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Fantasy implications of Cowboys signing RBs Brenden Knox, JaQuan Hardy as UDFAs

The Dallas Cowboys have signed Marshall running back Brenden Knox as a UDFA following the 2021 draft. Will he be a fantasy football asset to start his career?

Marshall Thundering Herd running back Brenden Knox (20) during pregame warm ups prior to the college football game between the Florida Atlantic Owls and the Marshall Thundering Herd on October 24, 2020, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, WV. Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys signed RBs Brenden Knox and JaQuan Hardy as UDFAs following the 2021 NFL Draft. They’ll joins a depth chart that includes lead back Ezekiel Elliott along with backup Tony Pollard.

Knox rushed for 887 yards and nine scores while also catching seven passes for 86 yards and a touchdown in his junior year at Marshall. The shortened year caused a drop in his production, as he rushed for 1,387 yards and 11 scores and caught 14 passes as a sophomore.

Hardy returned from a knee injury to notch 1,554 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on 204 carries in 2019. He missed all of 2018 but managed to rack up 1,077 yards and eight scores on 207 carries as a sophomore in 2017.

Fantasy football impact


Elliott had a down year in 2020 but still ranked fifth in carries with 244. The Cowboys were more willing to split the work last season as the year went on, and Pollard contributed more on the ground and through the air as a result of that. Elliott is unquestionably the lead back and Pollard will relieve him for spells, so it’s highly unlikely that Knox or Hardy will be very impactful as rookies. Especially behind an offensive line that’s still on the mend.


Knox and Hardy aren’t even third and fourth on the depth chart at this point. They’ll still have to compete with the likes of Rico Dowdle and Sewo Olonilua before looking ahead seems reasonable. Neither appears likely to be the Cowboys’ running back of the future while Elliott is in Dallas.