#46 Alfred Morris
Alfred Bruce Morris was born in Pensacola, Florida on December 12, 1988. He played his collegiate football at Florida Atlantic University. He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, but is currently a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Alfred Morris attended Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, Florida, where he was a letterman in football, basketball, and track.
In track, Morris was one of the top performers in the state in jumping events. In 2007, at the FHSSA 1A-2A Outdoor State Finals, he finished in 10th place in the triple jump event, with a career-best jump of 13.40 m. He also got a place ribbon in the long jump with a leap of 6.48 m and ran the 200 m in 23.46 seconds.
On the football field, Alfred Morris was a two-way player at Pine Forest High School. As a senior, he rushed for 1,049 yards and 17 touchdowns on offense. On defense, he accumulated 147 tackles and five interceptions.
Alfred Morris was named North West Florida MVP, first-team All-State, Max Emfirger All-American, and was a game MVP. He also participated in the PSA All-Star Game. Academically, he was named the student-athlete of the month for Pine Forest High School.
Alfred Morris decided to accept a football scholarship to Florida Atlantic University to continue his career on the gridiron.
Alfred Morris enjoyed a redshirt season his first year at Florida Atlantic University in 2007. In 2008, Morris played in 11 games and had seven carries for 23 rushing yards. He also accumulated 10 tackles on special teams, which included seven solo tackles.
Morris began the 2009 season as a virtually unknown player, but by the end of the year he held the Sun Belt Conference rushing title with 1,392 rushing yards. Alfred Morris’ 1,392 rushing yards was a single season rushing record for FAU. He finished his sophomore campaign with seven straight 100 yard games, the SBC rushing title, the FAU MVP title, the FAU team Academic Award, and the University Male Student Athlete of the Year award, as honored by the University’s Provost.
In 2010, Morris’ final season at FAU, he carried the ball 227 times for 928 rushing yards. He averaged 4.1 yards per carry and scored a touchdown in seven of his last 11 games. He finished just 72 yards shy of becoming the first FAU player to have back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons.
For his career at Florida Atlantic University, Alfred Morris played in a total of 35 games. He had a total of 497 rushing attempts for 2,343 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also averaged 4.7 yards per carry.
2012 NFL Draft
The Washington Redskins drafted Alfred Morris in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Morris didn’t particularly have a strong showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, scoring poorly in a few of the events. He only managed to run a 4.63-second 40-yard dash, which is slow by NFL standards.
There were also concerns about his size when it came to playing at the next level.
The Washington Redskins used the sixth round draft pick they received in a trade from the Minnesota Vikings for quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Alfred Morris had a strong showing in the 2012 preseason, his rookie season, and ended up being named the starter by head coach Mike Shanahan.
In his NFL debut, Alfred Morris rushed for 96 yards on 28 carries and scored two touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints. In week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Morris was nominated for NFL Rookie of the Week after rushing for 70 rushing yards on 17 carries and scoring a touchdown. He would end up winning Rookie of the Week twice in 2012, in weeks 7 and 14 against the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens, respectively.
In his final game that season, Alfred Morris rushed for 200 yards on 33 carries, scoring three touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys, which set new Redskins records. His performance helped the Redskins when the NFC East division for the first time since 1999.
He finished his rookie season 2nd in the NFL with 1,613 rushing yards — behind only Adrian Peterson — and scored 13 rushing touchdowns, 2nd in the NFL behind Arian Foster. He broke Clinton Portis’ single-season rushing record (1,516) and Charley Taylor’s record of most touchdowns scored by a rookie (10). He also became the fourth player in NFL history to record over 1,600 rushing yards in his rookie season.
In 2013, Alfred Morris was not quite as productive as his rookie season, but still finished fourth in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,275. He also scored seven rushing touchdowns. He ended up playing in the 2014 Pro Bowl after originally only being selected as an alternate.
In 2014, Morris rushed for 1,074 yards and scored eight touchdowns. His 1,074 rushing yards was his third consecutive season to rush for over 1,000 yards. He went to the 2015 Pro Bowl as an alternate for running back LeSean McCoy.
In 2015, Alfred Morris’ final season with the Washington Redskins, he remained the starter despite splitting carries with Matt Jones and Chris Thompson. His production declined significantly and he finished his last year in Washington with only 751 rushing yards and one measly rushing touchdown.
Alfred Morris signed a two-year contract to become a member of the Dallas Cowboys in March 2016.
On March 21, 2016, the Dallas Cowboys signed Alfred Morris to a two-year, $3.5 million contract. Morris received $1.8 million guaranteed, including a $1 million signing bonus. He can earn up to $500,000 per game in 2017 if he’s on the active roster and another $1 million dollar escalator is also available.
Alfred Morris’ base salary with the Cowboys in 2016 is $800,000 and he has a cap number of $1,300,000. In 2017, his base salary is $1,200,000 and he has a cap hit of $2,200,000. It is unlikely he receives a second contract from the Cowboys with both Ezekiel Elliott and Darius Jackson on the roster.
