Had Elliott not been eligible to play against the Giants, the belief was McFadden, who finished fourth in the NFL in rushing in 2015 for the Cowboys, would have taken over as the lead back. But Morris had a strong preseason and could get the first crack as Elliott's backup.
If that's the case, is McFadden active?
As we ponder the 46-man roster for the opener, Moore-or-Rush and McFadden-or-Morris aren't the only debates, but they are certainly the juiciest.
From all appearances, it looks like Moore will be the first choice as No. 2 at quarterback. Coaches love experience. Moore has a long background with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, but Rush played well in the preseason (six touchdown passes, no picks) even with his limited résumé.
As for the running backs, it's hard to see the Cowboys keeping all five active. Morris doesn't play much on special teams. McFadden can help more there and on passing downs. Rod Smith can play on all of the special-teams units and be an every-down back if needed. Fullback Keith Smith has been slowed by a knee injury but practiced fully all week and should be ready to go.
Before we make a guess at the running backs, let's move on to the rest of the inactives.
With Anthony Hitchens set to miss up to the first five games with a tibial plateau fracture, he is the easiest of all the inactives. He is out.
At receiver, the Cowboys drafted Ryan Switzer in the fourth round to be their return specialist, but a hamstring strain prevented him from playing in a preseason game. They drafted Noah Brown in the sixth round as a project of sorts. While he has room to grow as a receiver, he offers the ability to block from the position that Switzer can't, and he can also play on the coverage units on special teams.
The offensive line offers up unique dynamics with backups Joe Looney, Jonathan Cooper and Byron Bell able to play multiple spots. Chaz Green should start at left guard and can also play tackle, but he has an injury history that might have the Cowboys rethink what they want to do in reserve. Do they go with Cooper, who was the runner-up to the left-guard spot but can't play tackle, or Bell, who started one game in the preseason at left guard and has tackle experience?
The Cowboys love to use a defensive line rotation, but they might not be able to dress all eight for this game. Brian Price was claimed on waivers and has just three practices with the team, but he represents the only true space-eater up front behind Stephen Paea. Tyrone Crawford will play after missing the preseason with an ankle injury, but is he fit enough to play a full game? That could play a role in determining the last spot, which puts Charles Tapper in the cross hairs.
Considering how the Giants lean to the pass, having more secondary players makes sense. The Cowboys have 10 cornerbacks and safeties, but rookie corner Jourdan Lewis has missed a ton of time this summer with a hamstring injury. Would the Cowboys go with Lewis over newcomer Bene Benwikere? Maybe in a couple of weeks, but that's hard to see happening Week 1.
Now, back to the running backs. It's down to Keith Smith or McFadden. It seems hard to believe McFadden would be inactive, but dressing five running backs seems like overkill.
The guess at the inactives is: Rush, McFadden, Brown, Cooper, Tapper, Hitchens and Lewis.