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2024 NFL Draft: Why Cowboys didn’t draft a RB, and what that means for potential Ezekiel Elliott reunion



2024 NFL Draft: Why Cowboys didn't draft a RB, and what that means for potential Ezekiel Elliott reunion

FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys entered the 2024 NFL Draft laser centered on getting more durable up entrance on either side of the ball after their 48-32 NFC wild-card spherical postseason defeat in opposition to the seventh-seeded Inexperienced Bay Packers.

That mission was achieved after the Cowboys used three of their eight picks on their offensive line (twenty ninth total on Oklahoma offensive deal with Tyler Guyton, 73rd total on Kansas State inside offensive lineman Cooper Beebe and 233rd total on Louisiana offensive lineman Nathan Thomas) in addition to using three different picks on their entrance seven (56th total on Western Michigan defensive Marshawn Kneeland, 87th total on Notre Dame linebacker Marist Liufau and 244th total on Auburn defensive deal with Justin Rogers). 

“Why do you rob banks? As a result of that is the place the cash is,” Dallas Cowboys proprietor and normal supervisor Jerry Jones stated post-draft Saturday of utilizing three of his eight picks on offensive linemen. 

“I feel from an offensive line standpoint clearly if you lose two actually good soccer gamers in [Pro Bowl center] Tyler Biadasz and [eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle] Tyron Smith, we got here in right here trying to enhance the offensive line to associate with a great younger group that we have already got,” Dallas Cowboys COO and EVP Stephen Jones stated post-draft on Saturday. 

2024 Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Class

Spherical Total Choose Participant Grade


29 (through commerce with Detroit Lions)

Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma B (Pete Prisco)



Marshawn Kneeland, DE, Western Michigan  B- (Chris Trapasso)
3 73 (through commerce with Detroit Lions) Cooper Beebe, OL, Kansas State B+ (Chris Trapasso)



Marist Liufau, LB, Notre Dame   C+ (Chris Trapasso)


174 (compensatory decide)

Caelen Carson, CB, Wake Forest B+ (Chris Trapasso)


216 (compensatory decide)

Ryan Flournoy, WR, Southeast Missouri State A (Chris Trapasso)


233 (through commerce with Raiders)

Nathan Thomas, OT, Louisiana-Lafayette A (Chris Trapasso)  



Justin Rogers, DT, Auburn C (Chris Trapasso)

Nonetheless, they didn’t choose a substitute for Professional Bowl operating again Tony Pollard, who departed for the Tennessee Titans in free company after signing a three-year, $21.8 million deal. The Cowboys considered reaching for a operating again, however they felt strongly about addressing their fronts and the hole between their last decide of the third spherical (87th total) and their fifth-round decide (174th total) brought about a lot of their targets at their place to vanish and fall into the fingers of different groups. 

“You realize I feel lots of occasions there’s at all times a query mark of ‘would you actually, actually, actually follow your board?'” Stephen stated. “It simply felt like each time the scenario was there for us to make a decide and do the suitable factor, it wasn’t a operating again. We had operating backs we would be pondering ‘okay our decide is coming in 10 picks, eight picks, 5 picks away’ after which there can be run. We clearly had a bunch of operating backs there in that house of 75 or 85 gamers depart the board [in the fourth and fifth rounds], and we had a handful of backs that we’d’ve thought of, but it surely simply did not work out. On the finish of the day, you keep true to what you are about. … We’ll have alternatives all through [the offseason] to deal with this operating again scenario, and we fell like we’ll get it carried out. It makes a operating again’s job loads simpler when the fellows up entrance are doing their job. I feel we actually helped that scenario immediately by way of the muse of our offensive line group. We really feel like we will tackle that [running back] place as we go.”

Every of Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy’s 4 seasons with the group have concerned both Ezekiel Elliott (2020-2022) or Pollard (2023) be the lead, go-to man at operating again. His 2024 squad, at this second in time seems to be working in a different way. McCarthy alluded to Rico Dowdle (2020 undrafted free agent), Deuce Vaughn (2023 sixth-round decide), new free agent signee Royce Freeman (2018 third-round decide), Hunter Luepke (2023 undrafted free agent) and Malik Davis (2022 undrafted free agent) as gamers who might issue into the operating again rotation. 

“It is a younger group, however all of them have upside,” McCarthy stated of his group’s operating again room. … “I feel they will be higher within the second yr of the offense. … I really feel actually about the place we’re immediately … and it is [the offseason] not over.”  

When requested concerning the potential of being lively within the veteran free agent market, the Cowboys signaled they could possibly be on the precipice of including some expertise, one in every of which could possibly be a operating again. 

“On the telephone attempting to get our numbers proper,” Stephen when requested concerning the potential in signing a veteran free agent like operating again Ezekiel Elliott, cornerback Stephon Gilmore or security Jayron Kearse.

“I’ve seen groups go on and win the Tremendous bowl after buying and selling for a operating again or operating backs in midseason,” Jerry Jones stated after the 2024 NFL Draft on Saturday. “My level is that this factor is a great distance from being over by way of how you’re going to line up within the subsequent six or seven months.”

There’s additionally an opportunity not one of the aforementioned operating backs presently on the roster start the 2024 season because the groups’ RB1 aka beginning operating again. Regardless of totaling profession lows in speeding yards (642), speeding touchdowns (three), carries (184) and yards per carry (3.5) for the 4-13 New England Patriots, Jerry Jones reiterated his religion in Elliott, a present free agent who racked up 2016 First Workforce All-Professional honors and three Professional Bowls in his first 4 season with the Cowboys after Jones chosen him fourth total within the 2016 NFL Draft. Jones stated Elliott can be a match with Dallas regardless of after they signal him, ought to they attain a cope with him. 

“He is a optimistic affect always,” Jerry stated of Elliott. “Not one time in possibly a few of a vital time has he been something however a optimistic to a successful affect as an individual and teammate with the Dallas Cowboys. So, that is an enormous plus that he has. So anytime [would be a good time to have him around]. He’s a raise in that space. The underside line right here is he is a optimistic. I feel he must be a optimistic for this group.”

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