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Could This Free Agent RB Backup Ezekiel Elliott In 2017?

Brian Martin

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Could This Free Agent RB Be Ezekiel Elliott's Backup In 2017?

The Dallas Cowboys have one of the best, if not the best, running backs in the entire NFL in Ezekiel Elliott. But, the cupboard behind him is pretty bare and likely needs to be addressed at some point with either a free agent or a rookie.

Adding depth to the running back position isn't necessarily a top priority because Ezekiel Elliott will rarely come off the field, but you have to have a good contingency plan in place for emergency situations.

Could This Free Agent RB Backup Ezekiel Elliott In 2017?I personally believe the Cowboys will go bargain shopping this off-season and find a capable free agent RB to back up Elliott for the 2017 season. A player that makes sense to me is former Cincinnati Bengal, Rex Burkhead.

Yes, that white running back that used to play at the University of Nebraska.

That seems to be all that anybody knows about Burkhead or at least the only thing I ever hear when his name pops up. It may sound racist, but it's true.

Now, before you cast this idea to the side, you have to give me a chance to explain why this makes a lot of sense for the Cowboys.

Burkhead isn't the biggest or fastest running back in the league, but his value lies in all of the different ways he can contribute to the team.

Burkhead isn't what you would consider an every down type of RB, but he is more than capable of toting rock given the opportunity.

Could This Free Agent RB Backup Ezekiel Elliott In 2017? 1In fact, the only time Burkhead really got to show his stuff was towards the end of the year in 2016 against the Baltimore Ravens. He took full advantage of his opportunity and ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns on just 27 carries. That was against one of the best run defending defenses in the entire league.

He is a decisive runner and doesn't shy away from contact. He also has good vision and is more elusive than a lot of people give him credit for.

With the Cowboys he would likely be the change of pace back and take over Lance Dunbar's role on offense. But, unlike Dunbar, Burkhead is much more suited to run the ball between the tackles.

Rex Burkhead would also likely be an upgrade over Alfred Morris. He is better in pass protection and is also a better receiver out of the backfield as well. It's debatable whether or not he's a better runner because there's such a small sample size so far in his career. But, it wouldn't completely surprise me if he comes in and makes Morris expendable.

Of course, that's not the only way Burkhead can contribute. He was mostly a special teams player with the Bengals and would likely continue to contribute in that capacity with the Cowboys as well.

Rex Burkhead is the definition of "value" when it comes to what the Dallas Cowboys want in a backup running back.

You add him, Ezekiel Elliott, and a rookie RB at some point in the draft, and you have a pretty good versatile group of players that have restocked the cupboard in a short amount of time.

If the Cowboys stick to their bargain shopping approach to free agency, adding Rex Burkhead just makes too much sense not to happen.

Do you think Rex Burkhead would make a good backup for Ezekiel Elliott?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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8 Comments
  • Billie Battoni

    Rex Burkhead is really good and will be in a rotation somewhere. Probably one of the top three most versatile free agent backs this year. Crazy high level athlete

    • Brian Martin

      Billie, I completely agree with you. I’m just hoping that is for the Dallas Cowboys.

  • Russ_Te

    Darren McFadden
    Football running back
    Darren McFadden is an American football running back for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Arkansas, and was picked fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 2008 NFL Draft.
    Wikipedia
    Born: August 27, 1987 (age 29 years), North Little Rock, AR
    40 yard dash time: 4.33 seconds
    Height: 6′ 2″
    Current team: Dallas Cowboys (#20 / Running back)

    • Russ_Te

      I see no changes to the above, so can’t agree with the idea of bare in the unit. I might want Burkhead or a similar player to challenge Morris in camp, but only if inexpensive in FA.

      Similar to the WR speculations, the Cowboys getting distracted from RDE, CB, OL and maybe TE, is something they can’t afford to do.

      • Brian Martin

        Russ, I’m not sure what you meant mentioning Darren McFadden in your previous comment. He is a free agent now, which leaves Elliott and Morris as the only two running backs on the roster to receive a carry in 2016. The position needs to be addressed with either a cost-effective free agent or draft pick, possibly both. But, I did mention that it probably isn’t a top priority because Elliott will rarely come off the field.

    • Brian Martin

      McFadden is a free agent and is probably a long shot to return.

      • Russ_Te

        You’re right it puts him at large, but all depends on his offers and also his career goals of course.

        Jerry likes him and he’s a perfect fit to spell Elliott and bring firepower – so to me that makes him worth at least what would be spent on another RB in free agency.

