Running Back. Running Back. Running Back. Even after the addition of Christine Michael, the position continues to be the major talking point surrounding the team. Yet, it is slightly presumptuous to say that Michael could be the starter.
While Robinson makes a great point in that Michael is a runner who remains rather fresh, I personally feel a healthy Darren McFadden would provide the most at Running Back the next two seasons, provided he stays healthy.
Looking at the limited reps he received in Training Camp and Preseason action, his traits jump off at you. He still has the talent that scouts fell in love with.
He has more explosion than Lance Dunbar, is a better blocker than Joseph Randle, and has better vision than Michael. When listening to him speak, he also seems to really “get it.” Which is a very important aspect when evaluating talent for this team. He also has a lot to prove to the NFL regarding being injury prone.
If Run DMC can stay healthy, he gives the team the most complete back and can be an impact player. Not to discredit Michael or his possible production, I just would hesitate to believe he will be the featured runner on this team barring injury. At least this season anyway.
Michael can immediately step in and be the hammer for this team and grind out short yardage, which could really wear down opposing defenses; which in turn would allow McFadden and Randle to take the bulk of the carries. I expect Dunbar to see the majority of time on offense as an additional Slot Receiver and certain third down situations when you want to get him the ball, perhaps with a Screen or Draw play.
It’s still up in the air when Michael will be able to crack the game day active list, but if he’s able to do that by week 2 then I feel that says a lot about his work ethic and how willing he is to do what this Coaching Staff asks of him.
His addition was a very low-risk situation for the Cowboys, similar to the Rolando McClain move, which did help out the defense last season.
How will McFadden and Michael fair this season?
That is a great question and the answers will start to come this weekend. Gary Brown has a lot of raw talent to work with and hopefully, he will harness it all to provide another great rushing attack.