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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!!!!

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Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018

Jess Haynie

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Amari Cooper

For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote

As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.

Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.

Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.

His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!



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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Sean Martin

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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle David Irving, once a key member of the team's defense, will not make his return after all against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. For the second straight week, Irving was reportedly trending towards suiting up before being ruled out. The Cowboys haven't missed his unique presence for 13 weeks (playing against the Jaguars and Redskins), including through an ongoing four game win streak that began with a win against these Eagles on the road.

In that road win, veteran Tyrone Crawford recorded a sack and three tackles, while Antwaun Woods added two for a Dallas defense that held Philadelphia to 23 first downs and 71 rushing yards. The Eagles managed to cross the Cowboys' 30-yard line just four times.

There are many scenarios in which the Cowboys could have cut ties with Irving for not being worth the off-field trouble he's caused - beginning the season with a four game suspension. The absolute best case scenario is what they've realized amidst this turnaround, with other defensive linemen taking advantage of the opportunity left behind by Irving.

While it can still be true that Irving would make more splash plays than the likes of Crawford, Woods, Maliek Collins, and Caraun Reid, this defensive tackle group deserves praise for their ability to step in. Pass rush ability is one thing teams can't have enough of, and the Cowboys are missing some with Irving, finding ways to win thanks to the other traits these defenders bring to the table.

Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard may effectively be the team's defensive coordinator with an emphasis on the back seven, but DC Rod Marinelli's impact is still felt - particularly up front. Regardless of where they're lined up and deployed, the Cowboys front four is expected to be disruptive on every snap, something this scrappy unit excels at.

Prepared once again to play on the edge this season, Crawford is thriving at his original position of 3T-DT. Crawford has two sacks, nine total tackles, and three other hits on the quarterback over the past four weeks. Leading by example with a relentless spirit on every play, Crawford has meant just as much to the Cowboys defensive ends as Irving could.

In a short period of time, the Cowboys have gone from building up Irving thanks to his transcendent ability to make those around him better to simply -- and importantly -- being better across the defense.

Led by DeMarcus Lawrence as their premier rusher, the Cowboys defensive line is a lot for opposing offenses to contain. The "Hot Boyz" work up front has allowed Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to play fast and make plays all over the field.

Maliek Collins, battling back from his second broken foot in three years, is proving again he's a patented Marinelli guy. Collins' play speaks for itself when considering if the Nebraska product is best as a 3T or 1T tackle. Wherever he's asked to play, Collins creates penetration with an explosive first step and can finish at the quarterback with an array of power rush moves.

At 7-5 and fighting for their playoff lives, the Cowboys are done making excuses on the 2018 season. Their strides on defense speak for themselves, and with a group that keeps Dallas in every game they'll play, the door remains open for David Irving to earn snaps again when ready.

The Cowboys don't know any better than their play without Irving right now, and as winners of four straight, it's worth questioning if we'll see Irving over the last three weeks of the regular season.

Tell us what you think about "David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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QB Dak Prescott Named Cowboys’ Nominee For Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award

Kevin Brady

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3 Reasons Why QB Dak Prescott Will Thrive In 2017 1

As the quarterback of America's Team, Dak Prescott is faced with a level of criticism each week that few athletes have to deal with. He is constantly questioned for his play, and even when things are going well, Prescott must answer his critics. But one area absolutely no one can question Prescott is his leadership, both on and off the field.

Dak Prescott is the perfect role model for children and adults alike. He is constantly doing fantastic work in his communities and making sure he uses his platform for good to his best ability.

This week it was announced Dak Prescott was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and will be the Cowboys' candidate in the race.

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

@Dak Prescott has been announced as the #Cowboys nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year - for 'commitment to philanthropy and community impact.' DAL past winners of the NFL-wide honor: Staubach, Aikman, Witten. @1053thefan

Of course, Prescott is well-worthy of the honor, and I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up being both a finalist and the recipient of the award this year. As mentioned by Mike Fisher in the above tweet, three Cowboys have won the award previously; Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Jason Witten. Each of which is deserving, as is Prescott.

Considering the award is given out for "commitment to philanthropy and community impact," I can't think of many more worthy players around the league than quarterback Dak Prescott. We can see this impact in the locker room and on the field as well, as Prescott was voted a captain in just his sophomore season. The Cowboys clearly respect Prescott, despite some of the flaws in his game, and seem to play hard beside him every week.

Congratulations to Dak Prescott on this nomination.



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