After the 2016 season, many are looking at the Dallas Cowboys as a team that has it almost working at all positions and have a great team of young players to move into the future. Some changes will need to be made since they didn’t make it to the Super Bowl this season, and many think the team is set at running back, but maybe not. Rumor has it that despite rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott lighting things up, the Cowboys plan on going after Adrian Peterson.
2016 was Ezekiel Elliott’s rookie season in the NFL, and he put up 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. He added another 363 yards and one more touchdown in the team’s receiving stats. Not only did he lead the league in rushing yards, but his closest competition, Jordan Howard of the Chicago Bears, was more than 300 yards behind him.
In the last three seasons, Adrian Peterson has 1,632 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. Despite those numbers and playing in just 20 games in the last three years, the Dallas Cowboys are still interested in signing him.
According to ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, if the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson cannot come to an agreement on a restructured contract, they will let him go. Once he’s a free agent, the mutual interest between the running back and the Dallas Cowboys will really begin to heat up.
For years now, there have been rumors that Peterson would end up in Dallas, but nothing ever came of all that speculation. Now, the 31-year-old running back and former NFL MVP could find himself finally heading to Dallas, but in a back-up role.
Bleacher Report stated that there is no doubt that Ezekiel Elliott is going to stay in place as the starting back for the Cowboys. Peterson would come in as a back-up or third down back and play behind a solid offensive line and one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, Dak Prescott.
If Peterson is going to return to the Vikings, he is going to have to agree to a restructured deal that will pay him a lot less than he would make in 2017. As of now, he is set to make $11.75 million in base salary and another $6 million as a roster bonus.
Knowing that he hasn’t been fully healthy for years, the Vikings may choose not to exercise their option on “All-Day” for this season.
Darren McFadden is now an unrestricted free agent, and he will be allowed to go elsewhere. If the Cowboys end up going after Peterson and signing him, then, it is almost a sure bet that Alfred Morris or Lance Dunbar will not be back. Dunbar is also going to be an unrestricted free agent while Morris has one year remaining on his current contract.
Adrian Peterson is a Texas native, and he has wanted to play for the Cowboys for a very long time, and he hasn’t hidden that fact. Jerry Jones would love to bring him in and have a formidable offensive backfield consisting of Elliott, Prescott, and Peterson to run wild over opposing defenses in 2017.
The only thing that needs to be figured out is how much Jones is willing to pay for a back-up running back that will likely be looking for big money.
The Dallas Cowboys are not making a change at running back, and there is no doubt about that. Ezekiel Elliott is going to start for the team in 2017, and the only way that will change is if he is injured. The Minnesota Vikings may finally be ready to part ways with the often-injured Adrian Peterson, and he may not merit starter money. That is why the Cowboys are going to look his way in NFL free agency for a strong one-two punch in the backfield.
[Featured Image by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images]