Pat Doney's 5 to Watch: RBs | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Pat Doney's 5 to Watch: RBs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Cowboys need to add depth and youth at running back and Pat Doney gives his five names to know heading into the NFL Draft. (Published Friday, April 1, 2016)

    When the Cowboys signed former Washington running back Alfred Morris, they accomplished two important off-season goals.

    Running back isn't as immediate a need as it was before the Morris signing, which also signals a switch back to the zone attack that was so effective in 2014. The Cowboys still lack the three-down home-run threat they had in DeMarco Murray, though, but there are several options available in the draft.

    1. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio St.
    • Pros: Size, speed, quickness, vision, hands, ball security
    • Cons: Long speed, durability

    There's not much to dislike about "Zeke" Elliott, who's the most complete back to enter the draft in years. He's a three-down runner that would improve most teams from Day 1.

    2. Jordan Howard, Indiana
    • Pros: Size, quickness, feet, vision, balance, pass protection
    • Cons: Durability, runs tall, long speed, hands

    Howard might be the best bet outside of Elliot to become a top three-down back in the NFL. He boasts size and speed and is a great fit for the Cowboys' zone rushing attack

    3. Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
    • Pros: Size, feet, vision, elusiveness, hands, pass protection
    • Cons: Fumbles, tentative, pad level, workload

    The fumbles are a concern and he had a lot of touches in college, but Dixon is a dynamic running back that can run like a bowling ball and catch like a wide receiver.

    4. Derrick Henry, Alabama
    • Pros: Mountainous, fast, athletic, vision, patience, stamina
    • Cons: Lacks lateral quickness, needs a head of steam, scheme fit

    Henry is a giant and a freak athlete at the position, but he doesn't move laterally quick enough to be as effective as he could be. He doesn't look like a good fit for a primarily-zone team.

    5. C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame
    • Pros: Size, agility, speed, vision, balance, hands, workload
    • Cons: Fumbles, experience, tentative, pad level, pass protection

    Prosise is an interesting guy for the Cowboys. He only played running back for one year — so he's raw, but has fresh legs — and he needs to reduce fumbles, but he's a natural runner with home-run speed and a good scheme fit.

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