Chiefs RB Signs With Cowboys, Helping Replace Ezekiel Elliott: Report

Ronald Jones

Getty Running back Ronald Jones carries the ball with the Kansas City Chiefs in January of 2023.

Tony Pollard cemented his role as the starting running back of the Dallas Cowboys in 2022, and a former Kansas City Chiefs ball carrier will take over as the backup after “America’s Team” cut ties with long-time playmaker Ezekiel Elliott earlier this winter.

ESPN reporter Todd Archer relayed the news, tweeting: “The Cowboys have agreed to a deal with RB Ronald Jones, who visited The Star Monday, per source. Jones spent last year with KC after a four-year run with Tampa Bay. His best year was in 2020: 192 carries, 978 yards, 7 TDs. He played in only six games last year with Chiefs.”

Ronald Jones Never Quite Fit With Chiefs

Entering as a big-name addition in free agency last spring, Jones fell behind in camp and never quite caught the attention of the coaching staff with rookie Isiah Pacheco bursting onto the scene.

He was actually a trade candidate ahead of the final preseason roster cutdown, but made the roster by a hair after an injury to Derrick Gore and an encouraging performance during the third preseason outing. If Jones knew he’d only get 17 carries the entire year, maybe he would have preferred to be traded or cut in that moment — looking back — but he ended up getting his second Super Bowl ring either way so his lone campaign with the Chiefs wasn’t a total loss.

With Jones and fullback Michael Burton officially gone, Jerick McKinnon remains as the only unrestricted free agent at RB for the Chiefs. The relationship between Kansas City and McKinnon is strong, so there’s a good chance the Chiefs at least attempt to re-sign the wily veteran in free agency.

After all, outside of Pacheco, former first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire and late-season pickup La’Mical Perine are the only two running backs that are currently on the roster — although WR hybrid Jerrion Ealy also played the position in college.

DeAndre Hopkins Trade News Could Be Coming Soon

A hot topic around the Chiefs community on March 21 was wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The former Houston Texans superstar has been connected to KC all offseason via trade, and NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport made it seem as if a Hopkins deal is imminent after the Brandin Cooks news in Dallas.

“As the status of [Arizona Cardinals] star WR DeAndre Hopkins comes into focus, talks are ramping up among the interested teams, sources say,” Rapoport tweeted. “Similar to Brandin Cooks, a trade would likely mean an altered contract.”

At this time, the major suitors according to NFL reporter Benjamin Allbright appear to be the Chiefs, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots — who already stole WR JuJu Smith-Schuster from KC this offseason.

If Kansas City misses on Hopkins, they could pivot to free agent Odell Beckham Jr., or scour the trade market for this year’s version of Kadarius Toney. Whatever general manager Brett Veach decides to do, he needs another weapon for Patrick Mahomes.

As it stands, the Chiefs WR room is made up of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Toney, Skyy Moore, and an unproven group of youngsters and journeymen including Justyn Ross, Cornell Powell, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, John Ross and the aforementioned Ealy.

Having Travis Kelce, Noah Gray and Jody Fortson at tight end certainly helps, but KC could use one more starting caliber wideout in 2023. For the right price, Hopkins is as good a fit as any.

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