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Jerry Jones: Cowboys Will Activate RB Darren McFadden from NFI

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Jerry Jones: Cowboys Will Activate RB Darren McFadden

The 2016 Dallas Cowboys rushing attack - spearheaded by rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott - has been nothing short of dominant. Elliott has been so good, that he's made veteran Darren McFadden a forgotten man following his pre-training camp elbow injury, although McFadden was fourth in the league in rushing for the Cowboys in 2015.

Now, Jerry Jones expects his fellow Arkansas Razorback in McFadden to once again find the active roster - coming off of NFI sometime this week. When he does, McFadden will have a 21-day window to practice with the team before a decision has to be made on his return to the field or movement to the injured reserve list.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said the Cowboys will activate Darren McFadden from then... https://t.co/EEPeMyE3vT

The Cowboys will also have the same decision to make by Tuesday for TE James Hanna and LB Jaylon Smith.

In McFadden's absence, first-year Cowboy Alfred Morris has served as Elliott's backup - seeing a decrease in his workload as Elliott has greatly distanced the gap between himself and this former-Redskin. Now, McFadden may get a chance to compete for reps with Morris, a competition Cowboys Nation expected to see in training camp.

Zeke Elliott leads the league in rushing for the first-place Dallas Cowboys. The 4-12 Cowboys from a year ago also had a pretty good runner, and he's about to be back on the field with Elliott.

Run. The. Rock.

Do you expect Darren McFadden to find a role in this Cowboys offense? Let us know! Use the comment section below to discuss this topic!

Tell us what you think about "Jerry Jones: Cowboys Will Activate RB Darren McFadden from NFI" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Mg9

    November 20, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I personally would like to see McFadden instead of Lance Dunbar

    • Sean Martin

      Sean Martin

      November 20, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      McFadden can certainly do most of the key things that Dunbar is, and do so consistently and reliably based on 2015. Dunbar is more of an all-around weapon, but DMC can run between the tackles, catch, and pass protect. Thank you for reading and responding!

  2. Matt

    November 20, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I think McFadden should be given a chance to earn a small role, given what he did last year on only 8 or 9 starts on a paltry offense. I
    The role I would like to see is 7-10 carries and some 3rd down back sets along with some kick returning. He should replace Dunbar who has done nothing. Keep Morris’ role the same, need to start decreasing Zekes load and be fresh for the playoffs.

    • Sean Martin

      Sean Martin

      November 20, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Matt, I think the most important thing you said here is decrease Zeke’s carries. I’m not so sure that I want to see McFadden returning kicks (the talk during training camp was that he would be gone by this point because of his lack of special teams contributions), but if he can either split carries on the series that Morris normally gets – or earn a full series for himself each game – he would certainly be valuable.

  3. Dsvid Kight

    November 21, 2016 at 6:24 am

    He should be given a chance to return. Dallas needs all the help they can get. Just like in the jimmy johnson era, jimmy had alot of weapons on the side lines. And that is how he won back to super bowls.

    • Sean Martin

      Sean Martin

      November 21, 2016 at 8:58 am

      I agree, happy that he’s getting this chance.

  4. Tommy (@TommyVictorySec)

    November 21, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    TMac is just an insurance move. no way they try to move DJackson to PS, another team will snatch him.

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Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

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Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!


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DeMarcus Lawrence Named Top Free Agent Of The 2019 Class

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Much has been made about the Dallas Cowboys 2019 free agent class. Dallas has a ton of cap space moving forward, but they are going to "have" to pay many of the key players on their roster over the next two offseasons in order to keep their young core together.

Of course, when you're drafting, that's the goal. To draft so well that when your own players become free agents, you go ahead and pay them to keep them around, rather than overpay on the free agent market for external players.

One of the major pieces the Cowboys will have to retain this offseason is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. And while Cowboys Nation often thinks of Lawrence as underrated around the league, the NFL has caught onto his importance as he enters free agency this Spring.

ESPN.com ranked their top 10 free agents for 2019, with DeMarcus Lawrence clocking in at number one, over elite players like Jadeveon Clowney and Le'Veon Bell.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

ESPN's top 10 free agents for 2019 and what Le'Veon Bell should be looking to command based on previous measures. https://t.co/aJ7H1n001t

DeMarcus Lawrence is going to command big time money, likely even Khalil Mack-type money. But the fact of the matter is that he has earned it. Lawrence has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line the last two seasons, and the most consistent edge player on the team as well.

Not only has he been an effective pass rusher, but DeMarcus Lawrence also plays with a relentless motor against the run that can sometimes be rare to find in those premier pass rushers. He really is a jack of all trades at defensive end, and should be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason.

Thankfully, I can't imagine the Cowboys not retaining DeMarcus Lawrence and extending him in the coming months.


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When it Mattered Most, Cowboys Offensive Line Protected Dak Prescott

John Williams

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All-22 Notes: Connor Williams Stands Out in Wild Card Win

Throughout the 2018 NFL season, one of the major story lines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys was how frequently Dak Prescott was taking sacks. It's an area that the Cowboys will have to look at in the offseason to better protect their franchise quarterback moving forward. In the playoffs, however, Dak Prescott and the offensive line were much better at keeping their prized possession upright than they were in the regular season.

In the regular season, Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times for an average of 3.5 times a game. There was only one game where he wasn't sacked at all, way back in week two against the New York Giants. Four times this season, the Cowboys' quarterback was sacked five or more times. The New Orleans Saints got him for a season high seven times.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dak was "kept clean" -- not pressured -- on 63% of his drop backs during the regular season, which ranked 25th in the NFL. When kept clean, Prescott completed 74.1% of his passes, which was good for 5th in the NFL during the regular season. He was under pressure 37% of the time, which was the sixth highest rate in the NFL and his completion percentage dropped to 52.6%, still good for 10th in the NFL. It was better than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Baker Mayfield.

During the playoffs, Prescott's "kept clean" percentage rose from 63% to 68% and he was only sacked once in each game. The one sack against the Los Angeles Rams probably shouldn't have been called a sack as the referee blew the whistle because Prescott was "in the grasp"...

...of his offensive lineman.

During the playoffs, the Cowboys offensive line kept the pressure off of Prescott at a better rate, allowing him to be pressured on only 31.9% of his drop backs. Meaning he was kept clean at an improved rate from the regular season at 68.1% of his drop backs. This while playing against two teams that are really good at rushing the passer. The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both finished in the top half of the league in sacks this season and feature players like Aaron Donald, Jarran Reed, and Frank Clark who all had double-digit sacks.

As we know, pressure rates and sacks aren't all completely on the offensive line. The quarterback, wide receivers, and the play calling all factor in, but the Cowboys are trending in the right direction with their pass protection. A full offseason for Connor Williams in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program, better health for Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and -- fingers crossed -- Travis Frederick, should all help the offensive line play at a higher level heading into the 2019 season.

It can't be overstated how important it will be to get Travis Frederick back into the fold this season. Joe Looney was good, and that might be overstating it a bit. He was not noticeable on most plays during the season, but getting your All-Pro center back will tremendously help the offense in every facet of the game. Frederick's one of the smarter players in the NFL, who helps everyone on the offense to see the blitzes and calls out the protections. Both his mental and physical ability will be a welcomed site when the Cowboys begin practicing in the offseason.

With another year of growth for the quarterback and for the young pieces along the offensive line, and with a full offseason for Dak Prescott to grow with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin, the Cowboys should be better next season at keeping the quarterback clean.


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