Cowboys Predicted to Add ‘Twitchy, Explosive’ Running Back with 16 Touchdowns


Getty Images The Dallas Cowboys could look to add an explosive running back during the 2024 NFL Draft.

Amid a puzzlingly quiet offseason for the Dallas Cowboys, one thing remains crystal clear: the Cowboys are in desperate need of a dynamic presence in the backfield.

Tony Pollard is a Tennessee Titan, Rico Dowdle, and Deuce Vaughn are unproven, and the offensive line is suddenly in a state of flux, potentially breaking in two new starters when the 2024 season kicks off in September.

With the NFL Draft looming, Jerry Jones and company could prioritize taking a running back early on who can become an immediate focal point alongside quarterback Dak Prescott in a pivotal season for Prescott and head coach Mike McCarthy.

In ESPN’s latest 2024 NFL Mock Draft, featuring Field Yates and Mel Kiper Jr. alternating selections, Yates projects the Cowboys will select Texas running back Jonathon Brooks in the second round, with the No. 56 overall selection.

“Jerry Jones is unafraid to be bold in the second round,” Yates writes. “And Dallas badly needs a running back. Brooks suffered a torn ACL in November, but he was trending toward top-40 status before that. He can ball, rushing for 1,139 yards last season.”

If Brooks slides late into the second round, the Cowboys might wind up walking away with one of the better values of draft weekend.

Last season, Brooks’ explosiveness was on full display, as he averaged 6.1 yards per carry. If fully healthy, Brooks would immediately ascend to the top of the Cowboys’ depth chart and add an electrifying playmaker to a position in dire need of an upgrade.

Leading into the draft, Dowdle, Vaughn, Malik Davis, and Snoop Conner are the only running backs on the Cowboys’ roster, and the group has combined for just 169 NFL carries.

Brooks is the kind of game-breaker who could develop into the focal point of the Cowboys’ rushing attack that Dallas has lacked, largely, since Ezekiel Elliott last rushed for 1,000 yards back in 2021 and his departure in 2023.

Jonathon Brooks NFL Draft Scouting Report

Brooks emerged as a driving force of the Longhorns’ offense in 2023, his first full season as a starter, before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 11.

Capping his collegiate career with 1,479 yards and 16 touchdowns, Brooks heads to the draft on the heels of averaging a healthy 6.2 yards per carry in the Big 12 Conference.

“Jonathan Brooks is a twitchy, explosive back,” The Bleacher Report Scouting Department writes of Brooks. “Who could use more refinement and muscle to round out his game.

“Brooks’ quickness is the first thing that pops off the screen. Behind the line of scrimmage, he has the lateral explosion to switch rushing lanes with ease at the last second. That same explosive ability shows up at the second level. Brooks has the juice to make defenders miss in space, and he is always hunting for chances to prove it. Brooks has a good speed profile as well. He can kick into high gear almost instantly when he wants to, which helps for ruining pursuit angles on the edge.”

Pro Football Focus gives Brooks an elite 91.9 overall grade, pointing out the 6-foot and 207-pound running back forced 63 missed tackles while posting 732 yards after contact in 2023.

Brooks’ explosiveness and quick-decisive running style could make him a prototypical fit behind a Cowboys offensive line that might take some time to develop cohesion and dominance in the trenches.

Cowboys’ Offseason Ripped by NFL Executives

The Dallas Cowboys, in a lot of ways, created more weaknesses in free agency than filled existing holes.

All-Pro offensive tackle Tyron Smith is a Jet, stalwart center Tyler Biadasz is in Washington, All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore is still a free agent, and Pollard will be the Titans’ lead back this fall.

Those key departures put a lot of emphasis on knocking the draft out of the park, which is the belief of some inside the NFL.

“I don’t really understand the plan there so far this offseason, but there’s a lot weighing on this draft, and they seem to be confident about finding a bunch of starters,” an NFL Scouting Director told ESPN.

Whether it be due to financial constraints against the cap, or incredible confidence in the scouting department, Jones and the Cowboys have a lot riding on this year’s draft class.

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