By Jeff Cavanaugh | @JC1053

105.3 THE FAN — Let’s start with this: No one is running for 1.800 yards for the Dallas Cowboys in this upcoming season. Not gonna happen. There isn’t going to be a singular figure in the backfield who touches the ball 400 times and carries this offense to a 12 win season.

It’s going to take more than one person. The amount of money, guaranteed money and years the DeMarco Murray got in Philly, the Cowboys weren’t comfortable with. I’m happy with the decision they made. So let’s move on to what happens next.

Multiple guys will carry the load. Whether it’s guys still on the roster (Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, Ryan Williams) or guys who aren’t on the roster yet, they’ll work as a group to replace what DeMarco gave the Cowboys.

Now seems as relevant a time as any to throw out some names to watch in the upcoming April NFL Draft that could be a part of replacing #29’s production.

Players are listed with their height, weight and 40 times from the combine. Reminder that height is listed to the 1/8 of an inch, so Todd Gurley is 6 feet and 5/8 of an inch.

Todd Gurley – Georgia – 6005 222

Games Studied: Tennessee, South Carolina, Clemson

The total package. Gurley is a top 5-10 player in this draft if it wasn’t for the ACL he tore in November. He’s the best pure runner in the draft, his combination of size/speed/power/balance/vision no one else is going to match. He’s also solid in the passing game and in pass protection. Oh, he also doesn’t fumble. Not a bad combination. He has only question on the resume: How does his recovery look when he visits with all the team docs again in April in Indianapolis?

Round I’d take him in: 1

Melvin Gordon – Wisconsin – 6005 215 4.52

Games Studied: LSU, Minnesota, Iowa, Purdue, Auburn

(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

Really smooth cutback runner. Will follow blocks and wait for a chance to put his foot in the ground and get upfield. Patient to the hole, explodes out of it. Runs with decisiveness. Not going to really push the pile, but you’re not going to arm tackle him. Not super evasive but runs hard and sees the hole. Very good balance to bounce off would be tacklers and will keep his legs churning. Good feel on the goal line. Questions about his catching and pass pro ability. Also puts the ball on the ground too often.

Round I’d take him in: 2

Duke Johnson – Miami – 5091 207 4.54

Games Studied: USC, Louisville, Nebraska, Duke

Instant speed and quickness is the best thing he provides. Smaller guy than some, able to make people miss in small areas with change of direction and balance. Burst and subtle moves make people miss in the hole. If you get him to the second level will make tacklers look silly. Shows a stiffarm in the Nebraska game. In pass pro shows awareness and willingness. Coming out of the backfield he’ll run the screens, flat routes, wheel route down the sideline, texas route (coming out of backfield toward sideline and upfield, breaking back inside on a slant). In the passing game is what separates him from other 2nd round guys for me. Had some tough sledding, had one OT that was pretty good, rest of the guys struggled to open holes. Best two plays he runs are Cowboy staples, the stretch zone play and draw from shotgun.

Round I’d take him in: 2

Tevin Coleman – Indiana – 5110 206

Games Studied: Missouri, Maryland, Iowa, Michigan State

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

They love to give him a short toss out of shotgun and let him work his way laterally and pick a hole. Superb deciveness and explosion as a one cut runner. That’s his game. Waits, reads blocks, foot in the ground and go. He’s a hard runner but he’s not a tackle breaker. Will lower the shoulder for an extra yard and can move the pile occasionally. Pass pro is good. Hit them some home runs when they blocked it up for him, won’t do it on his own. Wasn’t used a ton in the pass game but hands look solid.

Round I’d take him in: 2

Jay Ajayi – Boise State – 5116 221 4.57

Games Studied: Ole Miss, Nevada, Arizona

Caught 50 balls and carried it 347 times. Can carry the load. My friend Bryan Broaddus (@BryanBroaddus on Twitter) used the term “packed in there tight”. Physically looks like an NFL back. Powerful runner. He’s tough to bring down and will fight for yards. Have seen a Marshawn Lynch comparison and I don’t disagree with it. Not that he’s that good but style is similar, is going to punish tacklers and has a natural spin out after contact against single defenders. Does have a tendency to bounce it outside too often, partially because his RT can’t block. Agility and change of direction skills surprising for his size in a good way. Put the ball on the ground 7 times. Too passive in pass protection but physically capable.

Round I’d take him in: 2

Mike Davis – South Carolina – 5091 217 4.61

Games Studied: Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Florida

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Outstanding RB feet. He has to make people miss in the backfield a lot and can do it. Both with subtle leans and direction changes and quick hops/jukes back and forth. Gets pad level low for contact and punishes tacklers. Finishes his runs. Not a home run guy, lacks long speed. Forward falling guy. Couple of places where he could have picked a better hole. Really good mix of power/evasiveness/balance. Caught over 30 balls two years in a row. Nose for the end zone. Squares up in pass pro. My friend Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler on Twitter) says he’s heard the words “Clowney syndrome” whispered about work ethic after seeing Marcus Lattimore’s injury and Clowney’s last season. Tape on Saturday’s is really good though.

Round I’d take him in: 2

TJ Yeldon – Alabama – 6012 226 4.61

Games Studied: West Virginia, Arkansas, Texas A&M

Another guy not too dissimilar from Demarco Murray. Not going to do a whole lot on his own, but finds the right hole, bounces outside only when it’s the right time to do it. Good wiggle in the hole for his size. He’s a less powerful but quicker Demarco running the ball. Nice ability to put a foot in the ground and go when he sees it, sidewides agility/jukes when he gets to the second level to make guys miss. Quick feet for 226 pounds. Stats aren’t great because the boxes are stacked. Tough sledding we call it. If they give him a chance he’s a good runner. Pass pro is a mixed bag. Will take on bigger guys, square them up and stand his ground. Smaller guys who give him a move will make him miss.

Round I’d take him in: 2

Ameer Abdullah – Nebraska – 5086 205 4.60

Games Studied: Florida Atlantic, Wisconsin, Fresno State, Northwestern

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Not the easiest evaluation because his line opens nice holes for him. Once he’s in there has outstanding short area quickness and change of direction. Sees cutback lanes and hits them with serious burst. Physical runner for his size. Surprisingly hard to bring down even when tackler gets a decent hit on him. Natural avoidance of guys on the ground and tackling him low without losing his speed. Plays faster than his 40 time. Functional in the passing game but not used a lot. Pass pro will be an issue, physically gets run over by LB/DL. Fumbles too much.

Round I’d take him in: 3

You can find me on Twitter @jc1053 draft questions are always welcome. And questions about the pursuit of the Bigfoot.