The Dallas Cowboys currently sit at #4 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft because of their disastrous 2015 season and could go several different ways with that selection.
We have heard the names Jalen Ramsey, Joey Bosa, Myles Jack, and Ezekiel Elliott all mocked to the Cowboys. All four players seem to be legitimate candidates to becoming a part of the Cowboys roster in 2016.
Ezekiel Elliott is an interesting name that has been linked to the Cowboys because running backs have been devalued over the past several years and selecting a RB that high would be considered a reach to a lot of people.
The Cowboys have shown an interest in Elliott recently. First, he was put through a private workout with running back coach Gary Brown and then it was announced earlier this week that he would be one of the 30 pre-draft visitors for the Cowboys.
I for one actually like the idea of the Cowboys drafting Elliott in the first-round, whether it is at #4 overall or in a trade down scenario.
In fact, you can read why I’m all for the Cowboys drafting Elliott here and see for yourself why I believe it’s a plausible selection.
However, I do understand why people are against the Cowboys selecting a running back so high in the draft and I will attempt to explain why.
Like I mentioned earlier, the running back position has been devalued over the past several years and it has been proven that dependable RBs can be found later in the draft, at a much more reasonable price.
The reasoning behind this is that a RB’s shelf life in the NFL isn’t very long due to the physical nature of the position and investing heavily in a RB is considered unwise based on this thinking.
In Elliott’s case, it’s not only the fact that the Cowboys would be investing a premium draft pick in him, but also the money that is guaranteed for selecting a player that high.
For comparison sake, let’s take a look at Amari Cooper’s rookie contract, the #4 overall draft pick in 2015 by the Oakland Raiders.
Cooper signed a four year, $22,663,116 contract with the Oakland Raiders, including a $14,742,226 signing bonus, $22,663,116 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $5,665,779.
That’s quite a bit of money to invest in a player that may never see a second contract with the Cowboys and that’s kind of the goal that most teams have when drafting a player that high in the first-round.
Putting money aside, there’s also the argument that Dallas can put just about any running back behind their talented offensive line and almost guarantee a 1200 yard rusher.
I personally don’t know if I believe this argument or not, but the success that the injury prone Darren McFadden was able to have in 2015 might just be the proof needed to justify this thinking.
In 2015, McFadden rushed for 1089 yards on 239 carries and scored three rushing touchdowns, despite only starting 10 games. Just imagine what he could have accomplished if he started all 16 games.
This is even more impressive considering McFadden isn’t really the best fit as a running back in the zone blocking scheme that the Cowboys use. McFadden is more of a power runner that likes to put his foot in the ground to get downhill.
Another argument against drafting Elliott that has to be considered is the fact that Darren McFadden is returning, as well as Lance Dunbar. The Cowboys also signed veteran RB Alfred Morris during the off-season.
Where exactly will Elliott fit in this RB group?
It is much more likely that the Cowboys add a mid-round running back prospect that can come in and contribute to the RB rotation, than it is drafting Elliott the first round.
So, when the Dallas Cowboys are officially on the clock on April 28 and Ezekiel Elliott is sitting there, they need to remember…CAN’T TOUCH THIS!
Where do you stand on the dilemma about drafting or not drafting Ezekiel Elliott with the Dallas Cowboys first-round draft pick?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to express your thoughts and opinions on this topic.