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High Low

High Low: Cowboys' Odds of Drafting at RB in 2024


FRISCO, Texas — It's been bantered over for months now, the Dallas Cowboys proclaiming they'd be "all in" this offseason following the embarrassing playoff exit in January at the hands of the Green Bay Packers, but the reality is that regardless of how its defined, the organization has its work cut out for them in the 2024 NFL Draft.

That is particularly true at the running back position, seeing as Tony Pollard departed to join the Tennessee Titans in free agency, only one season after the Cowboys parted ways with Ezekiel Elliott. With the RBs room draped in question marks, what are the odds the front office in Dallas selects one in late April — given the level of talent that will be made available?

The brand-new series "High Low" dives into it, with each edition to follow focusing on a different position group leading up to draft week.

Odds: Extremely High

  • Rico Dowdle: A couple of things are true here regarding Dowdle. The first is that he has proven himself a more-than-capable running back at the NFL level when he can remain healthy, and that warranted him being re-signed this offseason. The second is that it's only a one-year deal, which means retaining him does not preclude the Cowboys from highly valuing a possible addition via the NFL draft. There is simply too much unproven talent behind him, and Dowdle has also never been asked to carry the workload of an RB1.
  • Malik Davis: The most experienced player in the room not named Dowdle is Davis, but though he's [only] entering his third year in the league, there isn't much production on his resume. The former Gator showed a lot of promise as a rookie when Dowdle went down with injury, stepping in as RB3 behind Elliott and Pollard. Since then, however, he's had a tough time breaking through, and that includes in 2023 against rookies Deuce Vaughn and Hunter Luepke. This coming camp will be pivotal for him.
  • Deuce Vaughn: Speaking of Vaughn, what made things more disheartening for Davis had to be the fact Vaughn struggled mightily as a rookie when given the touches. As shifty and quick as you'll find around the league, not much of his skill set was put on full display last season. It's now an uphill battle for the talented young running back to make a name for himself going into Year 2, especially in seeing the trajectory of Hunter Luepke and the likely addition of a running back in the draft.
  • Hunter Luepke: Though technically listed as a fullback, Luepke has the ability to take some of the RB load as well as being a lead blocker when that's the call. He made great strides as the season wore on and after crawling out of the proverbial dog house — the goal line fumble that helped cost the Cowboys a game in Miami — he showed he's a viable option in the backfield, along with the fact his pass protection progressed as well. Still, there isn't enough here yet to bank on in a prove-it season for the head coach.
  • Snoop Conner: Also one of the least experienced in the group, Conner joined the Cowboys this offseason on a futures deal that will pit him against Davis and others behind Dowdle in minicamp, training camp and potentially throughout the preseason. He has only 12 carries in the NFL, having entered the league as fifth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2022, spending the entirety of the 2023 season on their practice squad before being released.

No matter how you slice it, the Cowboys are going into this year's draft with plenty of urgency to address the running back position, and the list of Official 30 visits at the position serve as evidence to that point.

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