The Future of the Cowboys?

Over the course of the next month, there will be no more QB schools, nor mini-camps held, but that doesn't mean there isn't news to report on America's Team. What do you think about Troy Hambrick as the future running back of the Cowboys?

If you have been following this team at all over the course of the last year and a half, you know that Hambrick is expecting to take over for Emmitt Smith once the future NFL all-time leading rusher is ready to retire.

Believe it or not, the Cowboys' organization is a little hesitant about using Hambrick as their "featured" back. After all, Troy has never had to carry the load for this team for more than one game at a time, and he lacks some of the necessities that you'd like to see in a quality running back.

He's not that fast, he only has average awareness on the football field, and he doesn't particularly follow his blocks that well.

So why are the Cowboys even considering using Hambrick as their bigtime running back once Emmitt retires?

To put it simply- I don't know.

Hambrick is a quality backup. You can depend on him for about 10-15 carries a game and he's a big back that doesn't lay the ball on the ground too often.

Certainly those are qualities that you'd like to see in any running back, but do you honestly want Troy Hambrick as the focal point of the Cowboys offense in 2003 or 2004? Last season he registered almost 600 yards on the ground and carried a 5.1 yards/attempt average, which isn't too shabby in the National Football League.

But remember, the west coast offense relies heavily on the running game to be successful, so whoever is in the backfield is going to see a significant number of carries.

To put it simply, I'm just not convinced that Troy Hambrick is the guy I want carrying the football 25-30 times a game.

Furthermore, I fully expect the Cowboys to go after a bigtime running back in next year's draft. Of course, some people want the Boys to acquire a big name free agent, but I can tell you right now that you won't see Jamal Anderson wearing a Cowboys' uniform, nor any other potential high dollar free agent for that matter.

Emmitt's long-term replacement will emerge from next year's draft. Bring in a young running back with some "take it to the house" type of speed and let Bruce Coslet and company mold him into the perfect back for this offense.

I'm not saying that Dallas should get rid of Troy Hambrick, because he could be used as a backup running back as well as a potential starting fullback. I'm just saying he's not the future featured offensive weapon of this football team.

Speculation aside, Hambrick will have to do some special things on the football field this year if he's going to be seriously considered as a starting running back for Dallas in the future.

More than likely he'll have the opportunity to prove himself this season, and that will go a very long way in determining how he fits into the future plans of this team.

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