7 college RBs who could solve Cowboys ground game concerns

These 7 RBs should be on the radar for the Dallas Cowboys
North Carolina Tar Heels running back Omarion Hampton
North Carolina Tar Heels running back Omarion Hampton / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott enters a contract year with the Dallas Cowboys and he'll have to earn every penny of any extension he signs. Dallas elected not to draft a running back to replace Tony Pollard and will turn to Ezekiel Elliott and Rico Dowdle as the leaders of a running back committee.

Teams have had success using such an approach in the past, but the Cowboys don't have anyone who strikes fear into the opposing team. That's why it's safe to assume they'll need to be more proactive in addressing the position in 2025.

With that in mind, here are seven collegiate running backs to keep an eye on as potential selections for the Cowboys in the 2025 NFL Draft.

Tahj Brooks, Texas Tech

Tahj Brooks, Cowboys
Texas Tech Red Raiders running back Tahj Brooks / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

While Tahj Brooks isn't going to wow anyone with his athletic traits, he's still an impressive prospect. Listed at 5-foot-10 and 230 pounds, he's a wrecking ball who forced 96 missed tackles in 2023 according to Pro Football Focus.

Brooks had 1,538 yards last year and 10 touchdowns. He returns for a final season, which will be his fifth in the NCAA. His age and lack of long speed could make him an intriguing selection in the mid-to-late rounds.

Donovan Edwards, Michigan

Donovan Edwards, Cowboys
Michigan running back Donovan Edwards / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Following a strong sophomore campaign, Donovan Edwards took a back seat to Blake Corum in 2023. He had just 497 yards for the NCAA Champions but has a chance to prove he's worthy of being a lead back this year.

Corum entered the NFL as did quarterback J.J. McCarthy. This means Edwards could very well be the focal point of the offense. The 6-foot, 202-pounder has the look of an NFL back and is solid in the passing game. He could see his stock soar if he's able to take advantage of this huge opportunity.

Devin Neal, Kansas

Devin Neal, Cowboys
Kansas Jayhawks running back Devin Neal / Carter Skaggs/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Kansas isn't a hot bed for NFL talent but Devin Neal remains a name to watch in 2024. Listed at 5-foot-11 and 208 pounds, Neal put up back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns for the Jayhawks. This past season, he went for 1,280 yards with 16 touchdowns — and it took one touch for him to show how impressive he was going to be as a junior.

In all, Neal has 3,077 yards and 33 touchdowns while averaging 5.7 yards per attempt. One more strong season could push him into the Day 2 conversation.

TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State

TreVeyon Henderson, Cowboys
Ohio State Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Ohio State has a couple of backs who could be stars in the NFL, starting with TreVeyon Henderson. The 5-foot-10, 210-pounder burst onto the scene in 2021 with 1,248 yards and 15 touchdowns as a freshman.

Injuries slowed him in 2022 but he returned to form this past season. Henderson still missed three games and had fewer than 1,000 yards making this a critical campaign for him as he auditions for the next level.

Quinshon Judkins, Ohio State

Quinshon Judkins, Cowboys
Ohio State Buckeyes running back Quinshon Judkins / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Joining TreVeyon Henderson in Columbus is Quinshon Judkins. A 219-pound back who started his career at Ole Miss, Judkins amassed 2,725 yards and 31 touchdowns during his first two seasons in the SEC. Now at Ohio State, he will split time with Henderson but appears to have the higher ceiling of the two.

Ollie Gordon II, Oklahoma State

Ollie Gordon II, Cowboys
Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Ollie Gordon II / Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman / USA TODAY

Ollie Gordon II was seventh in Heisman voting last year and was the Doak Walker Award winner following a season where he had 2,062 yards from scrimmage with 22 touchdowns.

One of the more complete backs, Gordon has the speed, vision, and strength to be a star at the next level. What's more impressive is how much he accomplished even with Oklahoma State struggling in run blocking.

Omarion Hampton, North Carolina

Omarion Hampton, Cowboys
North Carolina Tar Heels running back Omarion Hampton / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Another brusing back at 220 pounds, Omarion Hamption recorded 1,072 yards after contact for North Carolina in 2023. The sophomore finished with 1,504 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground and another 222 yards and a score on 29 receptions.

Even with his size, Hampton still posseses breakaway speed. If he puts up another solid season, then impresses at the Scouting Combine, he could be in the mix to be an early selection in Round 2.

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Randy Gurzi


Arizona State grad