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Cowboys Add Darren McFadden After Losing Murray to Philly

Bryson Treece

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Add Darren McFadden After Losing Murray to Philly

DeMarco Murray is a Philadelphia Eagle. As much as it pains me to say that, the only team willing to meet his contract demands with a roster capable of winning games is our long hated rival. I would have preferred him outside the division but it is what it is.

It's time to move on and one of the ways the Cowboys plan to do that is by tapping into a few players already with the team. Lance Dunbar, Joseph Randle, and Ryan Williams.

Dunbar and Randle are already well-known among Cowboy fans. Dunbar has been a fantastic receiver for a RB, and Randle has incredible burst and vision, unless he's trying to get around security guards at the mall, of course. And Ryan Williams has been a largely unknown commodity since he joined Dallas.

Mike from @CowboysNation says, "If Ryan Williams can stay healthy, he is going to surprise a lot of people in 2015 and make the Murray pain fade quickly."

Injuries have crippled Williams' career since being selected in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He played only five games in Arizona - all in 2012 - due to knee and shoulder injuries, before joining the Cowboys for their 2014 preseason. He showed us flashes of what he could do in some preseason games, but nothing concrete.

And now the Cowboys have signed former Oakland Raiders back Darren McFadden to a 2yr, $5.8 million contract with just $200,000 as a signing bonus. NFL.com reports the contract is worth up to $5.85 million, indicating the deal is laced with incentives that may lower the Cowboys' risk should McFadden suffer another injury or not even make the team.

By all accounts, the Cowboys are heading into the 2015 draft with RB a priority position on their draft board, however, signing the 2008 #4 overall pick may mean the Cowboys will take either the best player available at #27 or look to fill one of many holes on the defense with their first round selection. It's not exactly the strategy any of us fans want to hear after losing Murray to a NFC East rival.

Runner Todd Gurley out of Georgia still has his medical evaluations to clear prior to the draft. Should he be cleared medically after injuring his ACL last year, a popular scenario has the Cowboys taking him at #27 in the 1st round. Of course, that suggests one of the top RBs in the draft will fall to the end of the first round for the Cowboys to have a shot at him, which isn't a sure thing.

The 2015 Dallas Cowboys training camp looks to feature five backs vying for one of the three roster spots Coach Garrett typically allots for the running back position; Darren McFadden, Ryan Williams, Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, and a rookie to be named later.

Dunbar has failed to impress as a ball carrier or blocker. Randle has off the field issues which may have already sealed his fate. Williams has played in just 5 NFL games since entering the league in 2011. McFadden didn't play a full season until 2014 and only boasts a 4.1 career average per carry.

Jason Garrett is a fan of the Running Back By Committee approach and with the current stable of backs, committee may be the only rushing attack possible. It's not as bad as it sounds, though the naysayers among us will never make it easy to see, because the Cowboys still have the top offensive line in the NFL. A line of that caliber offers higher success rates for any back.

The draft will tell us more, and training camp will illuminate all. But until then, your guess is as good as mine which backs have an edge over the rest.



Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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2 Comments
  • http://twitter.com/YoungBeerzy michael beers

    I love it he like similar to demarco plus he gets a great offensive line so he can get back to beast mode welcome DM #hashtag

  • http://twitter.com/RickardonSports Jeff Rickard

    “: Cowboys Add Darren McFadden After Losing Murray to Philly http://t.co/j6jFjheYeg #DarrenMcFadden http://t.co/RV3Rv4doVl”

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room

Sean Martin

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room 1

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off their most impressive win of the season, keeping playoff hopes alive on the road with a 27-20 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles. Entering the hostile home of the defending Super Bowl champions with three previous road losses already on their record, the Cowboys performance on Sunday night was truly about getting back to their roots. In their second week with Marc Colombo as the Offensive Line Coach, the Cowboys rushed for 171 yards and protected Dak Prescott very well. It was revealed after the game that Frederick was on a coaches headset with Colombo and his new assistant Hudson Houck.

Jane Slater on Twitter

Travis Frederick just told @BenRogers on @1053thefan that Marc Columbo has him on a coaches headset now helping him and Hudson Houck. That's a smart move from Columbo. Smartest guy on the line

The anchor of the Cowboys offensive line since being drafted in 2013, Frederick is regarded as the smartest linemen on the team. It's his mental edge that's made up for a slight lack of size at the position, regarded as one of the worst first round picks in his draft because of this oversight.

Not only is Frederick a welcome addition to the Cowboys brain trust at offensive line, but he did receive some great news on his battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) that's kept him out this season. Frederick was placed on injured reserve on October 6th, announcing publicly his GBS diagnosis on August 22nd.

Frederick has a long way to go before he's playing football again, not eligible to do so until week 14 at home against the Eagles. Regaining feeling in his hands is about the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee getting as healthy as possible away from football. If a return to the Cowboys is possible through his recovery, the team would of course welcome Frederick.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Travis Frederick regains sensation in his hands: "There is some light at the end of the tunnel" https://t.co/wvQhB6KUQp

What Frederick has gained in upper body strength, he must remain patient for in the lower body. While pointing out that over 95% of patients make a full recovery from GBS, Frederick is still waiting to feel sensations in his feet.

