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Cowboys Being Tough, But Fair, With Darren McFadden

Jess Haynie

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Darren McFadden

The November 1st trade deadline came and went in the NFL, and yet running back Darren McFadden is still with the Dallas Cowboys. Given where the team is with the RB position, you have to wonder what their thought process is in how they're dealing with McFadden this season.

Cowboys Headlines - 3 Surprising Cowboys That Could Benefit From Darren McFadden's Injury 1McFadden started the season on the Non-Football Injury list because of an elbow fracture suffered on his personal time. That injury has allowed Dallas to hang on to McFadden without having to use a roster spot. They can continue to do so until after Week 11, at which point they must either release McFadden or place him on Injured Reserve.

By the normal medical timetable, Darren McFadden should be healed from the elbow injury. By his own recent comments to media, he's healthy and ready to play.

So why isn't he?

The Cowboys all but moved on from McFadden during the last offseason. Drafting Ezekiel Elliott in the first round and signing veteran Alfred Morris seemed to be the death knells for McFadden's time in Dallas.

What's more, the Cowboys stocked up the depth chart. They re-signed Lance Dunbar with the hope that he would serve in a specialist role. They also added Darius Jackson in the sixth round of last April's draft and brought back reserve prospect Rod Smith.

Despite these moves, Dallas held on to McFadden after the draft. His elbow injury occurred in late May. Had he been healthy, it's highly probable that he would have been traded or released sometime before the start of the regular season.

Cowboys Headlines - Will Darren McFadden's Injury Cost Him His Job? 1Essentially, the Cowboys have used McFadden's injury to turn him into an 11-week insurance plan at running back. If something happens to Elliott or Morris, they can active McFadden and still feel solid about their rushing attack. They could still keep him even if those two are healthy, releasing Dunbar, Jackson, or Smith to make room.

The Cowboys are holding Darren McFadden to every bit of his two-year contract. They are using the injury rules to their benefit and doing what's best for the organization.

Is it harsh to McFadden? Probably, but you can't say it's unfair. He wouldn't even have value in 2016 if not for the Cowboys kindness a year ago.

Dallas pulled McFadden off the NFL scrap heap and, with their elite offensive line, turned him into the fourth-leading rusher in 2015. McFadden was an afterthought in free agency that year, and perhaps only found work thanks to being a former Arkansas Razorback like Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Nobody would blame McFadden if he's disappointed at not getting a chance this year with another team. However, you also can't blame the Cowboys for feeling that McFadden owes them, rather than the other way around.

Cowboys Headlines - Will the Cowboys Find a Role for Darren McFadden?There are three games left until Dallas has to either activate McFadden, release him, or place him on Injured Reserve. There will be somewhere around 90-100 carries by running backs during that time, so more than few opportunities for the door to open for him to find a role with the team.

And again, McFadden could end up being the number-three back. Dallas just might extend that insurance policy right on through the end of the season.

Give credit to Darren McFadden for not making this more difficult for Dallas. Unhappy NFL players have their ways of making teams pay for their displeasure. Other than a couple of small remarks on social media, McFadden hasn't been openly resentful or rebellious to the Cowboys' decisions.

Usually, the cold business side of the NFL comes when players are released from contracts. It's less common for it to be when a guy is being held to one, but they are called "contracts" for a reason.

Even if we never see Darren McFadden in a Cowboys jersey in 2016, he has certainly been an intriguing figure this season. In a few more weeks, we may finally get the end of the story.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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11 Comments
  • Randy Martin

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see them activate him and put Mo on IR. Of course that depends on the severity of his injury. But nonetheless if they activate him someone is going to IR. I think they are just keeping their options open. The odd thing is there were articles before the trade deadline indicating they “were open to a trade.” So was that yet more media inaccuracy or speculation or did they good up by forgetting to activate him? I think it was all media irresponsibility. I think Dallas definitely wants to see Claiborne back on the field sooner rather than later so probably waiting to see if he is going to need surgery before making a decision.

    • http://www.PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

      Somebody going to IR is certainly another avenue for DMC to return, but I don’t see it being Claiborne. His injury isn’t expected to keep him out even for the rest of the regular season, let alone a playoff run. They’ll carry Mo as a gameday inactive for as long as they have to.

