The Dallas Cowboys could be an ideal landing spot for a disgruntled running back.
As suggested by CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo, the Cowboys could be a potential landing spot for Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers. Akers was a healthy scratch during the Rams’ Week 2 loss to the San Francisco 49ers after starting the previous week against the Seattle Seahawks.
DeArdo argues that the Cowboys would make sense as a potential trade partner due to their lack of proven backs behind starter Tony Pollard.
“Tony Pollard is a Pro Bowl-caliber back, but the Cowboys don’t have a proven back behind him,” DeArdo wrote. “Rico Dowdle, a four-year veteran who had seven career carriers prior this season, had six carries for 24 yards in mop-up duty during last Sunday night’s blowout win over the Giants.”
Rams Exploring Trade for Cam Akers: Report
“Glazer also reports that the Rams would like to trade Akers and that they have contacted other teams in an effort to move Akers off the roster,” wrote Alper. “Akers requested a trade last season because he was unhappy with his role and spent several weeks away from the team ahead of the trade deadline before returning after no deal was made.”
The sudden benching appears to have caught Akers by surprise, as he responded with his own message on social media shortly after the news came out.
Akers’ benching was just the latest development in the up-and-down relationship between the running back and head coach Sean McVay. The 24-year-old running back was previously involved in trade rumors last season, sitting out several weeks while the Rams tried to find a trade partner. After no deal was made, Akers eventually returned and started for the rest of the 2022 season.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported back in October of 2022 that Akers and McVay’s relationship deteriorated due to “philosophical and football-related differences.”
“Sources say Akers, who is out today due to what was described as personal reasons, has philosophical and football-related differences with head coach Sean McVay,” wrote Rapoport. “The coach has left Akers’ future open, and sources say the third-year pro could be on the way out. The belief is that he’ll draw significant trade interest, and the team is open to a deal for the right value.”
While Akers and the Rams were able to make amends last season, that doesn’t appear to be the likely scenario this time around.
Why the Cowboys Could Make Sense for Cam Akers
The Cowboys have started out this season 2-0 in dominant fashion, pulling out blowout victories over the New York Giants and New York Jets by a combined score of 70-10. The defensive unit has looked the most dominant of any team in the NFL and Dak Prescott has gone through the first two games without throwing a single interception after leading the league in the category in 2022.
The reason why that’s notable is because the struggles of the running game have been overshadowed by the success of the team.
During Pollard’s first season as the unquestioned go-to running back for the Cowboys, he’s been up-and-down. After rushing for 70 yards on 14 carries (5.0 yards per carry) and two touchdowns in the season opener over the Giants, Pollard ran for 72 yards on 25 carries (just 2.9 yards per carry) against the Jets. His 2.9 yards per carry for the game was his lowest rushing average output for a single game in which he’s had at least 10 rushing attempts.
The Cowboys as a team ran for just 3.0 yards per carry despite rushing for 134 yards on the day in the win over the Jets. For the season, they’re averaging just 3.5 yards per carry, good for 24th in the league.
With Akers in the midst of the final year of his rookie contract — where he’s paid just $1.5 million — exploring the idea of acquiring a viable complementary back to Pollard may not be out of the question.