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 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?
- They aren’t that bad, especially for a 2nd tier running back like him.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.