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Is Joseph Randle the New Larry Johnson?

Joseph Randle had a comment after the first day of Organized Team Activities that sent everyone into a whirlwind. When asked about DeMarco Murray’s franchise-record setting season last year, Randle responded:

“He had a good year last year, and I got to sit back and watch a lot, and I felt like there was a lot of meat left on the bone.”

As you can imagine this took off. People wondered, “What bone? Chicken or thigh?” and proceeded to hype up Randle’s statement.

I’m here to tell you not about meat on bones, although chicken wings do sound delicious right about now, but that Joseph Randle has the chance to do something special this year. Grab a drumstick and walk with me.

A lot has been made about the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys. This is a unit that featured three pro bowlers in 2014, two of which were voted to the All-Pro team. DeMarco Murray ran behind them for a Dallas Cowboys single-season record 1,845 yards. DeMarco is now a Philadelphia Eagle…and you can’t just assume that the next guy running behind that line is going to be great, right?

Or can you?

Let us look at the early 2000s Kansas City Chiefs. They featured one of the greatest offensive lines in NFL history, a line that now has two Pro Football Hall of Famers.

2001

The Chiefs’ offensive line (from left to right): John Tait, Brian Waters, Casey Wiegmann, Will Shields (who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August), and Marcus Spears.

Priest Holmes, his first year in Kansas City, rushes 327 times for 1,555 yards and 8 touchdowns.

2002

The Chiefs’ offensive line (from left to right): Willie Roaf (Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012), Brian Waters, Casey Wiegmann, Will Shields, John Tait (who moved from LT to RT).

Priest Holmes rushes 313 times for 1,615 yards and 21 touchdowns.

2003

The Chiefs’ offensive line was unchanged.

Priest Holmes rushes 320 times for 1,420 yards and 27 touchdowns.

2004

The Chiefs’ offensive line undergoes one change, John Welbourn plays RT as opposed to John Tait the two years prior.

Priest Holmes, in only eight games due to injury, rushes 196 times for 892 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Take a look at that data again. Priest Holmes had some incredible years. He led the league in yards in 2001 and was an All-Pro from 2001-2003. After an enormous amount of carries, he just broke down physically and didn’t have the same year in 2004.

Wait…so you’re saying that after a lot of carries he regressed? Even though he had put up monster numbers? And he had an incredible offensive line? WHERE HAVE I HEARD THIS STORY TEN THOUSAND TIMES BEFORE?

Yes, Priest Holmes’ 2003 is similar to DeMarco Murray’s 2014 in that they each carried the ball no less than 320 times. (DeMarco carried the ball 392 times in 2014).

So what? That doesn’t prove anything. What happened the next year?

2005

The Chiefs’ offensive line was unchanged.

Larry Johnson, in his third season, rushes 336 times for 1,750 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Larry Johnson?! Don’t you mean Priest Holmes???

I do not. A new running back by the name of Larry Johnson, with the same offensive line, ran for more yards than Priest Holmes ever did.

Joseph Randle is entering his third season. He will be behind what will either be an unchanged, or improved, offensive line. Get excited.

Tell us what you think about “Is Joseph Randle the New Larry Johnson?” in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

What do you think?

RJ Ochoa

Written by RJ Ochoa

I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll.

@RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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