        For McFadden, if he gets a close and not insulting offer (like Jones gave Murray) – much better to stay. Less wear as a backup extends his career by years, plus a chance for Lombardi’s.

        Anyway, I hope he’s retained.

        • Brian Martin

          I personally wouldn’t mind McFadden returning, but the Cowboys like their backups to play special teams. I don’t think that’s part of McFadden’s game anymore.

Star Blog

Where In The World Is DE Taco Charlton?

Kevin Brady

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Sean's Scout: Defense Comes Alive In Loss At LA Rams 2
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Over pretty much the last decade, the Dallas Cowboys have been rock solid with their first round picks. With selections of Ezekiel Elliott, Travis Frederick, Byron Jones, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Leighton Vander Esch (just to name a handful), Dallas has rebuilt the core of their roster through the NFL Draft.

It's nearly impossible to bat .1000 in any round of the draft, however, and this appears to be the current case with the Cowboys' 2017 first round pick.

Defensive end Taco Charlton has not had the sophomore season that he, or anyone, had hoped for. A healthy scratch last Sunday, Charlton has only been active for 1 of the Cowboys' last 5 games, and has not recorded a sack or tackle since week 9.

Prior to disappearing with injuries and "attitude issues," Charlton had only recorded 1 sack on the season and was beginning to fall behind his Hot Boy-brethren. Defensive end Randy Gregory has reached his form over the last few weeks, Tyrone Crawford is having arguably a career year, and DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the best ends in all of football.

This doesn't leave much room for Charlton, who's now having issues even getting on the gameday roster. Rod Marinelli dodged questions about Taco Charlton earlier this week, vaguely saying they are "moving forward" and that he'd like to talk about other players on his defensive line who are performing.

Calvin Watkins on Twitter

Rod Marinelli on Taco Charlton's benching and being inactive last week: "We just keep moving along keep going forward. It's kinda been out there I'd leave it at that. I'd rather talk about our two tackles.

Charlton has not been quiet about his displeasure as of late, either. He's taken to Twitter to voice his frustrations, saying that not only is his shoulder fine but that the Dallas media is making up stories about his absence. He's also posted some cryptic tweets such as this one, with a picture of Allen Iverson and a caption reading "Every players needs that one coach to believe in them."

https://twitter.com/TheSupremeTaco/status/1072203745868554240

Maybe Taco is right. Maybe he just needs increased opportunity and a support system/coach that believes in him whole-heartedly. After all, Charlton has faced nothing but doubters and detractors since the second he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

But in the NFL, the ultimate "what have you done for me lately" sport, it's hard to imagine he'll get that unwavering support anywhere in the league. He's going to have to "earn" his playing time, as head coach Jason Garrett spoke to earlier in the week. But with the plethora of talent the Cowboys are already putting out there on the defensive line, it's becoming difficult to see exactly where Taco Charlton can fit in on this defense.

It's possible, and fine, if it is simply not a fit between Charlton and the Cowboys at this point. But I'd also be wary of giving up on your first round pick in just his second NFL season. Another offseason with the team, working on his craft and getting fully healthy, should do Charlton wonders, and hopefully allow us to get a better read on his future with the Cowboys going forward.

Until then, we are all left to scratch out heads and wonder what in the world is going on with the Cowboys and Taco Charlton, and if the former first round pick will have a future in Dallas at all.



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Star Blog

Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC

2018 has seen the emergence of high-powered offenses in both NFL conferences. The Kansas City Chiefs sit atop the AFC and the NFC is spearheaded by the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Through 14 weeks, these three teams are the top three offenses in the NFL, each averaging over 30 points per game. This year, for the first time in NFL history, two teams scored more than 50 in the same game.

Thanks to this consistent impressive offensive performances, you would think "offense" is the name of the game for the 2018 NFL season. Well, not so fast, my friend. Despite sitting atop the NFC, the Saints and the Rams have recently suffered losses that indicate hope is anything but lost for defensive teams in the league.

The Chicago Bears were able to bring down the Rams last Sunday Night 15-6. The same offense that averages 33 points per game was limited to six points. Sean McVay's remarkable offense went home with no touchdowns to talk about on the plane back home. Instead, they probably discussed Jared Goff's four interceptions.

Weeks earlier, the Dallas Cowboys shocked the world when they brought down the Saints. Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas simply couldn't move the ball against Leighton Vander Esch, DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones. 13 points were all the Cowboys needed to score to beat an offense that was averaging 37 per game heading into week 13 but was only able to put up 10 in Dallas.

