Tony Pollard, Alfred Morris, and the Fullback Jamize Olawale are the only three running backs currently on the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster. Things could change rather quickly though once Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys finally mutually agree upon a contract extension, which if rumors are true could be any day now. That’s good news for Dallas, but not so much for Alfred Morris.
If I’m being completely honest, I was little surprised to see Alfred Morris make it through roster cuts to begin with. I thought second-year RB Jordan Chunn clearly outplayed Morris in preseason and was the favorite to become the RB3 in 2019 behind Zeke and Tony Pollard. But, the Cowboys brass thought otherwise.
I can completely understand their thinking by keeping Alfred Morris on the initial 53-man roster. If Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t make it back by Week 1 of the regular season for the matchup with the New York Giants Morris’ veteran experience is preferable over two young and inexperienced running backs like Pollard and Chunn. It’s probably the right choice to make, but what if Zeke does return in time for the Giants game?
This is where Alfred Morris’ job security comes into play and becomes tied to Ezekiel Elliott in my opinion. If Zeke returns before the 2019 regular-season gets underway, Morris probably is the odd man out in the Cowboys backfield. I believe there are several reasons why this is likely true.
Firstly, Morris’ 2019 contract with the Dallas Cowboys would become fully guaranteed if he’s on the roster still for the first week of the season. It’s not a large amount of money that would negatively impact Dallas’ salary cap, but why pay for a player who is not likely to stick around for long anyway?
Once No. 21 does return, he’s going to reprise his role as the primary ballcarrier with rookie RB Tony Pollard picking up whatever is left over. That means Morris would basically be collecting a check just by standing on the sidelines, because he doesn’t contribute or play on any of the special teams units. Only backup QBs get paid for doing that in the NFL.
As you can see, it’s hard to believe Alfred Morris will be on the Dallas Cowboys roster for much longer and could see his time coming to an end before the season actually gets underway. I think it all depends on what happens with Ezekiel Elliott in these next few days and I’m sure Morris knows that as well.