The running back position has arguably the thinnest depth right now on the Dallas Cowboys roster. Could a reunion with Alfred Morris, who is currently a free agent, help solidify things at RB for the 2019 season?
Everything under Ezekiel Elliott‘s name on the RB depth chart is uncertain right now. Rod Smith departed in free agency and left the inexperienced Darius Jackson and Jordan Chunn on the roster. Dallas recently added Tony Pollard and Mike Weber with their 4th and 7th-round picks, respectively, in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Three of those players have never played a down in a regular season game. Only Jackson has, and he has a grand total of six carries so far in his professional career.
Youth is generally okay at running back, but inexperience can be dangerous. The position is about more than just physical skills; blocking assignments, playbook familiarity, and recognizing how plays are developing after the snap are all vital skills.
Alfred Morris, who turns 31 in December, played with Dallas from 2016-2017. He has familiarity with the Cowboys that no other veteran could offer now that Smith’s off the market.
Of course, a RB in his 30’s isn’t ideal by modern NFL thinking. And Morris did have a down year in San Francisco last season, though that may not have been his fault.
After QB Jimmy Garoppolo was injured in Week 3, the 49ers’ offense had little spark the rest of the year. San Francisco finished the season as one of the league’s worst teams with a 4-12 record.
Alfred Morris doesn’t get a total pass; starter Matt Breida still had a solid statistical year with a 5.3 average on his carries. Morris only had a 3.9 average.
However, Morris was also asked to do the dirty work on short yardage and goal line carries. That naturally brings down your average and doesn’t reflect what he could’ve done as the primary back.
Alfred showed that he still had some wheels in the Niners’ regular-season finale against the L.A. Rams, rushing for 111 yards on just 16 carries. That big day was highlighted by a 51-yard run.
Nobody’s suggesting that a 30-year-old Alfred Morris would be the ideal backup to Ezekiel Elliott for the 2019 Dallas Cowboys. But the veteran talent pool has nearly dried up in free agency, and Morris would at least bring some experience to the mix.
If nothing else, it would be nice to have a veteran in the competition for training camp an preseason. Even if he doesn’t make the team, Alfred could at least bring a different dynamic to the group.
Right now Dallas may be fine with seeing who emerges from their inexperienced options. But if Mike Weber’s MRI doesn’t come back with good news, then perhaps Dallas should consider bringing back Alfred Morris.
At this point in the 2019 offseason, there aren’t many good options left.