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Position Battles: RB Roles Beyond Elliott's?


FRISCO, Texas – The last stretch of the offseason is upon us. The next time the Cowboys get together, it will be time for training camp. The roster is nearly full, and that should mean a healthy dose of competition at all positions.

Over the last two weeks, the writers of have focused on each position to find the most intriguing battles as we get ready for training camp. Today, we conclude the series with running back.

Battle To Watch:
First, let's cover what we know: When Ezekiel Elliott is active, he's on the field. A lot. In the 10 games he played last season, he appeared in 591 of a possible 691 snaps (85.5 percent). Rod Smith proved he could step in as Elliott's backup, which is partly why Alfred Morris wasn't re-signed. The Cowboys traded for Jamize Olawale to replace Keith Smith (Oakland) at fullback. The biggest question is who fills out the running back rotation. Could seventh-round pick Bo Scarbrough win a job as the third tailback? What about Darius Jackson, a former sixth-round pick re-signed by the Cowboys just a few weeks ago? For clarity's sake, we have Tavon Austin listed as a receiver, but it's worth noting that the veteran skill player got 59 carries with the Rams last year.

Don't Forget About:
Trey Williams, the first-year running back out of Texas A&M. Williams has been on the Cowboys' practice squad twice since 2015 and briefly got signed to the active roster last season. At 5-foot-7, he's a completely different type of back than, say, the 235-pound Scarbrough. But Williams' quickness and efficiency out of the backfield makes him a player to watch in training camp. Special teams contributions will be key for any backup behind Elliott.

Bubble Watch:
The Cowboys kept four running backs on last year's 53-man roster, including a fullback. For now, here's an unofficial guess at how the offseason depth chart stacks up:

Ezekiel Elliott - Rod Smith - Jamize Olawale

Trey Williams - Bo Scarbrough - Darius Jackson

Long Shots:
Jordan Chunn

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