NFL free agency: Cowboys sign running back Ronald Jones to one-year deal

Ronald Jones is joining Dallas on a one-year deal. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
Ronald Jones is joining Dallas on a one-year deal. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

The Dallas Cowboys cut long-time running back Ezekiel Elliott on Wednesday. Less than a week later, the team is bringing in a new backup for Tony Pollard. Former second-round draft pick Ronald Jones is joining the Cowboys on a one-year deal, according to Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports.

Jones, 25, joins the team after one season with the Kansas City Chiefs. Jones didn't see much playing time with Kansas City, playing in just six games. He finished the season with 70 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Jones could be in for a jump in playing time with Dallas. Following Elliott's release, the Cowboys will rely on Pollard as their No. 1 option at the position. Pollard broke out last season, gaining 1,007 rushing yards and scoring nine rushing touchdowns. He added 371 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns.

Ronald Jones headshot
Ronald Jones
2022 - 2023 season

The Cowboys gave Pollard the franchise tag, so the team expects big things from him next season. Pollard, however, has never carried a full workload thanks to being paired with Elliott for so long. Adding Jones allows the Cowboys to keep Pollard's workload in check over the course of the season. In his three seasons prior to joining the Chiefs, Jones averaged 155 carries per year.

Pollard turned in a career-high 193 carries in 2022. That number seems likely to rise in 2023, but the Cowboys probably don't want to get Pollard to 300 carries, a benchmark Elliott passed in three of his first four years with the team.