Smith carried the ball once for five yards and failed to bring in his only target in Sunday's loss to the Panthers. As expected, Smith's workload was small playing behind Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys' No. 2 back could at some point see more touches if the team ever gets a chance to give Elliott a breather, but the team's limited offensive showing in Week 1 promises a lot of close contests ahead, and few opportunities for Smith.
Smith rushed seven times for 17 yards while catching all three of his targets for 24 yards and losing a fumble in Sunday's 27-3 preseason loss to the Cardinals. Arizona's first-team defense bottled Smith up throughout the first half, though he did flash some nice pass-catching ability. Smith seems to have the edge over Bo Scarbrough -- who gained 21 yards on seven carries in this one -- for the backup job behind Ezekiel Elliott.
Smith carried eight times for 32 yards and caught one of two targets for an additional six yards during Thursday's preseason opener against the 49ers. With Dak Prescott under center on the opening drive, Smith gashed the defense for 15 yards on his initial carry and chipped away as the unit moved down the field en route to the end zone. He didn't enjoy the same level of success after some of the other backups began to enter the game, but his contribution with the first unit was notable. Rookie Bo Scarbrough generated 52 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, but he'll likely be in the mix for the scraps left over behind Ezekiel Elliott and Smith once the regular season begins.
Smith will compete with Tavon Austin and seventh-round rookie Bo Scarbrough for backup work behind Ezekiel Elliott, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News reports. Smith's impressive work last season should give him a leg up for the No. 2 spot, though it isn't a role that will come with many snaps so long as Elliott stays healthy. The Cowboys' star runner handled 85.5 percent of offensive snaps in the 10 games he played last season, leaving mere scraps for Smith and Alfred Morris (who is currently unsigned). While this isn't a situation with one clear handcuff, Smith is at least the best bet for cautious Elliott owners in deep leagues. Scarbrough doesn't offer much in terms of elusiveness or pass-catching skill, and it isn't even clear if Austin will be used in the backfield.
Smith finished the regular season with 232 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 55 carries while adding 19 catches on 23 targets for 202 yards and a touchdown through the air. Buried on the RB depth chart to begin the season, Smith opened some eyes with an impressive showing despite limited touches against the 49ers in Week 7, then scored five TDs over a four-game stretch later in the year while Ezekiel Elliott served his suspension. With Alfred Morris potentially not returning to Dallas next season, Smith could head into 2018 as Elliott's top backup.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|13||11/30||New Orleans Saints||3||9.00|
|16||12/23||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||29||27.00|
|17||12/30||@New York Giants||19||16.00|
|3 Year Avg||19||79||1||7||71||0||20|