Darren McFadden made his season debut for the Dallas Cowboys last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after spending the majority of the year on the Non-Injury list because of a broken elbow he suffered earlier in the off-season.
Now, McFadden’s addition to the roster might not change what the Cowboys have been doing on offense very much, if at all, but he does provide a fresh pair of legs and a little more versatility to the RB position. Unfortunately, that is why Alfred Morris was a healthy scratch last week against the Buccaneers.
The truth the matter is, McFadden’s versatility to play several different roles seems to be more valuable than Morris at this point in season. I do believe that #46 is the better fit to run in the zone blocking scheme the Cowboys use, but McFadden is a better pass catcher out of the backfield, pass protector, and has the ability to play on special teams.
The more you can do for your team on game day usually wins out when determining who is active and who is an active. That is what it may all come down to between Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris from here on out.
McFadden won’t be overtaking Ezekiel Elliott for the starting gig, but he does give offensive coordinator Scott Linehan another versatile weapon to use in different and creative ways.
We saw little bit of this last week against the Buccaneers when McFadden and Elliott lined up in the backfield together. McFadden lined up as the fullback, with Elliott lined up behind him in his normal tailback position. At the snap of the ball, Dak Prescott handled off to McFadden on a fullback dive up the middle for a short gain. Of course, it wasn’t a big play, but it does force opposing defenses to account for yet another weapon for the Cowboys offense and I think it is just a small sample size of what we might see down the road.
Honestly, I think McFadden could eventually take over the role Lance Dunbar and even Lucky Whitehead have held down the majority of the season. McFadden is a really good receiver out of the backfield and is still explosive enough to pick up large chunks of yardage anytime the ball is in his hands.
Of course, the fact that McFadden is joining the team this late in the season means that he hasn’t suffered from the wear-and-tear other players have up to this point.Having a fresh player that hasn’t suffered any bumps and bruises this far in the season could be a valuable asset to have from here on out.
You see, if Ezekiel Elliott does happen hit a rookie wall or is injured in any way, McFadden can step in and hopefully allow the Cowboys offense to not miss a beat. I’m not saying Alfred Morris wouldn’t be able to do that, because I think he would, but having two good backup running backs isn’t a bad problem to have.
It’s going to be really interesting to see how Darren McFadden is used from here on out. There are a variety of different ways he can help this team and having him back on the roster could come in handy at some point the remainder of the regular season or in the playoffs.
What do you think about having Darren McFadden back with the team?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.