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Darren McFadden Gives Cowboys Fresh, Versatile Weapon

Brian Martin



Darren McFadden

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.

Darren McFadden, Patriots

James D. Smith / Dallas Cowboys

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.

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

Player News

Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson

Jess Haynie



Deonte Thompson

The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.

Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.

Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.

Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.

For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys: How “Position-Flex” Has Handcuffed The 2015 Draft Class

Kevin Brady



Byron Jones

Over the last few years the Dallas Cowboys have placed a high level of importance on "position flex." They've drafted Swiss-Army knife players which could be moved around to different positions on the field.

By drafting players like Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods last year, as well as Byron Jones in 2015, the Cowboys have tried to find these versatile players who can be used in multiple ways.

While this seems great on paper, this strategy has handcuffed the majority of their 2015 Draft Class, and is a key reason why the Cowboys seem to be in such a tough spot.

Byron Jones

The Cowboys' first round pick in 2015, Byron Jones, quickly became a favorite of mine during his rookie season. Incredibly athletic, long, and skilled in coverage, Jones was able to be both a fantastic cover cornerback and a solid middle-of-the-field safety due to his range.

Due to both injuries to his teammates, and Jones' own versatility, the Cowboys coaching staff couldn't keep Jones in just one spot. Once they discovered how great he was in man coverage against tight ends, they became enamored with trying to play him in the box.

Once in the box, Jones' struggles as a run defender were highlighted, and both the organization and the fans soured on him quickly.

Now it is rumored that Byron Jones will be moving back to cornerback full time. And while I do hope this is the case, the fact that he is in year four, and the Cowboys haven't been able to find their first round pick a permanent home is a huge indictment on their ability to evaluate and develop talent.

Chaz Green

Okay, hear me out.

The former third round pick of the 2015 Draft was brought in to be the swing tackle for the Cowboys his rookie year. Mainly due to injuries, Green did not see the field for much of his first two seasons. When he did fill in for Tyron Smith at left tackle in 2016, however, Green was very effective.

Of course, Chaz Green's last appearance with the Cowboys was ugly, giving up a plethora of sacks against the Atlanta Falcons. But Dallas might've made their own bed with Green during the beginning of the 2017 season, when they attempted to move him to left guard full time.

Instead of getting the increased work at tackle, and continuing to work as the swing tackle for the team in case of injury, Dallas started Green at left guard early on in the year. He struggled trying to move positions, and looked even worse when trying to move back to tackle.

Once again, the position flex bit the Cowboys right in the backside.

La'el Collins

It's 2018 and we are still talking about what position to play La'el Collins on the offensive line. And that is solely on the coaching staff and front office, not Collins.

Collins was brought in as an undrafted free agent in 2015, but was widely regarded as a first round pick heading into that draft. Though he started at left tackle at LSU, Dallas shifted Collins inside to left guard in 2015. After taking over for Ronald Leary as the starter, Collins produced highlight blocks week after week.

Injuries shortened his 2016 campaign, but heading into 2017 the Cowboys decided to shift him back out to right tackle. Despite some early struggles, Collins progressed nicely throughout the year and became a solid starting right tackle. Plus, he has the upside to become one of the top right tackles in the league.

Instead, it is now being rumored the Cowboys might move him back to guard for 2018. And with that news, I continue to pull my hair out over the position-flex decisions this coaching staff and front office like to make.

If the Cowboys want to get the most out of each draft class, and effectively develop their talent, they need to let those players actually develop, rather than move them around each season. Hopefully they now understand this, and allow both Byron Jones and La'el Collins to reach their full potential.

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Player News

Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.

The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.

Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.

A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.

Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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