Cowboys may live to regret passing on running backs that fell into their lap

What were the Cowboys doing?
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys / CFP/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys may have made a grave mistake in the 2024 NFL Draft. For a team whose running back room has been gutted over the last couple of years, it's hard to imagine leaving an entire draft class without taking anyone at that particular position. But the Cowboys were set on a reunion with veteran Ezekiel Elliott, and they left some big-name backs on the board in the 2024 draft.

Did they make the right call?

Ezekiel Elliott was cut by the Cowboys last offseason, and was decent at times this past year as a member of the New England Patriots. He can still be useful for the Cowboys, but with his decline in effectiveness in recent years and the departure of free agent Tony Pollard in 2024, how is it possible that the Cowboys stared some of the best backs in this draft class directly in the face and passed altogether?

In the second round, the Cowboys were expected to have interest in some of the top backs in the class overall. Texas star Jonathon Brooks may have been their preferred target, but he was off the board at pick 46 overall to the Panthers. Outside of Brooks, the Cowboys had their pick of literally any and every running back in this class, starting with pick #56 overall.

They passed on Florida State star Trey Benson at pick 56. and he went 10 picks later to the Cardinals. But surely with multiple third-round picks, the Cowboys would go after another top back, right?


Dallas passed on Michigan's Blake Corum at pick #73 overall, and he ended up going another 10 picks later to the Los Angeles Rams. At pick #87 overall, the Cowboys had the chance to grab USC running back Marshawn Lloyd, but they passed on him as well. He went off the board with the very next pick to the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers didn't even go after versatile sleeper running back Dylan Laube in the 5th round when they had the chance.

Overall, you can't address every single need in an individual NFL Draft class, but the Cowboys had chances to take some impact players at the posiiton -- including the best overall guys in the class -- and they passed. For what? Ezekiel Elliott? Royce Freeman?

We may see the Cowboys having to scour the waiver wire and scrape the bottom of the barrel for running back help over the remainder of the offseason.