The Dallas Cowboys could certainly use some much-needed depth at several positions heading into the 2018 season. I believe running back is one such position, even though on the surface it would seem as if Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith are more than capable of handling the workload.
Ezekiel Elliott will once again handle the lions share of the workload and Rod Smith’s emergence in 2017 might earn him the backup job. But, that doesn’t mean the Cowboys are set at the position, because the cupboard is pretty bare behind them.
There are of course two ways of adding more depth. Drafting another RB is probably the more popular and cheaper option, but finding an affordable free agent means the Cowboys could use that draft pick on another player/position.
Today, I want to focus on a potential free agent running back who the Dallas Cowboys could show interest in, former New England Patriots RB Rex Burkhead.
Rex Burkhead is actually someone I wanted the Dallas Cowboys to add last year in free agency, but he ended up signing a one-year, $3.15 million contract with the New England Patriots instead. As luck would have it, he is available again, giving the Cowboys a second chance to bring him aboard.
I’m a fan of Rex Burkhead if you couldn’t tell. I think he would be an excellent complement to Ezekiel Elliott and would provide competition with Rod Smith to become the Cowboys RB2.
Rex Burkhead is a do it all RB who can contribute in several different ways. He was buried on the depth chart when he is with the Cincinnati Bengals, but he was able to prove just how valuable he can be with the New England Patriots this past season.
Burkhead is equally effective running the ball as he is catching it out of the backfield. He has the strength to run between the tackles and pick up the tough yards, but also has the speed to get around the corner. He’s also effective out of the slot as a receiver, which means the Cowboys could use him in a variety of different and creative ways.
In 2017 with the Patriots, he rushed for 264 yards on 64 carries, averaging 4.1 yards per carry, and scored five touchdowns. But, he also added three receiving touchdowns and caught 30 passes for 254 yards through the air. He did all this while splitting reps with Dion Lewis and James White, so he’s accustomed to coming off the bench at the drop of a hat.
I honestly believe Rex Burkhead would be an upgrade over Rod Smith and would solidify the Cowboys RB position for the next few years. Of course, that depends on the kind of contract he is seeking.
Spotrac.com has his market value estimated at two years and a little over $6.6 million, which would earn him about $3.3 million per season. That might be more than the Dallas Cowboys are willing to spend on a backup RB, but I think that would be money well spent.