The Cowboys have been optimistic that Frederick's condition was caught early enough for a full recovery to be probable.

Dallas' schedule doesn't get any easier following their uplifting win. Returning to the site of last year's demoralizing loss at the Falcons, Frederick likely wishes he could make a miraculous return just a bit more this week.

To make matters worse, Left Tackle Tyron Smith did not practice on Wednesday due to back spasms. It's unknown if rookie Connor Williams will reclaim his starting left guard spot on Sunday, or if Xavier Su'a-Filo has earned another opportunity.

Despite the patchwork nature of a Cowboys offensive line once regarded as the best in the league, and still vital to the entire team's success, Dallas has an abundance of hope that Sunday in Atlanta can be much better than 2017. This starts with Frederick's strength to fight GBS and attempt to rejoin his teammates, wisely given some added game day influence on them by Colombo.

If elevating their level of play up front was all it took for the Cowboys to play up to their potential and pull off an upset on prime time last week, the NFC East is certainly still within reach for a team that must now sustain the level of play on offense to match what this defense has given all season.

Tell us what you think about "Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room" 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 LB Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week Against Eagles

Jess Haynie

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Leighton Vander Esch
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You already knew that Leighton Vander Esch, the Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker, had a great night last Sunday in Philadelphia. Apparently the rest of the football world agreed, and now he's been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The award is the first of what could be many for Leighton, who has emerged as a defensive leader for the Cowboys. He's been playing more in the absence of veteran Sean Lee, who has been battling hamstring issues all season.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

THE. WOLF. HUNTER. Congratulations to #DallasCowboys rookie LB @VanderEsch38 on being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week! → https://t.co/XeSTt2tIpX

This is the second Player of the Week award for a Dallas Cowboys this season. Kicker Brett Maher won the Special Teams version in Week 4 after going 4-for-4 and hitting a game winner over the Detroit Lions.

The Defensive Player award hasn't gone to a Cowboys since Week of 2017, when DeMarcus Lawrence put up three sacks against the Arizona Cardinals.

Leighton's recognition is also well-earned. He led Dallas with 13 tackles and an interception in a pivotal road victory against a division rival. In what was arguably a "must-win" game for the Cowboys, their first-round pick stepped up and stood out.

A few more games like this, and Vander Esch could be in the running for the Defensive Rookie of the Year. But even above personal accolades, Leighton's play could help the Cowboys make a push in the NFC East.

If nothing else, he's making that first-round pick look smarter every week.



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Legendary Cowboys Quarterback Backs Dak Prescott

John Williams

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Takeaway Tuesday: Prescott's Legs Give Offense a Much Needed Spark

Things have not gone well for Dak Prescott this season. His play has been up and down and he hasn't given the team or Cowboys Nation much reason to believe that he's the future at the quarterback position for the Dallas Cowboys. Speaking to 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas today, Legendary Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Ring of Honor and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Roger Staubach offered support for the Cowboys current quarterback, Dak Prescott.

Staubach had this to say when asked about Dak Prescott.

Mark Lane on Twitter

Roger Staubach on @1053thefan said #Dak is a part of the problem with the #Cowboys offense, but he is not the problem.

Roger Staubach didn't start in the NFL until the third year of his career and thinks that's a good time for the quarterback to make the jump. At this point, we are 40 games into Dak Prescott's NFL career and we can see some of the things that he's good at as well as some of the things that he struggles with.

As Staubach points out, Dak Prescott has the intangibles that you look for in a quarterback, even if his play hasn't been what you'd want at the position. Roger admits that Dak shoulders some of the blame for the offensive woes of the last 16 games, but realizes that there are  many reasons for the Cowboys offensive failures this season.

Roger Staubach believes that the Dallas Cowboys can win with Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback despite some of the flaws that have crept up over the last 16 games. He's not wrong.

Staubach's pretty accurate in his assessment that there's been more good than bad. If you look at the first 24 games of Dak Prescott's career, he was really good. Through the last 16 games, he's struggled at times. So technically there's been more good than bad. The problem is that over the last 16 games, there's been more bad than good. The NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and lately Dak hasn't done much. We can debate all day on how much of the struggles Prescott's faced are on him, but everyone should be willing to admit that some of the struggles are on him.

It's plausible that the confidence in Prescott that Jerry Jones has comes from Roger's belief that the Cowboys can win games with Dak Prescott at quarterback; and they have. In Prescott's career, the Dallas Cowboys are 25-15. Though wins are a team stat and not a quarterback stat, it just goes as evidence that Dak Prescott can be a winning quarterback in the National Football League.

Dak has some flaws, but the offense and its play caller haven't helped Prescott much this season. We should be critical of Prescott because he has a big pay day coming, if you believe Jerry Jones. While Dak has some flaws, he also has some traits that can make him a good quarterback in the NFL with the right coaching situation behind him. 2018 may be running out of time for the Dallas Cowboys and their playoff prospects, but the Cowboys have time before they have to make a decision on Prescott.



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