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.