Cowboys gambling at running back with stellar offensive line

Felix Jones could be one of the running backs the Dallas Cowboys bring in for the 2015 season. 

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Only days after Jerry Jones said he thought the Cowboys’ running game could be even better this season, the team was hosting workouts for a trio of retreads Thursday.

The team’s former first-round pick Felix Jones stopped by Valley Ranch. After not playing in 2014, Jones is hoping for another shot. But it’s hard to imagine him being added to the roster. His 40-yard dash at the league’s veteran combine in March was less than stellar.

Two other running backs, Ben Tate and Daniel Thomas are more legitimate candidates. Thomas, who was taken just ahead of DeMarco Murray in the 2011 draft is more of a lumbering back.Tate is someone who’s shown flashes of being a solid back. He had over 900 yards his rookie season for the Houston Texans. Thomas had been with the Dolphins since being selected in the second round.

I think Thursday’s development speaks to the unstable nature of this position for the Cowboys. They are gambling that an elite offensive line can pretty much guarantee the success of any running back. I think they are being naive on this topic. DeMarco Murray was the league’s offenive player of the year. Acting like the Cowboys are fine without him smacks of false optimism.

"Just because this is our current group of running backs doesn’t mean it will stay that way," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said following the draft. "We are always looking to improve our football team, we will continue to look to improve it, obviously, here with minicamps and OTAs and rookie minicamps and things of that nature."

Jerry has to still be coveting Adrian Peterson. His presence would make the Cowboys a legitimate Super Bowl contender. As it stands now, the team has a non-descript group tailbacks.

The threat of Murray helped make Romo one of the most efficient passers in the league. Now, it’s time for the Darren McFadden show. Or maybe it’s Ben Tate.

The Cowboys have taken a major strength and turned it into a question mark.