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Mailbag: Do Cowboys still value RB position?


I was completely shocked the Cowboys did not select at least one running back in the draft. I feel it is such a dire need so as to not be a one-dimensional offense. And I just don't see Ezekiel Elliott being the No. 1 back. Does the organization just not value the running back position anymore? – Jamie Cione/Montgomery, NY

Nick Eatman: I think that's pretty strong. I wouldn't say it's not valued. The Cowboys had intentions of drafting a back, as early as the second round. But every time it got to that pick, they felt like there were better options. If that's your way of saying they don't value it the same, I guess that would be fair. But I know, they were in discussions to take a back in just about every round. So I don't think it's not valued, I think they believe the options this year, didn't make the most sense. But there is probably a mindset that focuses a little more on building the offensive line back up and fixing the blocking schemes. If that can happen, then it's a big step in fixing the running game as a whole. Something tells me they're even done addressing the position, even after Zeke officially signs.

Kurt: The Cowboys still value the running back position … to a certain extent. Yes, they want to have a balanced offense, but in today's NFL, it doesn't always make sense to spend a ton of money or high draft picks on the position. Not when production can be found at less of an expense. They definitely were interested in drafting a running back, but simply found greater value on their board in other areas. They obviously focused on the offensive line with two of their top three and three of their eight overall selections being big blockers. In turn, a stronger line should bring better production from whoever is running the ball. And you're right, Elliott is likely not the answer in terms of being a No. 1 back, but he can hopefully be a contributing piece to the rushing attack. The days of one running back carrying the load are largely going away with teams committing to a committee approach. Consider that last season Derek Henry led the NFL with 280 carries, which was the fewest to top the league since 1964 (Jim Brown, 280). The last time no one reached 300 rushing attempts in a season came in 1990 (Earnest Byner, 297). Having a sound ground game is no doubt important to this team's success, but the traditional way of going about doing it continues to change. Both for the Cowboys and the NFL as a whole.

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