If the Dallas Cowboys decide to move on from Morris after the 2016 season, they will save $1,700,000, but there will be $500,000 in dead money.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Training Camp Preview: Wide Receiver
The biggest story of the Cowboys' 2018 season was the mid-season arrival of Amari Cooper and the way it turned Dallas into a playoff-bound contender. Wide receiver remains a key component of the team this year, and today we'll look at how the talent stacks up with only a week to go before 2019 training camp.
Cooper is back and all signs point to him getting a long-term contract in the near future. He is the undisputed number-one receiver and has reestablished himself as one of the better one in the NFL after a brief downtime in Oakland.
Last year's third-round pick, Michael Gallup, rose to the number-two spot throughout last year and eventually was beating Cole Beasley in targets by the playoffs. There are reasonably high hopes for his continued development; Dallas could boast one of the best WR tandems in football by the end of 2019.
With the aforementioned Beasley bolting for Buffalo in free agency, the Cowboys made one of their splashier signings in veteran Randall Cobb to replace him. Cobb has struggled with injuries his last few years in Green Bay, but he's still just 28 and has produced at a higher level than Cole ever did.
If Randall's healthy, he brings more security to the position as a player who can step into a starting role if needed. But ideally, if Cooper and Gallup hold their spots down, Cobb will be a major threat as the slot receiver. He has real potential to upgrade that spot from Beasley, which isn't a knock on Cole but the reality of Cobb's talent.
Here is our projected depth chart for the Cowboys' WR position in 2019. We're going to treat the top three receivers as starters, since WR3 plays the majority of offensive snaps in the modern NFL.
- Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb
- Allen Hurns, Noah Brown, Tavon Austin
- Cedrick Wilson, Devin Smith, Lance Lenoir
- Jalen Guyton, Reggie Davis, Jon'Vea Johnson
As with most of the Dallas roster in 2019, we have a firm grip on who the starters are. But there's a lot of competition for the bottom of the depth chart, and WR exemplifies that as well as any position on the team.
One guy who feels like a lock is Noah Brown, the 2017 7th-round pick who has proven himself a valuable special teams player with the potential for more. Brown's physical receiving style has reminded us of a young Dez Bryant in his limited playing time, and he's even shown enough power to be deployed as a small tight end in some situations.
On paper, veterans Allen Hurns and Tavon Austin would round out the WR depth chart. Hurns has the most experience as a former starting WR and offers security if Cooper or Gallup should go down. Austin has versatility, rare speed, and the special teams work as a return specialist to justify his presence.
But Hurns also has a $6.25 million cap hit that Dallas can shed $5 million of if he's released. And Tavon's value may take a big hit if rookie RB Tony Pollard steals his reps as the offensive gadget player and in the return game.
These veterans will have to fight for their spots. A prospect like Cedrick Wilson, who the team was high on in 2018 as a rookie but lost to injury, could easily challenge them. There's also Lance Lenoir, who has return ability and has been with the team for two seasons.
Undrafted rookie Jon'Vea Johnson was one of the buzz names coming out of mini-camps and OTAs. If the praise continues now, Johnson could easily push his way onto the bottom of the roster. He appears to be a favorite of Cowboys WR Coach Sanjay Lal.
One more guy to watch is Devin Smith. He was a 2nd-round pick of the Jets in 2015 but has struggled with knee injuries the last few years. Dallas signed him last January as a reclamation project, and clearly there's something there that once made him a Day 2 pick.
This is a loaded group at WR in 2019, which is great for the Cowboys and unfortunate for those who deserve a roster spot but won't find one. Will the veterans like Hurns and Austin fight off the young guys, or will someone like Johnson be the next undrafted rookie to succeed in Dallas?
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OTHER 2019 CAMP PREVIEWS
Tony Pollard is Just What the Doctor Ordered in Dallas
The Dallas Cowboys have what many believe to be the best running back in the NFL in Ezekiel Elliott. However, you can never undervalue the importance of depth at any position. When the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft came around, the Cowboys added another weapon to the backfield by selecting Tony Pollard out of Memphis.
If you’re looking for a dynamic player maker with the ability to take it to the house at any given moment, Pollard is your man. The former Tiger averaged a touchdown every 13 touches in college. That’s an absolutely insane statistic when you think about it. He also tied an NCAA record with seven kick returns for touchdowns. Long story short, he can get you six points at the blink of an eye.
The versatility in his game is outrageous and undoubtedly the reason why he was drafted. In addition to running for 941 yards on 6.8 yards per rush, he also had 104 receptions for 1,292 yards. New offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has to be salivating about the possibilities with his new toy. Having a running back that can not only carry the load as a runner but also line up at receiver keeps the defense honest. You never know what angle the offense is going to come from.
