Cowboys Could Sign Ex-Browns RB After Cleveland’s Free Agency Decision

Kareem Hunt

Getty Former Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt catches a pass.

With the major waves of free agency and the 2023 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys have just a few areas to address before the upcoming season.

Dallas has the cap space to improve the team if they feel the need, and one area that remains a point of discussion is at running back. The team released Ezekiel Elliott but added former Kansas State star Deuce Vaughn in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL draft.

One veteran name the Cowboys could consider is former Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt. ESPN insider Tony Grossi was recently asked about the possibility of the Browns still bringing back the RB since he became a free agent, and his answer was a strong “no.”

“Not in the cards,” Grossi replied to Twitter user @MrChiefWahooo who asked, “Is there any chance of resigning Kareem [Hunt?]”

Hunt has had a controversial career due to off-the-field issues, but it’s easy to forget that the former Toledo star is going to be just 28 years old when the 2023 season rolls around.

Hunt Takes Backing Role with Browns

With Nick Chubb taking the No. 1 RB role for Cleveland, Hunt has been the alternate option for the AFC North franchise. That’s meant less strain on his legs over the past few seasons, which was compounded by the fact that he only played 32 games over his first three seasons with the Browns.

He stayed healthy in 2022, appearing in all 17 games for Cleveland according to Pro Football Reference. Since his breakout rookie season with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018 (1327 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns,) he has yet to replicate that production due to missing games due to suspension and injury.

However, it’s not like Hunt has fallen off completely. The 27-year-old had 468 rushing yards in 2022, scoring a total of four touchdowns in an alternate role to Chubb’s.

The numbers and performances from 2022 seem to show that Hunt still has gas in the tank, it’s just a matter of putting him in a situation where he can succeed.

How Hunt Can Fit with Cowboys

With Tony Pollard securing the lead role in the running back stable, Hunt would only be brought in for a similar workload to what he was already seeing in Cleveland. Hunt feels like a natural replacement for Elliott, allowing Pollard to still focus on breaking big runs.

Getting somewhere around the 500 rushing yards mark would be ideal for Dallas, but they could also feel comfortable leaning on Hunt full time considering he has experience being a No. 1 back.

Pollard’s injury issues are something to monitor, and the other alternatives like Vaughn, Rico Dowdle, Malik Davis and Ronald Jones II are either unproven or not the type of back that can flex between roles.

Dallas doesn’t need Hunt on the roster, but having a truly top-level No. 2 running back can pay huge dividends. The Cowboys reaped the benefits of having Pollard and Elliott as their two primary options for the past four years. In the current state of the offense, they have plenty of options but less certainty than in years’ past.