 12 games as both a running back and on special teams. He totaled 86 yards and a touchdown on 34 rushes, while adding six receptions for 41 yards. In 2020, Davis appeared in all 12 games. He tallied 310 rushing yards on 66 carries and 377 receiving yards with 31 receptions.

In his final year in 2021, he started 12 of 13 games. He rushed 92 times for 487 yards and scored five touchdowns while adding 23 receptions for 217 yards and two receiving touchdowns.

Cowboys Review:
Davis came to Dallas last year and for the most part looked fine for a rookie, but it was clear he needed to develop. When both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard took some wear and tear through the year, the coaches decided to put Davis into the rotation and soon he became an underdog that fans wanted to see succeed. One of the big moments for Davis last year came against Indianapolis when he scored his first NFL touchdown. The entire stadium, including the players, cheered the big moment for Davis.

2023 Roster Projection:
Davis has set himself up for a major rotation role among the running backs, but he has to show he can be more consistent. The coaches are really hoping he can make it high on the depth chart and they’ve been working hard to get him there. He’s far from an absolute certainty for the RB2 role as there is plenty of competition at a position that has a lot of questions.

He still has to beat out veteran Ronald Jones, who will be missing for the first two games. He needs to also show he can be more effective than another fan favorite, Deuce Vaughn, as well as beat out another contender for the RB2 spot, Rico Dowdle.

If he keeps on his trajectory, limits his mistakes and shows he can create out of structure, then he will be ticking more boxes to earn the RB2 position. He fits a lot of what this offense wants as a north/south runner rather than dancing around to make people miss. He needs to work on his contact balance and be more elusive in order to secure the RB2 role.

Projected 2023 Stats:
Snaps: 151
Rush Attempts: 61
Rush Yards: 251
Receptions: 11
Receiving Yards: 132
Touchdowns: 2

The Big Question:
Can Malik Davis win the RB2 role this preseason? Comment below.

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