There have been a lot of questions surrounding the Dallas Cowboys running back position with the exodus of DeMarco Murray when he signed with the division rival Philadelphia Eagles.
Who is going to replace his production? Is the starting running back currently on the team?
Nearly everybody believed that the Cowboys would select a running back in the 2015 NFL draft, but after the seven round draft was completed and no running back was selected the question again arose about what the Cowboys would do at the running back position.
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Happy with what they have?
Maybe the Cowboys value the running backs they have on the roster more than those outside the organization?
After the signing of DeMarco Murray to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys decided to sign the former Oakland Raiders running back, Darren McFadden. McFadden has never really been able to live up to his high draft status so far in his NFL career. He has struggled to stay healthy for an entire season and his productivity has been hindered because of a struggling Oakland Raiders team over the last several seasons.
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McFadden was signed to compete with Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, and Ryan Williams for the top spot at the running back position. It has however been suggested that the Cowboys could utilize a running back by committee system in 2015.
Everyone was prepared to see if someone could separate themselves or if the Cowboys would indeed utilize a running back by committee approach in 2015.
Opening the door
That was until Jerry Jones conducted an interview with FOX Sports and was asked whether he would be willing to trade a 2016 first-round draft pick to upgrade a position this year?
"I'd be reluctant to, but certainly if the right situation came along that could improve us now, with where we are with Romo, his career and where we are with what we've put together, it's a good time to go for it," said Jones.
For obvious reasons, Jones' statement open the door for the speculation that the Cowboys could possibly still try and trade for Adrian Peterson. Whether this is true or not, let's take a look at other NFL running backs that could possibly be of the Cowboys radar if they were indeed interested in making a trade.
There are several running backs around the league that are buried on the depth chart that could interest the Cowboys.
For whatever reason these running backs just really haven't gotten a chance to prove themselves at the NFL level yet. It could be that they have a All-Pro running back ahead of them, or it could be they simply just need their chance. Here are a few names to keep an eye on that you may or may not be familiar with.
Christine Michael, 5'10" 220 lbs., Seattle Seahawks
Christine Michael was selected with the 62nd pick in the second round by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2013 NFL draft.
Michael really hasn't received the chance to showcase his skills at the NFL level yet. He his buried on the depth chart behind All-Pro Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin. The former Texas A&M running back has only amassed 52 career carries while rushing for 254 yards.
In his NFL career he has yet to reach the end zone. Michael has the size and speed that most teams covet at the running back position. At the 2013 NFL combine he ran a 4.54 second 40 yard dash. The only real knock on Christine Michael is his injury history while playing in college and his lack of production so far at the NFL level.
At just 24 years old he still has a lot of football ahead of him and could possibly be of interest to the Cowboys.
Terrence West, 5'10" 225 lbs., Cleveland Browns
Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West are both entering their second year with the Cleveland Browns. In 2014, both Crowell and West split carries at the running back position but towards the end of the season it looked as if Crowell had distanced himself from West and earn the trust of the Browns coaching staff.
The Cleveland Browns are bringing in another talented running back in Duke Johnson, selecting him in the 2015 draft.
West could possibly be the odd man out and could be of interest to the Cowboys. West is a physical runner with good vision and has the patience to wait for his blocks to set up and would be a good fit in the Cowboys zone blocking scheme.
In 2014 he had 171 rushing attempts and ran for 673 rushing yards. He also scored four touchdowns while splitting carries with Crowell. He is much like Christian Michael in that he runs a 4.54 second 40 yard dash and he is just 24 years old. West is another running back with the potential to upgrade the Cowboys running back position.
Knile Davis, 5'10" 227 lbs., Kansas City Chiefs
Knile Davis is a favorite of mine. I think he could possibly excel with the Cowboys is both a running back and a kick returner.
With the departure of Dwayne Harris the Cowboys do not currently have a proven kick returner on the roster and this is an area where Davis says excelled so far in the NFL.
Davis has averaged 29.5 return yards in his career in the NFL and two touchdowns as a kick returner. As a running back, he has had limited opportunities because he is stuck behind All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles.
Davis has 204 career rushing attempts, 705 career rushing yards, and scored 10 rushing touchdowns to date. What sets him apart from the rest of the running backs on this list is his speed. At the 2013 NFL combine Davis was timed running a 4.37 second 40 yard dash.
At just 23, Davis is also the youngest running back on this list. He has all the skills of the Cowboys desire for their running backs. Davis is at three down back that could join the Cowboys and immediately upgrade the Cowboys at the running back position and as a kick returner on special teams. I personally would love to see him in a Cowboys uniform in 2015.
Lamar Miller, 5'11" 218 lbs., Miami Dolphins
Lamar Miller is the most productive of all of the running backs almost list and unlike the others he has received the chance to be a starting running back in the NFL.
Miller only makes this list because he is in the final year of his rookie contract with the Dolphins and the Dolphins organization could be willing to part ways with him.
The 2015 NFL draft saw the Miami Dolphins select Jay Ajayi and he could be Miller's possible replacement.
In 2014, Miller rushed for 1,099 rushing yards on 216 carries and scored eight touchdowns. Miller also had 38 receptions, 275 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown. He has the highest trade value on this list because he has proven he can be an every down back at the NFL level and has a productivity to back it up.
Miller has good vision and patience to wait for his blocks to develop. He has the speed to hit the hole for a big game, but also pick up the tough yards when things break down. He is a good receiver out of the backfield evidenced by his receiving yards in 2014. Miller would be a great addition to the Cowboys team if they were able to make this trade and the Dolphins were willing to part with his services.
All of the running backs on this list could possibly be on the Cowboys radar and be the every down back to replace DeMarco Murray's production.
Do you think the Cowboys should make a trade for a running back or stick with what they currently have on the roster?