Why RB Darren McFadden's Health Matters To The Cowboys ⋆
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Why RB Darren McFadden’s Health Matters To The Cowboys

Cowboys Blog - Darren McFadden, 2015 Bright Spots

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Why RB Darren McFadden’s Health Matters To The Cowboys

Why RB Darren McFadden’s Health Matters To The Cowboys

It’s been a tough calendar year for Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden.

After his employer signed and drafted players at his position in 2016, McFadden then broke his elbow over Memorial Day Weekend. After missing most of the 2016 regular season, McFadden went into this offseason expecting a quiet few months off.

Instead, it was reported that some of his own family members had been injured in a night club shooting in Little Rock, Arkansas.

So, yes, McFadden has had a rough go-of-it personally lately, but I am of the opinion he is about to have an impressive professional season.

Of course, former first round pick and the league’s leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott will be handling the bulk of the workload in 2017, with McFadden most likely working as the backup running back. Cowboys Headlines - Will Darren McFadden's Injury Cost Him His Job? 1

Still, there is hope for McFadden this season, and I do think he will have opportunities to contribute in a big way.

In 2016, the Cowboys sat Elliott on just about every third offensive possession of the game. He also rarely saw a heavy amount of touches in the second quarter, with Lance Dunbar and Alfred Morris carrying the load during those stretches.

The idea was to keep Elliott fresh for the fourth quarter, when Zeke would be relied on to ice the game with his legs. Though a solid idea in theory, the drop off between Elliott and Alfred Morris was too steep to hide.

However, once Darren McFadden returned from injury for the final quarter of the 2016 season, that drop off became a little less steep. In fact, there was a clear difference in the effectiveness of using McFadden instead of Morris as the back to spill Elliott.

The difference between the two was so clear that Morris was a healthy scratch for the team’s divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. McFadden didn’t see a single carry in the game, as Elliott was relied on in the do-or-die situation, but this will be different in a regular season setting.

It made sense for the Cowboys to draft Ezekiel Elliott, and it made sense to give Alfred Morris a chance to compete for the RB2 job.

But with the team’s 2015 1,000 yard rusher back and healthy, the Cowboys should be ready for McFadden to contribute as that backup running back in 2017.

Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

  • Brian Martin

    I’m personally a little concerned about the Cowboys RB situation. Elliott could possibly be looking at some kind of suspension the season, which would leave McFadden as the lead RB. McFadden isn’t the best fit in the Cowboys blocking scheme and his injury history is always a concern.

    I wonder if Alfred Morris will be kept around for that reason. He is much better suited to be a lead back and ground and pound opposing defenses. That’s kind of his strong suit as an RB, wearing down defenses.

    Hopefully though nothing happens to Elliott and the Cowboys have him for an entire season once again shouldering the load.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

      I like DMC better as the lead back if Elliott is unavailable. On paper he doesn’t fit the mold, but in games he’s repeatedly shown that he can perform in our system. Alf has shown the opposite.

  • Randy Martin

    I’m sorry but study the link attached. McFadden was not that impressive in limited work when he came back in December. Quietly concerning. Morris’ numbers were even worse.


  • Don

    I’m sorry but this drawn out crap about Zeke possibly being disciplined by the league is just that…CRAP…and that’s putting it nicely. How long and why would this go on this long when the law has nothing on him and the league has nothing to go on.. ? Move on or do something. I will take D.Mac over Morris any day and he can contribute on special teams as well if needed.

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