The greatest running back in the history of the National Football League, Emmitt Smith, played for the Dallas Cowboys.
A fellow Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, Tony Dorsett, preceded Emmitt as the ball carrier for America’s Team.
This is a team with a rich history when it comes to running backs.
For a long time all Dallas Cowboys fans have been able to hang their hat on regarding the running back position – is history. In the Tony Romo era, which current Cowboys fans know very well, we’ve had the likes of Julius Jones, Marion Barber III, Tashard Choice, Phillip Tanner, Felix Jones, and DeMarco Murray tote the rock.
It seemed like that carousel of craziness came to a halt two years ago when, behind the Best Offensive Line in the NFL, DeMarco Murray led the league to the tune of 1,845 yards. Such would not be the case though, as Murray signed with the Philadelphia Eagles just months after putting a painful exclamation point on his record-breaking season (most yards in a single season by a Cowboys rusher) with a critical fumble at Lambeau Field in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.
The Cowboys rallied, though. Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden, with a dash of Lance Dunbar, were thought to be the running back by committee that wouldn’t let the run game skip a beat last season. Joseph Randle dealt with a series of off the field incidents, which is putting it lightly, and Lance Dunbar suffered a season-ending ACL injury in Week 4.
This left Darren McFadden to carry the load, and he did so valiantly. Run DMC finished 2015 as the NFL’s 4th Leading Rusher… an impressive accomplishment all things considered, but everyone knew that wasn’t the answer.
Prior to Thursday’s NFL Draft kicking off many pounded the table for Dallas to take the nation’s top running back in Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott. Anyone can run behind this offensive line yes, something I’ve written to that exact title, so why spend such a high pick on the position when you can make anyone great thanks to that incredible offensive line?
If the Cowboys can make an average player great behind their line… imagine what they can make a GREAT player?
With the drafting of Ezekiel Elliott at 4th Overall the Cowboys have solidified a position that has seen little to no stability in the entire Tony Romo era.
Consider how Dez Bryant revolutionized Tony Romo’s career for a second. Pretty sweet, right? With the exception of Terrell Owens circa 2006-2007… Dez was the first established point of stability for Romo at the wide receiver position. It’s been beautiful ever since.
8 (Troy) + 22 (Emmitt) + 88 (Mike) = 118. 9 (Romo) + 21 (Zeke) + 88 (Dez) = 118. The math checks out.
The Dallas Cowboys have now added Ezekiel Elliott to that mix, and they among all teams know what a formula comprised of elite talent at the QB, RB, and WR1 positions can do.
It’s a Super Bowl formula.