There is a chance that Dallas Cowboys starting running back Ezekiel Elliott is suspended for the first two to four games of the 2017 NFL season because of off-the-field issues. That makes Darren McFadden the starting running back with Alfred Morris back as well to back him up. However, the Cowboys want to ensure that they are covered well at the position and have signed former Denver Broncos starting running back Ronnie Hillman right before they started training camp.

Ronnie Hillman

Ronnie Hillman is only 25-years-old, younger than McFadden and Morris, but he has also played for more teams over his NFL career than either of those tailbacks.

Hillman looked like he would be the starter for the Denver Broncos until he struggled and lost his job to Knowshon Moreno in 2013 and C.J. Anderson in 2014. Hillman had his best season in 2015, rushing for 863 yards and seven touchdowns, leading the Broncos in rushing but by the time the Broncos made it to the Super Bowl that season, Anderson was their starter again.

The following year, Denver waived Ronnie Hillman five months after signing him to a new deal. Hillman went on to play for the Minnesota Vikings but only lasted two months there. The Chargers claimed him off waivers and Hillman finished 2016 with a total of 131 yards between the two teams. With Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris ahead of him in the lineup with the Dallas Cowboys, Hillman won’t get much time even if Ezekiel Elliott is suspended.

Jason Garrett on Hillman

While it is hard not to think of Ezekiel Elliott and a possible suspension with the signing of Ronnie Hillman, Dallas head coach Jason Garrett said that signing Hillman has nothing to do with Elliott and the off-field problems. Instead, Garrett said that it has to do with the injury of Jahad Thomas, who won’t be ready for training camp.

With Thomas injuring his hamstring, Garrett said that the team had to have another running back at training camp to work.

With Thomas out, the Dallas Cowboys had both Alfred Morris and Rod Smith work more with the second team offense than they felt comfortable with at this point in training camp. When it comes to Ezekiel Elliott, Jerry Jones is standing behind his running back 100 percent and said there was no domestic abuse and Garrett said that the possible suspension has not affected the team or Elliott when it comes to preparing for the 2017 NFL season.

Jones did say the NFL’s decision is imminent.

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