BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Cowboys entered free agency without an experienced running back besides Darren McFadden. Now they have two: Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar.
Yet, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones maintains that the running back position could still be an option in the draft – even with Morris signing a two-year deal Tuesday with three 1,000-yard seasons in his four-year career.
And, Jones said McFadden very well could receive the bulk of the carries in 2016 after rushing for 1,089 yards as the starter for a little over half of last season. Morris will still have a "substantive workload."
"We think he's a seasoned – underline seasoned – back," Jones said of Morris. "He has been very productive, particularly productive against us as somebody pointed out. Glad to get him. Doesn't rule out in any way what we might do in the draft or what we might do if another option came along at running back – even though we've got Morris, Dunbar, McFadden and our other guys that are there.
"We'll just leave that position open, but it certainly doesn't rule it out as far as a young back in the draft."
Dunbar's injury status is one reason for potentially adding more depth. He could start the 2016 season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list as he continues to recover from the season-ending knee injury in Week 4 of 2015.
Whether or not the team drafts a runner, Jones believes Morris will be an important part of the runnng game but "more limited in his carries than McFadden."
"(McFadden) excels and I think does his best when he's got more work," Jones said. "Of course he's had two back-to-back years of good health, and so I'm just thinking that he would probably end up if he can pick up right where we left off at the end of the year, he'll end up, when we have the opportunity to, having a lot of the workload."