The Dallas Cowboys finished 8-8 last year just missing the playoffs by the slimmest of margins but to Cowboys fans that’s not acceptable. Jerry Jones entered the off-season eager to make changes & improve his team from top to bottom. Without getting into all of what Jerry did in the off-season its clear to me that this team is going in a younger direction, switching to the 4-3 in my opinion was a smart move & I believe that will pay off in the long run. However, one of the biggest problems the Cowboys faced in 2012 was running the football.
The Dallas Cowboys ranked 31st in rushing last year, I don’t have to tell you how horrible that is, these are numbers they have to improve on if they plan on making the playoffs in 2013. Although the Cowboys have had their list of star quarterbacks over the years, the running game has always been a big part of the success in Dallas. In recent years not so much but I have a feeling that’s going to change in 2013.
The Cowboys still have Demarco Murray listed as the starting running back on this team but I don’t see him holding onto that job throughout the season. Murray has proven to be exactly what he was in college, a back that is capable of carrying a team if he can stay healthy. The key to that sentence being the “if”, Murray hasn’t played a full season yet & in my opinion is what we thought he was. There’s no doubt in my mind that Murray still has value to the Cowboys but why invest in a back that has proven he can’t stay healthy? I say don’t & maybe Jerry Jones agrees with me.
In the 2013 NFL Draft, The Dallas Cowboys selected Joseph Randle, running back from Oklahoma State, in the 5th round with the 151st overall pick. Randle in my opinion doesn’t just have a chance to make the team but could potentially be the starting running back half way into the season. Randle is a hard nose running back with some serious speed once he gets to the next level & has a burst like no other. Joseph Randle ran for over 1,400 yards & 17 touchdowns in 2012, doing so in a pass happy offense at Oklahoma State. That tells me two things, one he can succeed when he’s not the main focus of the offense & he excels in pass protection.
Joseph Randle is a guy that runs really well in between the tackles & finishes runs. Watching Joseph Randle on tape I noticed he’s incredibly quick at the point of attack & hits the hole harder than any back currently on the Cowboys roster. Randle’s ability to affect the game as a receiver will be huge also, giving quarterback Tony Romo a viable option out of the backfield when plays break down. I don’t like to wish bad on any player but I believe Murray’s days are numbers as the lead dog in Dallas. Joseph Randle in my opinion has a higher ceiling & without the durability issues is a prime candidate to take Murray’s spot as lead back for the Cowboys. His ability to pass block & be a threat in the passing game will make Randle an every down back for the Cowboys & in my opinion they got themselves a steal in the 5th round.
Corey Carmona follow me on twitter @SportsJunkyy