Jerry Jones should view running back as an urgent need

As Jerry Jones goes through the Dallas Cowboys' needs he sees the musts as the defense -- a defensive lineman, a cornerback, a linebacker. He can make the case for an offensive lineman if necessary.

What about running back?

"It's not urgent,” Jones said at Tuesday's pre-draft news conference. "We don't have that as a must to come out of here with a running back."

Now with anything related to Jones it is always handy to go back to one of his famous quotes: "Just because I said doesn't make it so," and that is especially true at this time of the year.

Perhaps Jones is masking his real feelings, however, the Cowboys have in the past been candid about their intentions.

As we all know the Cowboys lost the NFL's leading rusher, DeMarco Murray, in free agency to the Philadelphia Eagles. He ran for a franchise-record 1,845 yards on 392 carries and scored 13 touchdowns. He was named the NFL's offensive player of the year. Jason Garrett called Murray the identity of the football team.

The Cowboys will now see Murray twice a year with the Eagles after they were unwilling to go higher than $6 million per year on a contract.

The Cowboys have been linked with running backs in the draft since Murray left and they have been linked with Adrian Peterson, too, even if that has been more about others connecting dots. The Cowboys wouldn't mind adding Peterson but would have to cross several hurdles to get a deal done. Plus, the Minnesota Vikings have said they will not deal Peterson.

(Flashback to Jones' quote: Believe nothing at this time of year.)

The Cowboys had Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Jay Ajayi, T.J. Yeldon, Tevin Coleman and Buck Allen at Valley Ranch for pre-draft visits. Gurley and Gordon are viewed as first-round choices. Coleman, Ajayi and Yeldon are viewed as second- or third-round choices, while Allen is pegged as a fourth rounder.

After losing Murray, the Cowboys signed Darren McFadden to a two-year deal that guaranteed him $200,000. They have Joseph Randle on the roster, but he is potentially facing domestic violence charges for an incident earlier in the offseason in Wichita, Kansas. They put the $1.542 million tender on Lance Dunbar. They also have Ryan Williams, who received a $240,000 signing bonus after the season after spending 2014 on the practice squad.

Combined those players carried the ball 235 times for 976 yards and five touchdowns.

Randle has had double-digit carries in four games in his career. McFadden has had one 1,000-yard season and has not averaged more than 3.4 yards per carry since 2011. Dunbar's career high in carries is 12. Williams has averaged 2.8 yards per carry in his five career games.

Murray had more yards in the first seven games last season (1,013) and had seven touchdowns.

If the Cowboys were to rely on some form of that committee to get the job done they would be putting an awful lot on their talented offensive line.

At the very least, Jones acknowledged running back is of interest.

"Certainly," he said, "but my feeling is we can play with what we got right now."