Best running back options if DeMarco Murray doesn’t return to Cowboys
This'll be sure to prompt some double-takes. McFadden never lived up to his draft status, and he's had countless injury issues. Last season was the first time in eight years he's played in all 16 games. That said, he's only 27, and he'd be cheap to sign – his one-year deal in Oakland last season cost the team just $1.7 million. On top of all of this, he's an Arkansas Razorback, which makes him easy to link to Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. Maybe he'd see a resurgence running behind Dallas' top-notch line?
Getty ImagesRichard Heathcote
This one comes with a caveat. You're fooling yourself if you'd expect Gore to carry your ground game for more than one season, maybe two. He's about to turn 32, and he's at the tail end of a career that might put him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Behind this line, and alongside Tony Romo, though, he could still have another formidable season or two left in him. If the Cowboys were to go this route, though, they'd almost certainly want to draft a running back as an insurance policy.
Getty ImagesThearon W. Henderson
Similar story to Mark Ingram. Lofty draft pick -- taken 12th overall -- who hasn't delivered on the hype. The one time Mathews has ever played in all 16 games, in 2013, he delivered a 1,255-yard season. He's missed at least two games in every other year of his career, however, including eight last fall. That's a warning sign, but it also means the Cowboys likely wouldn't have to break the bank to sign him.
Getty ImagesStephen Dunn
Re-signing DeMarco Murray or acquiring Adrian Peterson are the two grand slam options. But it's hard not to consider Ingram a home run. The Cowboys had interest in the Heisman winner in 2011, when the Saints wound up taking him toward the end of the first round. He hasn't lived up to the hype, but his arrow is pointing upward. Last season was by far the best of his career, as he ran for 964 yards and nine touchdowns and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl as an alternate. Most importantly for Dallas -- he'd be affordable.
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY SporCrystal LoGiudice
Let's just get the big one out of the way. Speculation continues to swirl around Peterson, who might want out of Minnesota after a tumultuous 2014 that saw him miss all but one game due to off-field issues. The hot topic of the week is that Peterson wants to be traded, but it's doubtful anyone wants to take on his $12.75 million salary. What would the Cowboys have to give up the game's best running back, and would they be willing to?