Cowboys’ Running Back Depth Chart: Will Ezekiel Elliott Start in 2024?

Following the 2024 NFL Draft, the Cowboys brought back Ezekiel Elliott. Now, heading into 2024, who will be Dallas' starter?

With the Dallas Cowboys not drafting a single running back in the 2024 NFL Draft, despite the departure of last year’s starter Tony Pollard, there was speculation at the end of the weekend that they would bring back Ezekiel Elliott to solidify the position for 2024.

Fast forward to Monday morning, and the Cowboys and Elliott already agreed to a deal to bring him back to Dallas. Now, with Elliott back in the fold, what does the Cowboys’ depth chart at running back look like?

Dallas Cowboys’ Updated Depth Chart at Running Back

According to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Elliott and the Cowboys agreed to terms, pending a physical. According to Spotrac, he signed a one-year, $3 million deal that includes $2 million guaranteed. That means while he might start, Elliott won’t be given anything.

Elliott is heading into his ninth NFL season and has rushed for 8,904 yards and 71 touchdowns on 2,065 carries. He spent the first seven years of his career with the Cowboys from 2016-2022, in which he was a three-time Pro Bowler (2016, 2018, 2019) and one-time first-team and second-team All-Pro. Elliott also led the NFL in rushing yards twice.

Following a decline in production despite a big contract, Elliott was released in March 2023. He went unsigned until the start of the preseason, when the New England Patriots signed him in August to a one-year contract.

Elliott went on to rush for 642 yards and three touchdowns on 184 carries last season and also caught 51 passes for 313 yards and two more scores.

Now returning to the Cowboys, there’s a good chance Elliott can compete to start once again. The other names in Dallas’ RB room — Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn, Royce Freeman, and Snoop Conner — are rather unproven.

Dowdle has been with the Cowboys since going undrafted in 2020, playing in 36 games. He’s rushed for 385 yards and two touchdowns on 96 attempts, in addition to 144 receiving yards and two more TDs. He backed up Pollard in 2023.

Next is Vaughn, who is entering the second year of his career after being taken No. 212 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. He had just 80 total yards (40 receiving and 40 rushing) in 2023. However, he comes in at just 5’5″, making him the shortest player in the entire NFL.

Another name Dallas signed this offseason was Freeman, who was one of just two signings in the first period of free agency. Freeman was a third-round pick in 2017 by the Denver Broncos and has bounced around the league since. He has 1,792 career rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. In 2023, Freeman was with the Los Angeles Rams.

KEEP READING: Cowboys UDFA Signings and Rookie Minicamp Invites

Finally, the Cowboys also have Snoop Conner, who was a fifth-round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2022. In limited snaps, Conner has 42 career rushing yards and one touchdown.

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