Darren McFadden isn’t the answer. Maybe part of the answer, but he’s not an every-down back that will wholly fill the NFL leading-rusher cleats of DeMarco Murray.
Despite the presence of role players Lance Dunbar, Joseph Randle, Ryan Williams and McFadden, I think the Cowboys are still looking to land their next – as Jason Garrett likes to call ‘em – “bell cow.”
The best two running backs in the draft are Georgia’s Todd Gurley and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. They are different backs and neither might be around when Dallas picks at No. 27. But if they had their choice, who would fit better?
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Both are similar in size, at about 6-1 and 220 pounds. From the games I watched they haven’t different styles however. Gurley is more powerful, while Gordon is more shifty.
Gordon’s speed allowed him to constantly turn the corner in college, where last year he had 40 runs of 15+ yards. He ran a 4.5 40 at the NFL Combine and wowed scouts with a 126-inch broad jump. His pass-catching hands and blitz pick-up also seemed average, at best. He’s the anti-Murray, sacrificing a sure 3-yard gain to bounce it outside looking for the 30-yard gain.
The main concern with Gurley, obviously, is that he’s recovering from a torn ACL that cost him most of last season. If his recovery takes the usual nine months, he could be ready for training camp. He’s a much better inside runner than Gordon, with powerful legs that constantly churn and turn a 3-yard gain into four and sometimes five. He’s also a better ball-protector than Gordon, with only three fumbles in 510 college touches.
Best NFL comparisons: Gurley is Marshawn Lynch; Gordon is Jamaal Charles.
Bottom line: Gurley is a better fit for the Cowboys and their run scheme. Gordon may hit a couple more home runs, but at the end of the season Gurley will have a better average.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.