Alabama running back Derrick Henry declared for the 2016 NFL Draft on Friday, and also made his preference for his pro destination known.
The Cowboys opted not to address the position in last year's draft after losing DeMarco Murray in free agency. Dallas turned to Darren McFadden to team with Joseph Randle, who started the first six games of the season, in the backfield and finished a very respectable ninth in rushing yards per game (118.1) in 2015.
McFadden delivered, leading the team with 1,089 yards rushing, but Dallas waived the troubled Randle in early November. McFadden, who will turn 29 in August, signed a two-year deal before last season. He has a long injury history, and it will be no surprise if Dallas decides to add a young rusher this offseason.
Bringing in a big back in the mold of Henry to complement McFadden could give Dallas a nice mix in the backfield.
It's highly unlikely that any running back will be on Dallas' radar with its first-round pick -- No. 4 overall. Would the team's interest in the position change later on in the draft? With free agency and tests in the evaluation process like the NFL Scouting Combine still to come, it's too early to tell.
Henry, a junior, said on Friday that he received a second-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board, which provides underclassmen feedback on their draft standing before they have to decide whether to apply for early entry or stay in school. The junior led the Crimson Tide to a national title this season, rushing for a school single-season record 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns in 15 games.