OPINION: It’s Bijan or bust for the Cowboys


AP Photo/Chuck Burton

The Dallas Cowboys should do everything possible to draft Texas running back Bijan Robinson.


The Dallas Cowboys not only should draft Texas running back Bijan Robinson, they have to.

Following the departure of longtime Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, there is uncertainty about the future of the position.

Currently, the depth chart features Tony Pollard, who is playing this year on the franchise tag, along with Malik Davis, Rico Dowdle and Ronald Jones. That’s a pretty lackluster group beyond Pollard, who had a breakout 2022 campaign, rushing for just over 1,000 yards despite playing just under 50% of the offensive snaps.

With Pollard potentially in his final year with the team, the position needs to be addressed urgently, and there is no better replacement option than Robinson. The former 5-star recruit has been nothing short of spectacular in his three seasons with the Longhorns, rushing for over 3,400 yards and winning the Doak Walker Award last year for the best running back in the country.

Scouts view him as the best running back prospect since Saquon Barkley went second overall to the New York Giants in 2018 out of Penn State. Robinson’s ideal size at 5-feet-11 and 220 pounds combined with his elite speed, strength, stop-start ability, contact balance and vision have led to him being compared to Barkley and 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey.

head shot of Andrew Goodrich
Andrew Goodrich

The offensive line is a pivotal part of a running back’s success, and Robinson would fit right in as the Cowboys have one of the best lines in the league with future Hall of Fame elites such as Zack Martin and Tyron Smith. 2022 first-round pick Tyler Smith will be in year two playing left tackle after a phenomenal rookie season, converted left guard Terrence Steele is coming off a torn ACL and center Tyler Biadasz is entering his fourth year and just made his first Pro Bowl.

But the most pivotal statistic that makes Robinson a must-have is the most glaring. Dak Prescott is 16-22 when he has to throw more than 35 times in a game. Without a successful run game, he is not talented enough to be asked to throw to win games. For comparison, Patrick Mahomes is 35-9 when asked to throw 35 times or more.

This problem was exemplified the most in last year’s playoff loss to the San Fransisco 49ers when Pollard broke his leg right before halftime and the rushing attack stalled the rest of the game. Fittingly, on the next play, Prescott forced a ball into double coverage to Ceedee Lamb and it was intercepted, which swung the momentum entirely to the 49ers. Prescott threw 37 times and could not move the chains to put the team in a position to score and take the lead.

For the Cowboys to have a successful offense, the run game needs to be the focal point and Prescott the complementary piece. Robinson, along with Pollard at least for a year, would catapult the ceiling of the team if Prescott is not asked to command the offense.

There’s only one thing sitting between the Cowboys and Robinson: They draft at No. 26 overall, and he is projected to go as high as the top 10 by some analysts. So the Cowboys would likely have to trade up to get him. But with a roster without many needs, giving up draft capital is worth it.

Jerry Jones, the fate of the offense’s success is in your hands. This should be a no-brainer.