Any talk about Dallas Cowboys running backs this offseason has centered on Ezekiel Elliott’s contract and Las Vegas incident or the additions of Tony Pollard and Mike Weber in the draft. One guy nobody’s talking about is Jordan Chunn, but perhaps the second-year RB has a better shot at making the 2019 roster than you think.
Chunn was signed by Dallas in 2018 as an undrafted free agent and was with them until final cuts. The Cowboys then got Jordan on the practice squad, where he stayed all season, and eventually re-signed him to return this year.
Jordan lost momentum entering the draft process after a knee injury cost him the final few games of 2017. Despite a breakout season the year before, Chunn also started to lose carries to a younger RB on the Trojans roster.
But the Cowboys still saw enough in Jordan to sign him as a rookie, and to still have him around a year later. That year of experience in their system could help Chunn compete for a roster spot.
There is a lot of uncertainty in this Cowboys RB group right now. Elliott is the unquestioned franchise back, but behind him are the two rookies, Chunn, and the similarly inexperienced Darius Jackson.
Tony Pollard is going to make the team. He will likely be the primary backup and also get some different looks as a versatile offensive weapon. Pollard should also be competitive for the kick and punt return jobs, too.
Seventh-round pick Mike Weber could be the third RB this year, but that spot seems far more open to competition. And despite Darius Jackson’s status as a former 2016 draft pick and his extra time in the NFL, Chunn might actually make more sense for that role than he does.
Chunn and Weber are both downhill, power runners while Jackson is a speedster. The Cowboys already have their speed guy in Pollard, so they may prefer to fill out the depth chart with someone who’s more of a short-yard option.
One of my Inside The Star colleagues recently suggested that Dallas could just keep Elliott and Pollard on the roster and use fullback Jamize Olawale as the emergency third option. He has proven offensive skills and that would allow the Cowboys to free up a roster spot for another position, which makes a lot of sense.
In that scenario, of course, Jordan Chunn would be left out in the cold along with Weber and Jackson. At that point, it would likely come down to either Chunn or Weber for a spot on the practice squad.
More than likely, Dallas is going to go with their two new rookies behind Zeke. Teams never like to cut a drafted player right away, even a seventh-rounder, if they can avoid it. I also think the Olawale scenario is very possible.
But Jordan Chunn has been here for over a year, and he may be able to push Mike Weber for that number-three spot if that experience gives him an edge. He’s one of those guys that nobody is talking about now, but may force his way into the conversation with a strong camp and preseason.