The Dallas Cowboys are now 3-1 after a dominant 38-3 win over the New England Patriots, but they do have a concern at running back. Third-year RB Rico Dowdle suffered a hip injury in the Week 4 victory, and the Cowboys will now need a contingency plan.
Dowdle has taken on a larger role with the Cowboys this season after just seven attempts in his first two years with Dallas. However, he was pulled out against the Patriots with a hip issue.
According to The Athletic’s Jon Machota, Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones spoke about the injury on October 2, updating the severity of the injury and explaining how they would replace Dowdle.
“Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones on @1053thefan said they are ‘more optimistic’ today than they were yesterday about RB Rico Dowdle’s hip injury,” Machota posted on X. “Jones called it a contusion. Jones also said if they needed help at RB, they’d look to Malik Davis before going outside of the building for help.”
Entering their third season with the Cowboys seemed ready to increase his opportunities, and he has nearly tripled his career rushing attempts this season with 20 touches.
Current Depth of Dallas RBs
Dallas has made it a point to run the ball effectively with head coach Mike McCarthy now calling plays, and it’s clear they’ve been successful. The Cowboys have eclipsed the 100-yard mark for rushing yards in all four games so far, averaging 141.3 yards per game and averaging a solid 4.1 yards per carry.
The rushing attack has been spearheaded, obviously, by Tony Pollard. In his second year as the lead back, Pollard has 311 rushing yards and two scores in four games. That being said, Dowdle and others have significantly contributed.
Dowdle is averaging four yards per carry and has 80 rushing yards so far, but there are four other players who have made rushing attempts so far: RB Hunter Luepke, RB Deuce Vaughn, WR KaVontae Turpin and WR CeeDee Lamb.
Luepke and Vaughn have mostly seen handoffs in utility situations, but Lamb and Turpin have been getting the ball in interesting situations and making things happen with the ball. Lamb is averaging 7 yards per carry with his three attempts, while Turpin is going for 11 yards on each touch, totaling 66 rushing yards and a touchdown in four games.
Former Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Speaks on 2023 Offseason
The Cowboys and Patriots’ Week 4 matchup marked the first return to Cowboys Stadium for Ezekiel Elliott since the RB was released and signed by the Patriots in the offseason. It created plenty of speaking opportunities for both sides, and Elliott utilized his to explain his side of negotiations.
ESPN’s Ed Werder posted Elliott’s words on X, with the Patriots RB saying there was not much of a conversation in terms of Zeke reuniting with the Cowboys.
“He [Jerry Jones] told me what was going on, that it’s not something he wanted to do but it was just part of business,” Elliott said, according to Werder. “There was minimum talks about coming back.”
Eliott only received six handoffs in the contest, going for 16 rushing yards. Through four games, Zeke has rushed the ball 34 times for 138 yards.