Life without Ezekiel Elliott (likely) begins Sunday for the Dallas Cowboys, and it appears they already have a plan.
Alfred Morris is expected to start at running back for Dallas’ Week 9 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, a source told NFL Network’s Jane Slater on Thursday. Rod Smith will be second on the depth chart behind Morris, while veteran Darren McFadden will be third, per Slater.
Of course, none of these players are Elliott, whose six-game suspension was reinstated Tuesday. And while Morris gets the title of starter, Dallas reportedly will rely on a mix of all three running backs to try to replace Elliott’s massive production.
“For right now, the expectation internally is that Alfred Morris will be the lead back, with Darren McFadden platooning on run downs, and Rod Smith playing a role on passing downs,” Albert Breer of the MMQB reported Thursday.
McFadden is the most experienced of the trio with nine full seasons under his belt but has yet to see any action this season. Morris, meanwhile, has found success as Elliott’s change-of-pace back with 105 rushing yards on just 13 carries, but the team reportedly also is high on Smith, the least-tenured member of the group.
So, what does this all mean for fantasy purposes? Morris is the player to own for now, but it might be a few weeks until we find out the real winner in this backfield — if there is one.
Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images