IRVING, Texas – Le’Veon Bell could fit the Cowboys’ need for a bruiser as backup running back, capable of handling a full load at any point.
That’s why the Cowboys are one of two teams, along with the Jets, that the former Michigan State star running back said he’s visited so far. Bell was one of 30 players to take a pre-draft visit with the Cowboys.
“The running backs coach (Gary Brown) was very impressed,” Bell said on 105.3 FM The Fan. “He loved the way I can catch the ball. He loves the way I move, especially being a bigger guy. He loves the way I can get in and out of my cuts. I did my thing at Pro Day and in my individual workouts with the Cowboys, and I’m going to continue to impress.”
Bell made his first trip to see the Cowboys facilities this offseason and said he had a great two-day visit, describing the stadium as “unbelievable.” He talked to owner/general manager Jerry Jones, as well as executive vice president Stephen Jones and head coach Jason Garrett.
“They said they want another guy there to be a No. 2 guy who can eventually compete for a starting job,” Bell said. “They said basically they want two starting running backs. That’s what they’re looking for, and I feel like I can bring that to any team in the NFL.”
Bell, who ran for 1,793 yards last year, is on most draft boards as a third or fourth round pick, but he’s been told he could go even higher. He said he’s heard he could even jump into the first round, because of everything he can add to a team.
“I’m the biggest guy of all the backs, probably, height and weight, I can catch the ball out of the backfield just as good as any back,” he said. “I can get tough yardage just as good, if not better, than any back. There’s a lot of things that I can bring to a team. I played a lot of special teams, punt returner, kick returner. There’s a lot of things I can bring to a team, so much value. I’m a bigger guy, so pass protection would be a big plus for me, being able to block bigger linebackers and defensive ends at times.”
The running back grew up in Ohio, but he always watched former Jets running back Curtis Martin, even though his family consisted mostly of Steelers fans.
The Steelers and Jets are among the teams that have shown interest in Bell, along with the Cowboys, Colts and Texans. But Bell, who has friends who are Cowboys fans, doesn’t have a preference in his location or his role. He just wants an opportunity.
“I’m OK with whatever role,” Bell said. “I just want to get drafted and get into camp and compete. Once I compete, I just want a fair chance.”