The Dallas Cowboys have been involved in the rumors of an Adrian Peterson trade for months and months, but now they appear to be finally dead. On Wednesday, Minnesota Vikings’ head coach essentially gave Peterson an ultimatum, and the running back finally released a message that gave clarity on his future. Now, where will the Cowboys turn for running back help?
In the past couple of days, it’s seemed as if Peterson was going to send a message to the Vikings by skipping OTAs, and that his want for a trade was still in place. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said on Wednesday that it was playing for Minnesota in 2015, or not at all.
“He’s really got two choices: He can play for us. Or he cannot play.”
It really couldn’t be any simpler than that. It’s also really hard to think that Peterson would walk away from the NFL at just 30 years of age and leave more than $40 million unearned from the team.
Later on Wednesday, Peterson finally had something to say and he released a statement to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
“The reason I’m not attending OTAs has nothing to do with wanting to be traded. It’s about securing my future with the Vikings. It’s business, not personal and I understand that firsthand. Go Vikings.”
Well, while one can issue the statement of “never say never,” it does appear that the Adrian Peterson trade rumors are finally dead. The Dallas Cowboys don’t look as if they will get the coveted running back that they were never allowed to say they really wanted.
That being said, the primary running backs for the Cowboys going into the summer are Darren McFadden and Joseph Randle. It’s kind of difficult to think they would head into the 2015 season with just those two players as their offensive backfield ground game.
A number of options are still out there, and here are just a few that the Cowboys could think of acquiring.
Ray Rice (free agent) – He’s a free agent, healthy, very productive, and still has a few good years left in him. The big question is: Do the Cowboys want the media circus and possible negative backlash that would come with signing him?
Matt Forte (Chicago Bears) – A trade with the Bears would give the Cowboys a productive running back in Forte. It would also give the Bears something for Forte since he’s likely to leave in free agency after this season anyway.
Pierre Thomas (free agent) – The former New Orleans Saint wouldn’t be a primary or every-down back, but he would fit in nicely with McFadden. Thomas is great as a role player and coming out of the backfield for the passing game.
Knowshon Moreno (free agent) – In 2013, he had a great season for the Denver Broncos with over 1,000 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns to go with almost 550 receiving yards and three more TDs. In 2014, Moreno signed with the Miami Dolphins, but played just three games before tearing his ACL and being gone for the season.
He could be signed for a likely bargain and still produce nicely if he’s totally healed from his injury.
Ben Tate (free agent) – After a successful career with the Houston Texans, he had an uneventful time with the Cleveland Browns. He could still be very reliable and produce if decently paired with McFadden.
Chris Johnson (free agent) – After a number of successful seasons with Tennessee, he had one sub-par season with the New York Jets who declined to pick up his second-year option.
The Dallas Cowboys may never end up landing Adrian Peterson, but it really doesn’t seem as if the team has their running game in place right now. A number of options are out there and some not even listed here, but something will have to be done before the 2015 season begins.
[Image via NFL.com]