Cowboys Among Favorites to Sign 12-TD Star Running Back

Tony Pollard

Getty The Cowboys could replace Tony Pollard with Derrick Henry.

The Dallas Cowboys could be an ideal landing spot for arguably the best running back of this generation.

According to betting odds from Stake, the Cowboys have the second-best odds of signing Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry. Henry will be a free agent this offseason after spending all eight years of his career with the Titans. With Tennessee heading into a rebuild following the firing of head coach Mike Vrabel, Henry is likely seeking a new team this offseason.

Why Derrick Henry Remains a Hot Name Entering Free Agency

Although Henry is on the older side at the age of 30, he remains productive. Despite playing on a below-average offensive unit — the Titans ranked 27th in scoring — led by a rookie quarterback in Will Levis, Henry posted 1,167 rushing yards with 12 touchdowns on 4.2 yards per carry while appearing in all 17 games.

He ranked second in the league in rushing yards and ranked fifth in total touches (308).

In fact, outside of his 2021 season where he missed half of the season due to a Jones fracture, Henry has been one of the most durable backs in the league, missing just two games during his career outside of that season.

To top it all off, Henry is the most accomplished active running back in the NFL, winning Offensive Player of the Year, posting two All-Pro selections in addition to his four Pro Bowl appearances and leading the league in rushing yards and touchdowns on two different occasions apiece.

Why Cowboys Could Make Sense for Derrick Henry

While there’s no question regarding Henry’s production and durability, are the Cowboys willing to pay extra dollar to sign one of the premier running backs of this generation?

According to Spotrac, Henry’s market value is $10.3 million per season, which would rank seventh among all running backs. What’s important to note here, is that this would be a one-year projected deal.

Considering the Cowboys’ prior experience with signing Ezekiel Elliott to a long-term, big-money contract — they signed him to a six-year deal worth $90 million in 2019 — it’s unlikely Dallas would offer a contract to Henry or any other running back for any more than one or two years.

When one factors in the bloated market for free agent running backs and the declining value at the position — Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley and D’Andre Swift are a few of other big names available — one shouldn’t expect the Cowboys to overpay for a veteran running back.

Dallas’ current starting running back — Tony Pollard — is due to be a free agent. Pollard served as the starting running back for the first time in 2023 and delivered middling results. While he showed he can handle the load of being a full-time back, he did it with declining efficiency. Pollard averaged just 4.0 yards per carry after averaging 5.2 yards per carry as a complementary back to Elliott during the 2022 season.

It also doesn’t help that Pollard proved to be ineffective in short-yardage and red zone situations, rushing for just six touchdowns in comparison to the 12 total touchdowns he racked up in 2022.

It’s clear there’s a ceiling with Pollard. Dallas will likely look towards another veteran running back in free agency to fill the void.

The question is, will they pursue Henry?

Henry certainly checks all of the boxes — durability, production and short-yardage productivity — of what the Cowboys are looking for. It’ll likely come down to whether or not Dallas is willing to fork over a little bit of extra money to sign an elite name at running back.

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