Chris Johnson to Cowboys Rumors Heating Up
A few months ago it seemed like Adrian Peterson getting traded to the Dallas Cowboys was nothing more than a formality. Time heals all wounds, it seems, as Peterson is firmly entrenched with the Minnesota Vikings and the ‘Boys still don’t have an answer at the running back position.
DeMarco Murray left in free agency, Dallas opted against spending a 2015 draft pick on a rookie rusher, and their only free agency move at the position was bringing in the possibly washed up Darren McFadden.
As it stands, McFadden is competing with backup Joseph Randle for lead duties in the Dallas offensive backfield and it’s quite possible the team may have to look outside the organization for help.
Cue the Chris Johnson to Dallas rumors.
Johnson flamed out with the Tennessee Titans two years ago despite continuing to post moderate numbers, and was an arguable free agency bust with the New York Jets in 2014.
Of course, one could argue that it was difficult for CJ2k to get into any kind of a groove, as he shared the rock with Chris Ivory and was in an offense that was clearly held back by the shaky Geno Smith.
Johnson, now fully healthy after recovering from wound sustained in a shooting this off-season, could potentially be the answer the Cowboys have been waiting for.
While Johnson was supposedly not on the Cowboys’ radar back in early May, the tune has changed on both sides. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora speculated that Dallas could express interest at some point if unsatisfied with their current situation at running back, while NFL Network’s own Rand Getlin said Monday that Chris Johnson’s reps have established contact with the Cowboys.
The ongoing communication could be leading to a marriage between the two sides. On the surface, it’s a win-win for Dallas. Johnson is reportedly “feeling explosive” and “ready to get back on the field”. With the running back situation in Dallas cloudy and Johnson seeking a starting job, it’s undoubtedly a perfect situation for the former 2,000-yard rusher to come into.
The bigger question is if it’s the best move for the Cowboys. A questionable character guy for much of his career, it’s possible adding Johnson to the offense could have a negative impact. Turning 30 years old in September, Johnson would have to prove that his final years in Tennessee and one ugly stop in New York were mere aberrations to an otherwise solid career.
Convincing the Cowboys he’s the man to take over for Murray could prove difficult without first being invited to camp, but Dallas knows that Johnson can at the very least shoulder a heavy load. Johnson has twice endured 300+ carry seasons and has rushed the ball at least 251 times in all but one of his seven NFL seasons.
Johnson appeared to struggle over the past few years with consistency and timing, as he wasn’t able to hit blocks on a regular basis and proved to be a mediocre inside rusher. Johnson has always been a threatening presence in open space, has a feature back skill-set and as of last year still appeared to have the home run speed that made him such a tantalizing player in Tennessee.
At almost 30, Johnson surely isn’t quite as explosive or as reliable as he once was. However, a Dallas team that was one play away from an NFC title game a year ago is right now betting on two very shaky running backs. As shaky as CJ2k may come off as to some, he should be a worthwhile addition for Dallas and could still potentially end up being the difference for a team trying to take the next step.
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