Emmitt Smith: Cowboys should prioritize other needs over Elliott

Like draft experts everywhere, Emmitt Smith sees star potential in Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. He's not among those that think the Dallas Cowboys must put a star on his helmet if he's available with the No. 4 overall pick, though.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, who ran for nearly all of his NFL-all-time-best 18,355 career yards with the Cowboys, believes the club might be better served in the draft by addressing other areas of need, and maybe even trading down. Smith was the keynote speaker Tuesday for a Salvation Army luncheon in Fort Worth, and he shared his thoughts on Elliott and the Cowboys' needs with the media members present for the event.

"I love (Elliott). I think he's a very, very special kind of running back," Smith said, per a video posted by The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "But do you spend your first-round pick on him or do you get (help with) holes that you definitely need to fill? Do you trade down and get more picks so you can fill those spaces and shore up your defensive side of the ball? ... It's like having five cars and saying 'I'm gonna buy another one.' I can only drive one at a time."

With Darren McFadden and free-agent addition Alfred Morris in tow, Smith thinks the Cowboys are set up pretty well at running back.

"From a running back standpoint, I'm not sure we need to go after another running back," Smith said.

Still, putting Elliott behind the likes of Tyron Smith, La'el Collins, and Zack Martin has to be an attractive thought for Cowboys' brass, and it's something Elliott's given some thought to, as well. Elliott likes the idea of playing behind one of the NFL's most physical offensive lines. NFL Media analyst Ike Taylor believes that O-line could help Elliott follow in Smith's Hall of Fame footsteps, if he lands in Dallas and stays healthy.

But for a 4-12 club looking for a quick rebound, Smith doesn't think the team should be making running back a top draft priority.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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