Being all about giving players second-chances this offseason, it’s not too much of a reach to imagine the Dallas Cowboys trying to sign Ray Rice, who is likely on his way to becoming cleared to play after a year removed from the league.
It seems every remotely competent running back is being put in a headline along with the Cowboys’ name, but considering how the NFL works, it makes sense. Dallas let DeMarco Murray go in free agency to the Philadelphia Eagles but didn’t get anyone suitable to replace him. Darren McFadden might an Arkansas player in his past, something that always works well for Jerry Jones, but it’s been a while since he’s been healthy or productive. The rest of the guys don’t sound too promising.
The Cowboys have four running backs but are working out some more. Ben Tate and former Cowboy Felix Jones at the moment, although it’s not quite clear if this is a list of candidates getting narrowed down to two guys or simply the beginning in a long list of running backs being paraded until they find someone they like. The Adrian Peterson thing isn’t happening.
So what about Rice? This is a guy that had four consecutive seasons of over 1000 yards (2009-2012) that included three Pro Bowls. Jones gave Greg Hardy a chance this offseason and also Josh Brent. Public scrutiny doesn’t really mean much to the Cowboys, who are under the biggest magnifying glass in the NFL from a media-fan perspective.
But it won’t be surprising if Rice isn’t worth the trouble, not even as a free agent. He had a terrible 2013 season (660 yards on 214 carries) and with one year of rust heading into 2015, despite the charges being dropped by a New Jersey judge, adding him doesn’t sound like such an attractive proposition. Even with the so-called best run blocking offensive line in the league.