When discussing what the Dallas Cowboys need to address in the upcoming NFL Draft, the running back position comes up pretty often. Ezekiel Elliott‘s immense workload must be shared if the Cowboys want to ensure Zeke has a long career in the league. Taking a young running back late in the Draft seems like the most likely way the front office will approach things.
But why address this need in the Draft instead of re-signing RB Rod Smith?
Last year wasn’t a productive one for Smith. He only had 44 rush attempts to rack up 127 yards. His participation was very limited as Ezekiel Elliott had over 300 attempts. Averaging only 2.9 yards per run doesn’t make a great case for Smith but if you look at 2017, he really showed his potential.
As the Cowboys tried to do the best they could while Zeke was away due to a six-game suspension, Smith managed to get 434 yards from scrimmage in the season and five total touchdowns. He made his case both as a runner and a receiver.
So far, we haven’t heard or seen anything that makes us believe the Cowboys are interested in bringing him back, but I wouldn’t doubt for a second that he isn’t liked by the coaching staff. After all, despite drafting Bo Scarborough last year and signing Darius Jackson, Smith kept his job without a problem.
Not only that, but to begin the season the Cowboys were actually confident in having only two running backs on the 53-man roster. That was an aggressive decision, and one that the staff probably made because they really trusted Rod Smith.
On top of it all, Smith had an important role in special teams last season and he was good at it. That’s something that you definitely want from a backup running back.
Rod Smith has shown us that he can run, catch and contribute on special teams. I don’t know about you, but I’d think twice about it before being convinced of drafting a running back in the middle rounds. I just don’t think it’s worth it. On the other hand, if we’re talking about a sixth or seventh round pick, would the Cowboys really get an upgrade over Smith? Bo Scarborough wasn’t.
Rod Smith isn’t a great player, but he’s a solid number two and he hjas shown us some breakout moments, specially in 2017. He wouldn’t be an expensive player to bring back and could pay off huge dividends down the road.