The Dallas Cowboys have officially signed an Ezekiel Elliott replacement, if you can call him that, in former Buccaneers and Chiefs RB Ronald Jones.
Ronald Jones earned a Super Bowl ring in Kansas City, but played in just six games. In fact, Jones has jumped from contender to contender, serving as running back depth and little more.
Jones didn’t do anything noteworthy in those performances. His best season came in 2020, when the then-Buccaneers running back had 978 yards and seven touchdowns.
So, what do the Dallas Cowboys see in Jones, other than a cheap replacement for Elliott? Perhaps he’s not a replacement at all.
Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t been replaced after all
Dallas has yet to replace Elliott, which leaves some pundits wondering when, exactly, they plan on doing so. A competition for the backup running back slot seems more likely, and that’d be a mistake.
While Elliott average under four yards per carry last season, he remains an impressive goal-line back. Tony Pollard cannot carry the load on his own.
Former undrafted free-agent rookie Malik Davis is the favorite to compete with Jones at the moment, and Rico Dowdle is on the roster as well. Dallas could also draft a running back — they’ve been linked to both Roschon Johnson (Texas) and Kendre Miller (TCU). Both are more than capable of challenging Jones, and at the very least would take over next season as the backup when the journeyman Jones’ contract runs up.
Dallas had been linked to D’Onta Foreman, a former Texas Longhorn who was not retained by the Carolina Panthers, but they failed to reach an agreement. Foreman has since signed with the Bears.
Ideally, signing Jones is not the end of the Cowboys offseason backfield plans. If so, they’ve made a glaring mistake.