Cowboys Predicted to Land Generational Playmaker

Mike McCarthy

Getty The pressure is on the Dallas Cowboys to add playmakers this offseason.

The Dallas Cowboys face major questions about the running back position heading into the offseason, but one potential solution is for the team to use a draft pick to select one of the top available rushers. Tony Pollard is expected to land a lucrative contract in free agency, and Ezekiel Elliott could be a potential cap casualty with four seasons remaining on a bloated $90 million contract. ESPN’s Mel Kiper offers Dallas a potential solution with the Cowboys selecting Texas star running back Bijan Robinson at No. 26 in his latest mock draft.

“This just makes sense, right? Team owner Jerry Jones loves star running backs, going back to his days of drafting Emmitt Smith in Round 1 in 1990, and he repeatedly has said Ezekiel Elliott is the Cowboys’ most important player,” Kiper wrote on January 25, 2023. “Well, Elliott could be a salary-cap casualty this offseason, and Tony Pollard — who made the Pro Bowl this season — broke his left leg in the divisional round and is a free agent.

“Could Jones and the Cowboys start over and take Robinson, the best back in this class, here? Robinson also is a great pass-catcher, so he’s more than just a between-the-tackles runner. He could also take some of the pressure off quarterback Dak Prescott.”

Will Bijan Robinson Be Available When the Cowboys Draft at No. 26?

Bijan Robinson 🔥 Shiftiest RB in College Football ᴴᴰBijan Robinson Highlights best rb college football2022-11-28T23:38:57Z

Kiper’s suggestion was met with pushback among some Cowboys fans who are against the team using a first-round pick on a running back. There is a good chance the option is unavailable for the Cowboys as some draft analysts project Robinson to be gone by the time Dallas is on the clock during the first round.

Robinson is the top running back prospect to enter the draft in some time, and it will be interesting to see how high the playmaker can climb despite the overall value of the position decreasing in the NFL over the last five years. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler appears to agree with Kiper about Robinson’s availability projecting the running back to be selected by the Eagles at No. 31 in his last mock draft.

“…Bijan Robinson is one of the best talents in this draft class and would be a bargain with the final pick of Round 1,” Brugler wrote on January 17. “The Texas running back has no business falling this far. There just aren’t too many clear landing spots within the top 30 picks.”

Heading Into NFL Draft, Bijan Robinson Is Drawing Comparisons to Giants Star Saquon Barkley

Robinson is not only a dynamic athlete but has the pass-catching ability needed to thrive in today’s NFL. The running back had 60 receptions for 805 yards and eight touchdowns during his three seasons at Texas. ESPN’s Matt Miller sees some similarities between Robinson and Giants star Saquon Barkley.

As a point of reference, Barkley was selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL draft, but the first running back off the board has been much later in recent years. There was not a running back selected in the first round during the 2022 draft as Breece Hall became the first rusher to hear his name called at No. 36 by the Jets.

“Robinson is the total package as a running back prospect,” Miller detailed. “He plays with amazing patience but can also lower his shoulder with a 220-pound frame and create space for himself. Robinson’s contact balance and vision in traffic are some of the best I’ve ever seen. He rushed for 1,580 rushing yards and 18 TDs this season, and he’s also a very good receiving threat out of the backfield (314 receiving yards). There are few players more talented than Robinson in this year’s class.”

Even if the Cowboys retain Pollard, the team could still be in the market for another rusher, especially if Dallas releases Elliott. Running back is one of the main positions of intrigue heading into the Dallas offseason.

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