Your parents’ Maserati sits in the driveway, just waiting for a spin around the block that will certainly impress the neighbors. However, you must drive the family minivan for a year before even thinking about touching the keys to the Maserati.
This was the faith for Joseph Randle in 2014 and 2015, as he waited behind DeMarco Murray in 2014 while still totaling 343 yards. He embraced the minivan, leading a running back tandem that drove the Cowboys to 12 wins and a place in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.
This offseason, Murray joined Chip Kelly and the dark side, effectively handing the keys to Joseph Randle. The Cowboys did not draft a running back, instead opting to vastly improve their defense in the draft and rely on Randle to duplicate Murray’s success.
As the season approached, they gradually showed less and less trust in Randle – signing now starter Darren McFadden and trading for Christine Michael. A training camp that was dominated by competition now had an all out war in the backfield.
Credit Randle, who won this war and opened the season against the Giants with 16 carries. His best performance of the season came in the team’s first loss when he went for three first-half touchdowns against the Falcons in week 3.
He followed up that performance in New Orleans the following week with a controversial touchdown, as he jumped over the top and risked fumbling the ball at the goal line. His response to the criticism on the sideline – “six points”.
With off the field issues boiling up once again, this fear became a nightmare – concluding in the release of Joseph Randle just eight games into the season, a turn nobody saw coming, effectively ending #TeamRandle.
It was the equivalent of taking the Maserati just to lose track of everything around you and run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. The Dallas offensive line had been playing much better in the previous two weeks, and Randle saw just 2 carries in this time due to his injury and other issues.
Darren McFadden will be next in line to receive the keys, but his injury history is concerning for that of a lead back. This could mean Christine Michael finally gets a significant workload, something I have been advocating for from the start.