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What Does Alfred Morris Mean for Our Run Game?

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Cowboys Cast - What Does Alfred Morris Mean for Our Run Game?

Hey there Cowboys fans, have you heard the news? Alfred Morris will be wearing silver and blue! What do you guys have to say about the new signing?

“Rejoice! Rejoice!”

Rejoice indeed, voice inside my head, rejoice indeed. Alfred Morris is a Dallas Cowboy! This is a great pick-up by the men in the front office.

“Now that Alfred Morris is here, we don't have to draft a running back in April!”

I would disagree. Morris has no bearing on our plans to draft a running back. Free Agency - in general - won’t dictate the Cowboys’ draft board.

I think we could expect to see the ‘Boys draft a running back with a third round pick or with one of our multiple sixth round picks, provided that the talent is there. A cheap and fresh set of legs to compliment Morris could come in handy if Darren McFadden and/or Lance Dunbar are hurt.

“Alfred Morris’ stats are something to shrug at...”

Last season, Morris amassed 751 total yards with 3.7 yards-per-attempt through 202 carries.

Why shouldn’t Morris’ stats scare you?

  1. They aren’t that bad, especially for a 2nd tier running back like him.
  2. If you compare Darren McFadden’s per-season average before he became a Cowboy, (148 carries, 607 yards with 4.1 yards per carry) and after he ran for the Cowboys, (239 carries, 1,089 yards with 4.6 yards per carry) it shows it is possible for the new guy to improve behind The Great Wall of Dallas.
  3. Thus far in Morris’ career, he’s averaged 4.4 yards per carry, 2.6 yards after contact and totaled 4,713 yards. This shows he has the makings of a good running back with promise of improvement.
  4. Combine Morris’ abilities with our supreme offensive line and he could potentially see production like his 2012 season: 4.8 yards per carry, 2.9 yards after contact and a total of 1,613 yards.

“What about Lance Dunbar!?”

Lance Dunbar will probably be the third back and be used for his catching abilities. Receiving is where he thrived last year and basically won us that exciting game against the NY Giants in week one.

The last time he played all 16 games was in 2014 and he had 217 receiving yards. Last year, in just four games, he had 215 yards. By being used more often and being used properly, he's improving and becoming increasingly more comfortable with his role on the team. Dunbar serves as a reliable safety blanket for Tony Romo when Romo is scrambling for his life trying to make a play. Not to mention, Dunbar running the ball can take the load off of McFadden and Morris when needed.

Plus, Dunbar signed a contract to stay in Dallas for another year so he’s not going anywhere just yet.

“With Morris behind Romo, we can get rid of Darren McFadden!”

That's like saying, “I got a new toy! I want to use it now and throw out all my old toys!” Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to take my new G.I. Joe action figure out of the box but it doesn’t mean I’ll stop playing with my Transformers action figures, especially when they still work fine. No, they’re not for sale.

I like Darren McFadden. My heart doesn’t want to see him go. But, what do we make of him now that Alfred Morris is in Dallas? My gut tells me - nothing. Run DMC is here now and he is RB1. The job is his to lose and shouldn’t be taken away and given to the new guy. This is football and in football nothing is given, only earned.

Therefore Morris ought to earn the starting position. We can’t assume that just because there is a new guy that he’ll be taking over.

“Where does Darren McFadden go if he isn’t in Dallas?”

We can hypothesize that Run DMC could also serve as a valuable bargaining chip. Hypothetically, we can trade him to someone for a pick in the 2017 draft if he loses the RB1 competition.

We acquired Christine Michael from the Seahawks for a 7th round pick in the 2016 draft. Given his age, 28, and recently breathing some life into his career, I think Darren McFadden is better than Michael and is worth maybe a 4th, or 5th round pick. Of course, it would depend on who would take him, who needs him, who has an offensive line built to support his downhill north-south running, and what they could give us in return that would be most profitable. Perhaps it’s best to wait for a team to be in dire need of a replacement running back and see what they are willing to give us for McFadden.

“What does Alfred Morris mean for the run game going forward!?”

It means you can rub your hands together or maniacally twist your pencil mustache say “Mwah-Haw-Haw!”

Alfred is here for two years; Run DMC is here presumably through training camp or longer, and Dunbar for one more year. We currently have quite the three-headed-monster at running back.

With a rookie on his way to join them, the running back department should give Cowboys Nation something to be proud of and give every other team something to fear.



I was born and raised in New York state's Hudson Valley and now attend school in New Jersey. Although I live in Montclair, my heart will always have a soft spot for Dallas, Texas. As an intern for Inside the Star, I now have a legitimate reason for the Cowboys to consume my life. Before, I was just a Cowboy fan with no life ... and very concerned parents. When I'm not writing about the Cowboys, I enjoy reading, seeing plays, creative writing, watching TV, and making my friends and family laugh. Follow me on Twitter, so we can connect on all topics related to America's Team. How 'bout em!

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  • RJ Ochoa

    THE BUTLER!!!!

    Sent from my iPad using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

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Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases Ahead of Trade Deadline

Sean Martin

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Dallas Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases

This week, Stephen Jones discussed the difficulties of making a trade, saying "it just seems like in the NFL trades are hard to make, to make it all come together for two teams".

The two teams that could be lining up to change that are of course Jones' Cowboys as well as John Gruden's Oakland Raiders. Yet another Raiders player has been in the headlines as a trade target, 24-year old Wide Receiver Amari Cooper.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

WR-needy Cowboys doing their due diligence on Raiders' WR Amari Cooper: https://t.co/pE2wmrzCXu

Playing at the Washington Redskins on Sunday, the Cowboys will have yet another reshuffled lineup at wide receiver, playing without Tavon Austin. Their biggest offseason addition to this unit was Allen Hurns, and he's been underwhelming with just eight catches.