This has to be a sigh of relief for Ezekiel Elliott. Now, the Cowboys don’t have to overexert him and can bring Pollard in on third downs if need be. Not just to give Elliott a breather but to change the pace of the offensive attack. You can hand the ball off, throw it to him or run jet sweeps when he is on the field. This sets up a potential combo at running back that could be the leagues very best shortly.
Speed, quickness, and agility are all wrapped up in the Tony Pollard package. The Cowboys now have a running back that can line up at multiple positions if need be. Also, this prevents a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on the body of Ezekiel Elliott. This combination has all the potential to set the NFL on fire in 2019.
Is Ezekiel Elliott the Most Dominant Running Back in the NFL?
There's no player in football that is more hotly debated at the moment than Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott. Though much of the debate surrounds his potential contract extension, which would likely make him the highest-paid running back in the NFL, there's also been a lot of debate about his standing as the best running back in the NFL.
On Thursday, Bleacher Report's Kristopher Knox released his list of the most dominant players at each position. It's a fantastic read and not just because he listed Ezekiel Elliott as the most dominant running back in the NFL.
It's certainly easy to see where he's coming from despite the debate that rages across the NFL's fanbases. Ezekiel Elliott's lead the NFL in rushing two of the three season's he's been in the league. Both of those seasons, Elliott only played 15 games, getting the benefit of the Cowboys playoff positioning being solidified prior to week 17. In 2017, he would have probably ran away with the league's rushing title again, which would make him the three-time defending rushing champion heading into 2019.
In that 2017 season when he missed six games and had a game against the Denver Broncos where he only rushed for seven yards on nine carries, Elliott still finished in the top 10 in rushing.
In 2018, he bested Saquon Bakley by 127 yards rushing. Had Elliott played in the week 17 finale last season and rushed for his season average, he would have won the rushing title by more than 200 yards. And he did that in what many considered to be a down season for Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys rushing attack. Pro Football Focus even graded Elliott as the 30th best running back for 2018.
In 2018, Elliott had 2,000 total yards, besting his 2016 number of 1,994 total yards as a rookie. His rushing total was down in 2018 from 2016, but he still had an excellent season.
No disrespect to Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, Le'Veon Bell, or Chrisitan McCaffrey, but they don't have the credentials that Ezekiel Elliott brings to the table. Those guys are great running backs in their own right, but Elliott has lead the NFL in rushing in two of the three seasons he's been in the league and would have probably lead the league in 2017 had he not been suspended.
Since 2015, only Le'Veon Bell has averaged more total yards per game than Elliott, but Elliott's close and he's not used as much in the passing game as Bell. Only Todd Gurley has a higher average of rushing touchdowns per game than Elliott.
Elliott's 3.4 receptions per game through the first three seasons of his career is only slightly better than Todd Gurley who ranks sixth among this group of players. The Dallas Cowboys attempted to get Elliott more involved in 2018 but didn't work him downfield enough in his targets for him to be anything more than a dump-off option. In 2019, the Dallas Cowboys should work to get him running more intermediate routes in the passing game because as we saw in the Detroit game last season, Elliott's got really good hands.
Historically, Elliott is off to a great start to his career. His first three years in the NFL compare quite favorably to two Hall of Famers and one of the most dynamic running backs of the early 21st century.
No player with more than 100 career attempts in the NFL has averaged more rushing yards per game than Ezekiel Elliott.
Think about that for a second. Through his first three seasons, he's averaged more rushing yards per game than Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, Eric Dickerson, Adrian Peterson, Tony Dorsett, Walter Payton, and the list goes on and on.
If you look at what he's done compared to other players during their first three years. Only Eric Dickerson, Earl Campbell, and Edgerrin James averaged more rushing yards per game than Ezekiel Elliott in the first three seasons of their respective careers.
One of the things that people have used to knock Ezekiel Elliott has been the volume of carries that he's received, but there's a reason that the Dallas Cowboys lean on him so heavily. They've created a run-first identity and though at times it has made the offense somewhat inefficient, it's not because the player they're handing to is not a good player, but because every team in the NFL is expecting the Dallas Cowboys to run the football with Ezekiel Elliott.
In 2018 in particular, the Cowboys offensive coaching staff, namely the departed Scott Linehan, didn't do enough to create favorable matchups in the running game. Too often it was a first down run out of heavy personnel that the defense was expecting.
With two rushing titles already in the bag, there's no reason to expect anything different from Ezekiel Elliott in 2019. It's anticipated that the offensive gameplan and execution will be better in 2019 than it was in 2018. The offensive line will be better and with Kellen Moore as the offensive coordinator, there's a thought that the Dallas Cowboys are going to be less predictable moving forward.
The debate will continue to rage over the value of extending Ezekiel Elliott with a contract that will carry him to his age 28 or 29 season, but there is no debating that Ezekiel Elliott is the best and most dominant running back in the NFL.
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