The Cowboys are the #4 seed with the Bears slightly ahead of them as the #3 seed in the NFC. Together, these teams have defeated the top two in the conference. Now granted, playoffs will definitely be different.

For starters, if they are to advance to the divisional round, they'll be on the road. Chicago was surely benefited by playing in such a cold weather versus a Los Angeles team. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, few times has AT&T Stadium been as loud as when they beat the Saints.

Hopefully, we'll get to see both of these elite defenses advance to the Divisional Round to  square off against this couple of high-powered offenses again. We will not only be witnessing amazing football games, but a great discussion regarding the everlasting debate between offense and defense.

For years, "defense wins championships" has been a widely accepted statement in football. The Cowboys and Bears have made that same statement resound recently with their impressive wins.

Can they do it again in January football? Can they do it on the road?

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys, Bears Proving Defense Can Win the NFC" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - Week 2 2
Andy Lyons / Getty Images

Al igual que el resto de la afición de los Dallas Cowboys, parte de mí se siente confiada respecto a este equipo visitando a Indianapolis Colts y resultando victoriosos. ¿El problema? Los Colts no son un rival sencillo de vencer. Si crees que la racha de los Cowboys los intimidará, piensa de nuevo. Los Houston Texans llevaban nueve victorias al hilo antes de enfrentarse a este equipo.

Siendo objetivos, este puede ser el partido que evite que los Cowboys cierren su temporada con ocho victorias al hilo para terminar el año con un récord de 11-5. Ni los Tampa Bay Buccaneers ni los New York Giants deberían presentar amenaza alguna contra Dallas. Lo mismo no se puede decir de Indianapolis.

Por primera vez en mucho tiempo, Andrew Luck está realmente de vuelta. Gracias a una reconstrucción de su línea ofensiva, su nivel de juego a regresado al nivel que conocíamos de él desde que llegó a la NFL. Afortunadamente para los Colts, Luck se ha mantenido sano toda la temporada y no se ve rastro alguno de sus lesiones anteriores en el emparrillado.

T.Y. Hilton está teniendo un muy buen año y sin duda alguna presentará un reto para Byron Jones y el resto de la secundaria de los Cowboys. Eric Ebron en la posición de tight end también será un dolor de cabeza para la defensiva.

Lo más interesante se dará en las trincheras. Los Cowboys han hecho un muy buen trabajo presionando quarterbacks opuestos en la temporada, pero si el centro de los Colts, Ryan Kelly está sano el domingo, se enfrentarán al mejor duo de centro-guardia en la liga actualmente. Con Quenton Nelson al lado, Luck estará muy bien protegido.

Sin embargo, Kelly no ha jugado debido a una lesión y aún está por verse si tomará el campo el domingo por la mañana. Los Cowboys hicieron un muy buen trabajo a la entonces ofensiva #1 de la liga, los New Orleans Saints, pero eso no significa que la ofensiva #8 que tienen los Colts no los retará.

Promediando 27 puntos por juego, la defensiva necesitará ayuda de Dak Prescott y compañía para ganar el partido. Dallas continúa moviendo el balón efectivamente, pero es tiempo de anotar touchdowns y no goles de campo.

Ezekiel Elliott será, una vez más, clave para la victoria. Enfrentándose a una defensiva Top 10 contra el juego terrestre, mover las cadenas con Zeke no será tan fácil. El novato Darius Leonard como linebacker ha sido algo espectacular otra temporada al igual que Leighton Vander Esch. Liderando a toda la NFL en tackleadas, estará listo para recibir a los Cowboys al Lucas Oil Stadium.

Lo más importante de este partido...

Por más impresionante que sea la racha de cinco victorias consecutivas, los Cowboys tienen que demostrar que pueden ganarle a un equipo fuerte estando de visita. Porque hay que admitirlo, Jason Garrett y su equipo no han tenido éxito fuera de casa. Claro, le ganaron a un equipo debilitado de Philadelphia Eagles y a unos Atlanta Falcons que va 4-9.

Este equipo "nuevo" de los Cowboys no ha ido contra un rival de calidad siendo el visitante. Es tiempo de demostrar que lo pueden hacer, ya que si quieren contender en postemporada, es justo lo que necesitarán... jugar bien de visita.

Sinceramente creo que los Cowboys ganan este partido. Principalmente gracias a su defensiva, pero también veo a la ofensiva dominar el tiempo de posesión en un juego de pocos puntos. Es tiempo de mantener esa racha.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Los Colts No Son Cualquier Rival" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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