More issues for Cowboys’ RB depth chart

Dallas is betting that its offensive line can make a star out of any running back, but Joseph Randle's injury is cause for concern.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)

More issues for Cowboys’ RB depth chart


Over the last three seasons the Dallas Cowboys front office has systematically built a talented and increasingly deep offensive line. Doing so has allowed the team to lean more heavily on a dangerous ground attack, and take some of the weight off Tony Romo’s shoulders.

But this offseason the Cowboys have taken a major gamble, opting to let DeMarco Murray leave, without going to any great lengths to find an equivalent replacement, or even one with that sort of potential. It’s a logical but risky course to take, based on the assumption that stellar line play will allow less talented backs to be equally productive.

That gamble is beginning to look particularly precarious. Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar were already struggling with short-term injuries, and now the presumptive starter, Joseph Randle, has picked up a minor injury. Randle had just 55 touches in 2014 but flashed talent, forcing 10 missed tackles. Whether he could sustain that with a heavier workload was already open to question, and picking up knocks this early in the preseason doesn’t breed confidence.

It leaves the Cowboys perilously thin at running back, with Lache Seastrunk and rookie Gus Johnson as the only healthy backs currently on the roster. And while Seastrunk looked decent during the 2014 preseason, neither player has taken an NFL snap. The Cowboys may have to look to the free-agent pool for running back help, even if only to get them through preseason.

| Analyst

Kevin has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, with a particular focus on college football.

  • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

    both the teams in texas should be waiting (and salivating) for the broncos to trim their RB depth otw to 53

    • Tim Edell

      Last year the Broncos kept all 4 if their RBs ( Ball, Anderson, Hillman, Thompson) and I highly doubt they would cut one of these talented back this year. A trade, however, is a definite possibility.

      • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

        i was actually referencing jeremy stewart and khapri bibbs, altho hillman is on the bubble because he has never held a prominent role on special teams. and while i doubt we trade a rb in camp, too much attrition to sacrifice depth for late round pick(s), hillman would be only guy with any trade value that we could live without.

        • Tim Edell

          I think the only one that would be an upgrade would be Hillman. Bibbs showed well in preseason last year but is more of a plodder in the Shon Greene mold.