The Dallas Cowboys may already know who will be the replacement for former running back Ezekiel Elliott as they meet with three free agents this week.
Dallas said goodbye to Elliott last week after an extensive run and three Pro Bowls. The Cowboys are instead committed to RB Tony Pollard for the 2023 season, but will still need someone to ease the load.
Enter Ronald Jones II. According to Dallas Morning News reporter Michael Gehlken, Dallas will meet with the former Kansas City Chiefs running back on March 20. The Cowboys will also meet with linebacker Travin Howard and offensive lineman Chuma Edoga.
“Cowboys to host three free agents on Monday visit, including RB Ronald Jones, two people familiar with situation said,” Gehlken posted on Twitter on March 19.
Jones is coming off a down year with the Chiefs, his first NFL season with a team other than the Buccaneers. However, he does have some impressive campaigns under his belt and he’s also still 25 years old, leaving little concern about his engine as a potential RB.
Ronald Jones’ Time With Buccaneers, Chiefs
After impressing in college at USC, Tampa Bay selected Jones in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft. His NFL.com draft profile described him as a physical back who still has a “deadly stop-start” movement that can be a nightmare for defenders in open space.
However, Jones didn’t light the NFL on fire as a rookie. Injuries and other issues led to Jones playing just 9 games in 2018 according to Pro Football Reference. Further, he only picked up 44 yards on 23 carries.
The former Trojan bounced back in a big way in 2019. Playing in all 16 games, Jones averaged 4.2 yards per carry, amassed 724 yards and scored six touchdowns. That was a preview for his 2019 season, which was his best.
Despite missing a few games, Jones racked up 978 rushing yards and seven TDs in Tampa Bay’s successful Super Bowl campaign. But things change fast, and in 2021 Jones was sitting behind RB Leonard Fournette most games and his production fell to less than half of what it was in 2020.
Jones and the Buccaneers parted ways, but his new stint with the Chiefs did not pan out either. The 25-year-old was a healthy scratch for most of the season due to inexperience on special teams, playing just 38 snaps.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott Speaks on Ezekiel Elliott
While Dallas’ front office prepares for a new RB, the current players have had to say goodbye to Elliott. For QB Dak Prescott, that’s something that was hard to swallow.
As Heavy’s Jonathan Adams recently covered, Prescott admitted to feeling hurt about the situation but was open-minded to what comes next.
“It’s tough. Playing the game with a brother,” Prescott said, according to The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “Being able to start this NFL career and share so many memories, and grow up as men with this organization. I really can’t imagine taking the field without him. It’s something that I don’t know if it has completely hit me yet.”
Prescott and Elliott had both joined the Cowboys in the 2016 NFL draft, and both became household names and earned huge second contracts.