      However. to your point, McFadden’s most-likely road to a return is if someone were to get hurt at RB.

  • Mike

    WHAT social media comments?

    • http://www.PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

      Saying that he was healthy while the team still had him on injury lists, which could have prompted investigation and problems with the league.

  • Mike

    What did you want him to do? Lie? He’s been healthy since week 2! He didn’t post it anyway. He answered reporter questions.

  • Chuck Harold

    DMC should be the Cowboys’ #2 RB–if he is fully healed. He proved his abilities last year and has breakaway speed far superior to Morris’s. I suspect the team is holding on to him in case one of the current RBs go down, which is always a possibility.

  • Joe

    Thanks for the insight. I read somewhere that they are paying him his full salary, even though they are not required to. If true, this would certainly be a nice way to offset DMC’s concern about staying on NFI / not being traded. Thanks!

  • Patrick Robinson

    I would love for Darren to back up zee than morris

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      @Patrick Robinson – Damn, thought I was the only one. Morris looked good in PS but hasn’t since, especially not after the Giants game.

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Report: QB Dak Prescott Signs Multi-Year Deal With Campbell’s Chunky Soup

Kevin Brady

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Jekyll or Hyde: Year 3 "Prove It" Season For Dak Prescott? 1

Being the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback comes with its challenges, but it certainly comes with its perks as well. One of those perks is the opportunity for endorsement deals, and income outside of his football salary.

Dak Prescott is embracing those perks now, reportedly signing a multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup through 2020. Prescott will continue to endorse Chunky MAXX, Campbell's protein soup line.

Brandon George on Twitter

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has re-signed a new multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup through 2020. This is the first QB multi-year deal for Chunky Soup since Donovan McNabb in 2001. He'll continue to promote Chunky MAXX, the protein-packed line of soups, this year, per Edelman

Campbell's Soup has had some legendary football related commercials throughout the years, none more memorable than those with former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and his mother.

In fact, Dak Prescott is the first NFL quarterback to sign a multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup since those McNabb commercials.

Hopefully, Dak Prescott can continue to "prove it" on the field and still be the Cowboys starting quarterback throughout this entire Campbell's deal.



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BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year

Mauricio Rodriguez

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David Irving

For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.

Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.

In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.

Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.

The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.

Tell me what you think about "BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

Sean Martin

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Cowboys 2016 Draft Class: Who Will Be The Stand Out In 2017?
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

When Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten retired from the NFL last month, he left behind an unproven group of tight ends for the Cowboys to field as Witten moves on to the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. This is not a TE group short of potential, although that's nothing new for the laundry list of players that have failed at the position behind the Hall of Fame bound Witten.

Headlining this group of potential heirs to Witten has to be 2016 draft pick Rico Gathers. Not yet given the same opportunities that Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are receiving through the Cowboys ongoing mini camp, Gathers has been criticized for his commitment to his team.

Looking to make the transition from the basketball court at Baylor to the football field, Gathers' journey began at Witten's soon-to-be home forever. Playing his first organized football game since middle school, Gathers and Witten were teammates in the Hall of Fame game at Canton, Ohio in 2017.

A game rarely leaving fans with a lasting memories, Gathers immediately flashed potential in the passing game, hauling in three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Gathers would go on to spend the season on IR after a concussion suffered in practice, recovering from it in time to return but never seeing the field.

This leaves Gathers' prospects of putting it all together in year three at a difficult crossroads. It will be hard to question Gathers' commitment moving forward, as the message from his former teammate Jason Witten still lives with him.

Jason Witten's Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

If Witten truly sees a "bright future" for Rico Gathers, who Head Coach Jason Garrett says needs work in the running game, there is no reason the Cowboys can't find a role for him this season. With an entirely unproven group of wide receivers, Gathers could be the reliable mismatch for Dak Prescott to target in the middle of the field.

Prescott was the ninth worst quarterback in the league last season in red zone completion percentage, surely something the 6'6" TE Gathers could help improve.

Gathers may be a long way off from becoming Prescott's version of Witten to Tony Romo, but there is still hope for the 2016 draft pick, according to now football analyst Jason Witten.

Tell us what you think about "Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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