And while the overall talent level at running back may be down this year, there are several candidates that might be able to come in and make a difference sooner then you think.
In fact, one of the top prospects available this year is Musa Smith, a junior running back who declared for the draft out of the University of Georgia in early January.
Musa is an impressive runner, displaying the ability to cut on a dime, yet also possessing impressive power between the tackles.
"He's a physically gifted runner who can carry the load for an offense when healthy," notes NFL Draft Expert Tony Pauline.
"He's one of those guys that combines power, speed, as well as running instincts and always picking up positive yardage. He runs with vision, weaves through the traffic and breaks tackles, picking up yardage off initial contact."
|Musa Smith rushed 237 times for 1,179 yards and 8 touchdowns for a very explosive offense at the University of Georgia last season. (Getty)|
"Musa's really improved a lot during his career here," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. "He loves to do everything full speed. He's a worker. He understands the blocking schemes and really powers through tackles. I'm just really proud of how he developed."
Smith has been projected anywhere from the late 1st round through the middle of the 2nd round. Obiviously, his availability in that area could put him prime position for the Cowboys to grab his services.
"It's no secret that Parcells likes the bigger running backs. He likes guys that get better as the game goes on, guys like Curtis Martin and Otis Anderson. Musa Smith certainly fits the bill," said a source close to the Cowboys late last week.
While the upside on Musa Smith is practically unlimited, he has fought the injury bug during his college career.
He had a groin/hip flexor injury two years ago, a knee injury during the 2000 campaign, and a broken bone in his foot that kept him on the sidelines in the spring of 2001.
"The injuries throw up a red flag, but from a physical standpoint, he's one of the most gifted running backs available this year," added Pauline.
Furthermore, with the Cowboys struggles on offense in each of the last two seasons, there's little doubt that at least two of their first three picks will go to the offensive side of the ball.
And with Jerry Jones and company already privately hinting that they'll likely trade down once again, the possibility of acquiring Musa Smith somewhere in the early stages of the 2nd round seems extremely strong.