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Position Battles: Can Cowboys Ask Even More From Zeke in 2017?

Editor's Note: The NFL Draft has come and gone. Now it's time to see what the Cowboys have to work with. The roster is nearly full and that should mean a healthy dose of completion – at all positions. Over the next two weeks, the writers of will focus on each position to find the most intriguing battles as we head into the offseason practices. Today, we start the series with running back.

Battle To Watch: The most interesting battle among this position will probably involve Ezekiel Elliott, as crazy as that might sound considering he led the NFL in rushing last year as a rookie. But as dominant as he was running the ball, Zeke can be just as effective catching it – as we saw with that 83-yard screen pass he took to the house against the Steelers. There has been some talk that Elliott will be more involved in the passing game this year, which would make him a three-down player. Can the Cowboys keep him on the field that long or do they mix in Darren McFadden as the third-down back. McFadden has some skills catching the ball and even picking up the blitz. But as talented as he, do the Cowboys really want to take Zeke off the field? That's going to be the most interesting battle here to watch.  

Don't Forget About: The Cowboys didn't use Alfred Morris much down the stretch last season once McFadden got back to full strength. But he does have plenty of experience, combined with three 1,000-yard seasons under his belt. If the Cowboys needed him to provide more depth, Morris is certainly capable and willing. The problem with his game is that he doesn't play on special teams and he's not much of a third-down back. He can get a series or two here and there, but it was a big drop-off coming from Elliott's production.  

Bubble Watch: It's only May so it's very early in the game. Every player has a chance to win a spot and even the most experienced players will have to earn their spot. But for now, here's how the depth chart stands:


Ezekiel Elliott


Alfred Morris

Darren McFadden

Keith Smith (FB)

Rod Smith (FB)

Long Shots:

Jahad Thomas

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