Cowboys Sign Record-Setting Running Back With ‘Jacked Physique’

Royce Freeman

Getty The Cowboys are signing former Rams RB Royce Freeman.

The Dallas Cowboys are finally bringing in a veteran running back.

After going through the initial free agency period without signing a veteran back, the Cowboys are inking Royce Freeman to a one-year deal, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer.

“The Cowboys have signed running back Royce Freeman to a one-year deal, according to source,” writes Archer. “Freeman had 319 yards on 77 carries with 2 touchdowns last year for the Los Angeles Rams. He was 3rd round pick of Denver in ’18.”

Royce Freeman Has Spent NFL Career as Journeyman Running Back

The 28-year-old Freeman has spent the past six years as a journeyman running back after being initially drafted by the Denver Broncos back in 2018. Freeman actually began his rookie season as the starter before he was eventually supplanted by Phillip Lindsay. The 6-foot, 238-pound Freeman ended his rookie campaign with 521 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and five touchdowns on 130 carries in eight starts and 14 carries.

However, he has yet to replicate those numbers since. Freeman spent two more years as a reserve back in Denver before he was waived by the Broncos prior to the start of the 2021 season.

Freeman split the 2021 season with the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans before spending the 2023 season with the Los Angeles Rams.

Royce Freeman Was Once a Record-Setting Back at Oregon

While he’s far removed from his days at the University of Oregon, Freeman was actually one of the more accomplished running backs in college football. During his sophomore season in 2015, Freeman was named a Third-Team All-American after rushing for 1,836 yards and 17 touchdowns.

He also garnered All-Pac-12 honors in three of his four seasons with the Oregon Ducks. To top it all off, he ended his collegiate career with 60 rushing touchdowns — a Pac-12 conference record.

As Matt Miller of Bleacher Report described in his scouting report of Freeman back in 2017, Freeman has a “jacked physique” punctuated by his physical running style.

“Freeman has a jacked physique and looks the part walking off the bus with a 230-plus-pound frame that’s thick throughout…He’s a physical back with a diverse skill set that fits into many different offensive systems. Don’t be surprised if Freeman has a better rookie season than players we’ve ranked ahead of him.”

With Freeman now in the equation, the Cowboys now have five backs on the roster, including Rico Dowdle, Malik Davis, Deuce Vaughn, Hunter Luepke and Snoop Conner. However, Dallas is still expected to select a running back in the 2024 NFL draft, according to Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken.

“Cowboys signed former Rams and Broncos RB Royce Freeman today to a one-year contract, a person familiar with the move said,” writes Gehlken. “This does not alter the expectation Dallas will select a running back in next week’s draft.”

Considering the Cowboys previously leaned on a two-back system with Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott, they could do the same in 2024. Dallas could go with a game plan of leaning on a veteran back — such as Freeman — to be paired with a rookie running back they select in the draft.

Through six NFL seasons, Freeman holds career statistics of 1,790 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 467 carries in 76 appearances and nine starts.


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