The Dallas Cowboys know that Tony Pollard is RB1 after releasing Ezekiel Elliott but they need to replace the veteran and have several options to do so.
While many Dallas Cowboys fans might not have expected the offseason that’s transpired thus far as far as the running back position goes, it’s all been the right decisions thus far from Jerry Jones and Co. The team franchise tagged Tony Pollard instead of letting him hit free agency and is working to find a long-term deal. Then came the news that the Cowboys plan to release Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott will be designated as a post-June 1 cut for Dallas in order to save an extra $6+ million on the salary cap. And while Zeke was not the player in the past few years that he was early in his career, the team now needs to look for someone to fill his role in the offense as Pollard takes over atop the depth chart.
Whichever way the Cowboys choose to replace Ezekiel Elliott, it’s almost surely going to be a move that’s cost-effective. They can go about doing so, however, in a number of ways. So let’s look at every avenue with a trade, a free agent signing, and a draft prospect who could replace Zeke in Dallas as the complement to Pollard.
Cowboys rumors: Ezekiel Elliott replacements with 1 trade, 1 free agent, 1 draft prospect
RB Auburn Tigers
The Cowboys could draft Tank Bigsby on Day 2 or 3 as the Ezekiel Elliott fill-in
If you’re thinking that the Dallas Cowboys should draft Texas running back Bijan Robinson in the first round, you’re not alone. And frankly, it’s an option that’s probably on the table within the front office. Given Jerry Jones and the organization’s affinity for running backs, it’s not outlandish that they would take a Lone Star State product with the skill level and talent of the former Longhorn.
But taking a running back in the first round isn’t the best course of action for this team. Not only is it more expensive and would commit a ton of money to the position, but there are other more pressing needs considering that Pollard is going to be the lead back in this offense moving forward.
Instead, looking at someone like Auburn product Tank Bigsby at the end of Day 2 or early on Day 3 would make a lot of sense. Bigsby isn’t a burner, which he showed at the NFL Combine by running in the 4.5s, but he’s a smart, agile runner with plenty of power and burst to hit holes and break tackles.
Bigsby proved in his college career that he has the ability and frame to convert the short-yardage situations that Zeke predominantly saw in a timeshare with Pollard while also pass-blocking well, another strength of Elliott. When you marry the draft value and the player coming into this particular role, Bigsby would be an ideal fit.