The Cowboys remain steadfast in their belief they don’t have to draft a running back. But it remains one of their needs going into Day 2 of the draft.
The top two backs, Georgia’s Todd Gurley and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, were gone well before the Cowboys’ 27th pick came up Thursday. Those were two backs the Cowboys brought in for pre-draft visits, but knew would be long shots to fall to them.
Instead, they were more than happy to see UConn cornerback Byron Jones slide to them. Cornerback was a position that the Cowboys felt they had to address in the draft, more so than running back and defensive line.
As owner Jerry Jones said, “We thought we could live if we didn’t strike well at running back [or pass rusher]. The place we did not think that we would feel good or sleep right is if we didn’t do something there in our secondary at corner.”
Now, though, is it time for the Cowboys to turn their attention to running back? It’s a deep class with plenty of options remaining outside of Gurley and Gordon to help fill the void left when DeMarco Murray bolted to the Eagles in free agency.
The Cowboys are familiar with this running back class, of course, bringing in a total of six backs for pre-draft visits, including Indiana’s Tevin Coleman and Boise State’s Jay Ajayi, who remain on the board.
So do other quality running backs in Miami’s Duke Johnson, Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon and Northern Iowa’s David Johnson.
But Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones reiterated late Thursday that running back still isn’t a priority. They feel comfortable with the group they have for now with free agent acquisition Darren McFadden to go along with returners Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams.
“We feel very comfortable with our running back corps, but it doesn’t mean we won’t add to it,” Stephen Jones said. “Anytime you miss an All-Pro player like DeMarco you feel like you should beef it up a little bit more, but as far as I’m concerned, we could go to war with what we got.”
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760