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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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BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka

Jess Haynie

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George Iloka

The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.

He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc

This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.

However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.

Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.

We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.



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BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb

Brian Martin

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BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb

According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.

Adam Schefter on Twitter

Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T

The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.

During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.

After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.

This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.

Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!



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REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur

Jess Haynie

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L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.

Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e

Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.

Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.

Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.



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