Dallas Cowboys willing to select a running back with first-round pick

Like every other team at the outset of the offseason, the Dallas Cowboys have several roster needs to address. Not only do they have their own pending free agents, such as Tony Pollard, but they are also already $7 million over the 2023 salary cap. This means they will have to continue getting creative if they wish to re-sign Pollard, plus added more talented pieces to their roster in free agency.

One possibility to help move some money around is a contract restructure for Ezekiel Elliott, which could offer as much as $7.3 million in cap savings. If so, it could bring the Cowboys closer to retaining Pollard, which they’ve indicated they’d like to do.

That’s what makes this latest admission from executive vice president Stephen Jones so interesting. Jones revealed he is “not opposed to drafting a running back in the first round.”

Most would quickly point out that the Cowboys have far more pressing needs than adding yet another talented player to the backfield, but if Dallas does franchise Pollard, where does that leave them in 2024? With an aging 29-year-old Elliott? As crazy as it sounds, the Cowboys swooping up a player like Texas’ Bijan Robinson could make a lot of sense.

If so, retaining Pollard for 2023 wouldn’t really add up. Complicating matters is that the Cowboys will have to make a decision on Pollard well ahead of the time when they’re on the clock in April with the 27th overall pick. Plus, with how high Robinson’s stock is right now, chances are he won’t last until pick No. 27 anyway.

While Jones’ comment may not have any relevance this season, it is a noticeable approach to keep in mind for the Cowboys’ future draft plans should more talented backs become available. Plus, it’s not like Dallas doesn’t have a history of taking running backs in the opening round, as that’s how Zeke joined the club in 2016 with the fourth overall pick.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft running back rankings: Bijan Robinson tops loaded class of RB prospects

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