Cowboys RB in Danger of Being Cut Before 2024 Season

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy

Getty Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy

One Dallas Cowboys running back’s days with the team could be numbered as the 2024 NFL season slowly approaches. The Cowboys’ running back group has been a point of conversation all offseason, but the odd man out could be Malik Davis.

Davis is entering his third NFL season after joining Dallas as an undrafted free agent in the 2022 NFL draft. But with the additions of Royce Freeman and Ezekiel Elliott to the roster, Blogging the Boys’ Mike Poland believes Davis has an uphill battle to make the 53-man squad.

“Davis is already pretty low on the depth chart, but it’s worth mentioning as it pertains to the running back position, a spot with the most question marks,” Poland wrote on May 17. “The Cowboys signing Royce Freeman before the draft was a signifier to Davis that this coaching staff felt uneasy about the depth at the position. The addition of Ezekiel Elliott back in Dallas pretty much ended any hope for Davis to make the roster (unless for injury).”

It makes sense, as both Freeman and Elliott have significantly more experience than Davis. While Davis hasn’t seen a ton of regular season play, the Cowboys know what his skill level is after two full seasons.

Malik Davis in Dallas

After splitting carries at Florida, Davis’ entered the 2022 NFL draft cycle. While he did not get drafted, he was sought after by teams in the following UDFA wave. Dallas was able to secure his services and it’s safe to say Davis made the most of the opportunity.

Davis not only made the 53-man roster that year, but had a supporting role as an RB. According to Pro Football Reference, Davis took 38 handoffs for 161 yards and a touchdown in 2022.

Considering the context, that’s a solid first season. The problem for Davis is that he was not able to make the main roster in 2023. Even with Elliott leaving for the New England Patriots, Davis became a practice squad option instead.

Davis only appeared in 3 games last Fall and did not get a single touch. The Cowboys signed him to a reserve/futures contract this past January, but it definitely seems like he’s on the outside looking in.

Royce Freeman, the Cowboys’ New Veteran RB

As mentioned above, one of the reasons why Davis feels like a cut candidate is the arrival of Freeman. The former Oregon Duck has played for four different teams over the past four seasons, but is looking to stick in Dallas.

Freeman first entered the NFL in the 2018 season as a third-round pick by the Denver Broncos. The 28-year-old and Phillip Lindsay were in a platoon setup during his three years in Denver, with Freeman totaling 1017 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns over his first two years in the league.

However, his role reduced in 2020 and he left the Broncos the following offseason. In the three years since, Freeman has played for the Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans and Los Angeles Rams. His stop with the Rams in 2023 saw him return to form as he averaged 4.1 yards per carry and totaled 319 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns.

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