Thus the Cowboys are reportedly doing their "due diligence" on Cooper, sensing the need for a mid-season acquisition at WR for the right price. The Cowboys ability to potentially find that price in a deal advantageous to them, given how the Raiders handled the departure of Khalil Mack in a trade to this Chicago Bears, is what makes this story relevant.

A lot has been said about Cooper since his name emerged as the latest player potentially out of the Bay Area. Whether you believe he's still an impact receiver with the potential to regain his Pro Bowl form of 2015 and 2016 or one that "doesn't love football," as some have been inclined to say, the former fourth overall pick represents an investment into the WR position that the Cowboys have not made in some time.

In those Pro Bowl seasons, Cooper averaged over 77 catches a season while putting up over 1,000 yards in both. The Raiders have used this to justify their reported asking price of a first-round pick for Cooper, something the Cowboys are not alone in their reluctance to give.

With Cooper, the Raiders are holding onto their last bit of relevancy. A reeling 1-5 football team that needs to maximize their return on trading Cooper, the Colts and Redskins are also following in the Cowboys footsteps by preparing as much as they can on the player.

Cooper has caught 22 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown through six games this season.

For as desperate as the Raiders are to jump-start their organization, the Cowboys should be just as desperate to add a threat like Cooper to their passing attack. Unlike the Raiders, they're in the hunt for a division title, something much harder to put a price on when it comes to the Jones' finalizing any deal for Cooper in the coming days.

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, October 30th, at 3 PM Central Time. The Cowboys will be two days into their bye week, not in action again after Sunday until November 5th.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Interest in Raiders WR Amari Cooper Increases Ahead of Trade Deadline" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys WR Tavon Austin Skipping Surgery, May Return in 2018

A groin injury sustained last week against Jacksonville won't send Tavon Austin to injured reserve, at least for now. The Dallas Cowboys receiver has elected to forego surgery at this time, giving him a chance to return to action in 2018.

There was concern that Austin could land on IR initially following the Jaguars game, but he sought a second opinion this week. It appears that this new information was enough for Tavon and the Cowboys to decide that surgery can wait.

Rob Phillips on Twitter

Sounds like WR Tavon Austin will not have surgery at this time after getting a second opinion on his groin injury. He could miss a few weeks, however. #cowboyswire

Austin should miss this Sunday's game with the Washington Redskins. He has been the team's punt returner this season and a useful tool on offense, playing mostly receiver but also lining up the backfield at times.

Despite his limited opportunities, Tavon is tied with Cole Beasley for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns in 2018.

How long Austin will remain out is unknown at this time. After the Washington game, Dallas will have their bye week and then host the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football.

Both of these are games that the Cowboys, feeling good after a blowout victory over Jacksonville, should be able to win without Austin. But they would certainly like him back for the Week 10 road game with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In Tavon's absence, Cole Beasley will likely field punts. We may see more of Deonte Thompson in the speed routes that Austin ran on offense, though Dallas could also finally see what recently returned Brice Butler has to offer.

With an expiring contract this year, Tavon will likely want to get back soon and trying to improve his stock for the 2019 offseason. Hopefully, he can still have a positive impact on his value and the Cowboys season in the weeks ahead.



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Terrance Williams: Details, Impact of 3-Game Suspension

Jess Haynie

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3 Current Starters Cowboys' Fans Hate, But Shouldn't 1

Terrance Williams was already missing games on injured reserve, but now the Dallas Cowboys receivers is going to lose some money as well. Williams was finally hit with a three-game suspension by the NFL, starting immediately,  for his public intoxication arrest last May.

Dallas placed Terrance on IR in Week 5 just a day before their game against the Houston Texans. Williams had been struggling with a foot issue since the offseason, which included a surgery that he hadn't fully recovered from.

Many were surprised that Williams wasn't suspended to start the season, given that his arrest occurred several months prior. But when charges were eventually dropped after Terrance took part in some required alcohol education courses, it appeared the league might be letting the issue go.

However, as Cowboys fans know all too well, Roger Goodell's NFL operates its own judicial system.

In Williams' case, the suspension will only result in lost game checks. Players still get paid when on IR, but Terrance will lose that amount of his $3.5 million base salary.

Because he can serve the suspension while injured, Terrance will still be eligible to be recalled from injured reserve in December after sitting the mandatory weeks.

The real issue for Williams now is how this event, and his general fall from grace in the Cowboys offense, will affect him in the next offseason.

Did Terrance Williams' Big Game Quiet His Doubters?

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

Terrance is in just the second season of a four-year, $17 million contract he signed in 2017. If he's released after this year, Dallas would save $2.25 million of his scheduled $4.75 million cap hit in 2019.

Williams' cap hit isn't the issue by itself. That would be a bargain for a significant contributor in your offense, even if he was just the third receiver.

But Terrance appears to have fallen well below that spot on the depth chart. Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, and Michael Gallup are the top three receivers these days, and veteran Deonte Thompson has also been getting looks. Dallas also brought back Brice Butler a few weeks ago, though he hasn't really been worked in yet.

Not only that, but the Cowboys will have the option to recall Noah Brown from IR in just a few more weeks. He was one of their more intriguing young prospects prior to getting hurt.

Dallas could let Terrance come back next year to compete, hopefully with full health and less personal baggage. But after six seasons, they may be ready to move on to players with more room to grow.

For now, though, Terrance Williams is out of action and out some money. We'll see what the future holds.



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