The Dallas Cowboys running back competition has been heating up all preseason. Of course this is a situation any team would like to have, but that doesn’t make the decision any easier. DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar are locks for first and second on the running backs depth chart, but the third and possibly fourth remains a giant question mark.
Given the history of the injuries with Murray and Dunbar, it would make sense to keep four quality running backs on the 53 man roster, right? Not so easy. With a questionable defense, the Cowboys should have to go deep on that side of the ball. This makes the offensive roster spots complicated and scarce. The Wide Receiver group seems set with 5, the Tight Ends set with 3, and the Quarterback position most likely at 2 with hopes of Dustin Vaughn falling to the practice squad. Two un-sure positions on offense are with fullback and running back.
Clearly Randle is above Williams on the Cowboys depth chart, for now. Randle contributes on special teams, Williams doesn’t. However, it’s not just a competition between each other. Williams has made a valid case between keeping a fourth running back instead of keeping a fullback. Will there even be a fullback on the Cowboys roster this season? With the way the Cowboys run their offense, it seems the tight ends on the roster are fully capable of filling that fullback role for just the handful of plays where it’s needed. It doesn’t look like the one fullback left vying for that spot, Tyler Clutts, has impressed enough to answer this question for sure yet. Or is it because Ryan Williams has overshadowed him and made it nearly impossible to cut him thus far?
Even without playing with the first-string offense, Ryan Williams has been impressive throughout this pre-season with 25 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown. It looks as if he runs with that extra spark every time he touches the ball, and that type of demeanor can be contagious to an entire team. Randle did have an impressive first preseason game, but Williams has taken over the discussion of running backs since then.
Ryan Williams has taken full advantage of the opportunities given to him with the Cowboys so far this season. With Randle now dealing with an oblique injury, Williams should get an extended look this week. Although each of the Cowboys running backs seem to be injury prone, the reward may be worth the risk with keeping four running backs. I can only imagine having to see Ryan Williams running wild for another team if the Cowboys decide to part ways. It won’t be long until the final cuts are made down to 53, but as exciting as Williams has been to watch so far, a lot of Cowboys Nation is pulling for him to stick around.