Every time a big name player so much as gets rumored to be cut they are linked to the Dallas Cowboys, the latest being Adrian Peterson who they should avoid
It never fails. A big name player either loses their job, or just gets rumored to be on the block and a Dallas Cowboys jersey is already being made for that person. Well, not really, but the non-stop speculative talk would have you think that Dallas goes out of their way for everyone’s discard pile.
The latest rumor happens to be about current Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. After missing all but three games in 2016, it seems apparent that AP and the Vikings will be parting ways. ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently reported that when/if that becomes a reality, the Cowboys could be a landing spot for the former All-Pro running back
Apparently this isn’t just a case of a Texas athlete wanting to go home for the twilight of his career as Schefter says there is a “belief in league circles” that Dallas could be interested. Dallas fans should hope that this is a misguided belief.
Peterson was a fantastic player and the face of the franchise for the Vikings for years. However, there’s a reason Minnesota is ready to move on despite having a pitiful running game without him in 2016. AP is about to turn 32 years old and has missed 28 games in the past three seasons. Running backs rarely produce after 30 years of age and although Peterson proved that wrong for a year in 2015, there’s no reason to think he can continue to be effective going forward after another season plagued by injuries.
Putting aside injuries, it still makes no sense. The Dallas Cowboys have finally turned themselves into a young team after years of signing aged veterans, and they are now winning. Led by Rookie of the Year quarterback Dak Prescott and fellow rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas won 13 games this past season. A huge part of that success was thanks to Elliot carrying the ball an average of 21.4 times per game while averaging 108.7 yards per contest. There is no reason to take him off the field at all.
That means that behind him needs to be running backs who contribute in other ways. Last season their backups were Alfred Morris, Lance Dunbar and Darren McFadden. Dunbar helps on special teams and is a great route runner. McFadden offers a change of pace burst and is also effective on passing downs. He also has expressed a willingness to do anything to stay on the field, including playing special teams. Morris did little besides run and he rarely saw the field. In fact, when McFadden was healthy Morris became inactive on game days.
Peterson however doesn’t have a niche. He was never extremely effective as a pass catcher and wouldn’t be a special teams player. He is simply a runner like Morris at this point in his career and wouldn’t have a role unless Elliott went down with an injury. He really makes no sense for Dallas and they would be wise to avoid signing him if he does become available.