Rod Smith landed another gig backing up a Pro Bowl running back. The Giants signed the former Cowboys backup on Wednesday.
Set to transition from playing behind Ezekiel Elliott to appearing on a Saquon Barkley-fronted depth chart, Smith will change teams for the second time in his career. The former Ohio State running back began his NFL career as a Seahawk before becoming a steady backup in Dallas.
The Giants still have Jerry Reese-era draft picks Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins behind Barkley. They cut Jonathan Stewart earlier this offseason. In being a Dave Gettleman signing, Smith should challenge to become Barkley’s primary backup.
The Bengals worked out Smith last month. No known Smith audition commenced with the Giants. The 27-year-old former UDFA backed up Elliott last season, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry. But in a more crowded Cowboys backfield in 2017, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound back averaged 4.2 yards per tote and scored four touchdowns. Smith also showed some outlet ability, hauling in 19 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown that season.
Barkley received 261 carries as a rookie, becoming the third first-year player in NFL history to exceed 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Gallman received 51 carries (averaging 3.5 yards per handoff), however, so some work exists behind the Giants’ three-down Pro Bowler.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.