The Dallas Cowboys are going to have to make a decision about what to do with Darren McFadden now that he is able to return to the team after missing the first six weeks on the Non-Football Injury list.
Due to the depth at the running back position for the Cowboys and the way that Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris have been performing, it doesn't look as if there is any room on the roster for McFadden.
The only scenario that I see the Cowboys keeping McFadden around is if they decide to move on from Lance Dunbar because of his reoccurring injuries. McFadden could be that 3rd down back and still provide insurance if anything were to happen to Elliott or Morris.
I however think the Cowboys would be wise to see what McFadden's trade value is since he is entering last year of his contract. That way they would receive some kind of compensation instead of letting his contract expire and McFadden would receive the opportunity to play more.
I think there will be plenty of teams interested in a player that finished 4th in the NFL in rushing just last season. Below are a few of the teams I could see showing an interest in trading for McFadden.
Darren McFadden back to the team that drafted him 4th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft?
The Oakland Raiders look like a playoff team and have been pretty impressive on offense and defense, with maybe the exception of their rushing attack.
Right now, Latavius Murray is banged up and hasn't been all that impressive even when he was healthy. That leaves the Raiders with two rookie RBs handling the workload.
They are currently ranked 13th in the NFL in rushing averaging 110 yards a game, but McFadden might just be the missing piece to make them a dangerous playoff contender.
Personally, I would love to see this happen. It would just be a great storyline for McFadden to return to the Raiders and lead them to a playoff berth.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers have recently been hit pretty hard by the injury bug at the running back position. Eddie Lacy was just recently placed on injured reserve and James Starks had knee surgery just a few weeks ago.
They just added Don Johnson to the active roster after being on their practice squad and also traded with the Kansas City Chiefs for Knile Davis. But, neither are likely to be as productive as Darren McFadden would at running back.
The Packers are currently ranked 16th in the NFL in rushing with 105.2 yards per game, so thinking Johnson or Davis is going to improve things might be a long shot, McFadden might though. He might be the spark the Packers struggling offense needs.
Despite being the only unbeaten team in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings rank dead last in rushing in the NFL with a measly 70.6 rushing yards per game.
Darren McFadden would probably be an upgrade over what they currently have on the roster, but I don't know if the Dallas Cowboys would want to make this trade considering they still have to play the Vikings Week 13.
I think it would all depend on what the Vikings are offering as compensation.
The Seattle Seahawks have been known as a running team the past several years with Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, but with his retirement the team is ranked 25th in the NFL averaging just 88.8 rushing yards per game.
Darren McFadden would probably be an upgrade over Christine Michael and would likely increase the Seahawks chances of making the playoffs.
Improving the running game would take a lot of pressure off of Russell Wilson and help the entire offense.
Much like the Green Bay Packers, the Detroit Lions are dealing with injuries to their top two running backs. They are so desperate for help at the position that they recently brought in Justin Forsett to help.
The Lions are currently 26th in the NFL in rushing, averaging 88.7 yards per game. To say that Darren McFadden would be an upgrade in their backfield would be an understatement.
Again, I don't know if the Dallas Cowboys would want to make this trade since they still have to play the Lions Week 16 this season. It would all come down to what the Cowboys were offered as compensation.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are averaging 88.6 rushing yards per game and are currently ranked 27th in the NFL.
I don't really know if they would be in the market to trade for any player, especially considering the fact that they are one of the worst teams in the league. But, Darren McFadden could immediately step in and improve their rushing attack.
The Buccaneers may prefer to just wait and draft a running back after the season, but you never know what team might be interested in a proven veteran RB.
The Miami Dolphins tried to add veteran experience to the running back position during the off-season when they added Arian Foster, but reoccurring injuries continue to give him problems.
Like the Buccaneers, the Dolphins might not be in the market to trade for a RB since they are longshot to make the playoffs.
If the Dolphins do show interest in McFadden it would be to help QB Ryan Tannehill this year and add some veteran experience they thought they would get from Foster to the running back position.
In all honesty, if anyone wants to trade for Darren McFadden it will probably be a team looking to make the playoffs this year. So, that would leave the Raiders, Packers, Vikings, and possibly the Seahawks as the teams that might show the most interest.
What team do you think would be interested in trading for Darren McFadden?
Use the comment section below to voice your opinion about the possibility of Darren McFadden being traded and where he might end up.
Despite Late Push as Rookie, Will Taco Charlton Struggle to See Field in 2018?
It feels like ages ago that the Dallas Cowboys spent the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on Michigan Defensive End Taco Charlton. Perhaps this is a result of the constant distancing fans have made from this unpopular pick, or the corresponding moves the Cowboys have made at DE since drafting Charlton.
These moves include using the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence after seeing him explode for 14.5 sacks, spending a fourth round pick this year on Kansas' Dorance Armstrong, and seeing Randy Gregory reinstated in time for training camp.
Across the entirety of the Cowboys roster, there will be plenty of "odd men out" that miss the cut down to 53 players. Defensive end remains one of the most cluttered spots on the current 90 man roster however.
Prior to establishing the depth the Cowboys now have up front on defense, they did Taco no favors by starting his career at right defensive end. While Gregory may still be a long way from earning the starting role here, similarly styled players like Armstrong have the edge here over Charlton.
This relegates Charlton to the strong side, where he always projected best out of college. By the time the Cowboys realized this a season ago, they also knew a franchise pass rusher was playing his way into the team's long-term plans.
Lawrence's stellar consistency off the edge reduced Charlton's role in the Cowboys rotation of pass rushers. An ideal spot for the rookie to develop with less pressure on him, Charlton's opportunities to continue playing left end may only be reduced this season.
The first-round pick is capable of kicking inside at defensive tackle, a position the Cowboys could certainly use help at. However, asking Charlton to go through another position shift would only halt the progress that took quite a bit of patience from Dallas to see.
It's far from unheard of for the Cowboys to do this with their young players, but for now Charlton remains a defensive end looking to make his impact. The Cowboys are in much better position now than they were at this time a year ago when it comes to setting expectations for him to do so.
Given everything he showed on tape at Michigan as well as in his pre-draft interviews, Charlton is a player that needs to succeed at the task at hand. When this plan is altered, the 6'6" pass rusher is much less effective -- without even considering any athletic struggles that Charlton has compared to other prototypes at defensive end.
As a unit, the Cowboys defensive line has all the pieces to be very effective this season. Taco Charlton is a piece to this puzzle, a backup left end that must find a way to flourish in this role.
For most former 28th overall picks, doing so would be considered a fall from grace. For the Cowboys, it's simply an example of strong roster building that's forced life to come at Charlton quickly. How he responds with a full season under his belt will make or break the hype this deep Cowboys defensive line has garnered, lead of course by the starter at Charlton's position in DeMarcus Lawrence.
Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp
The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.
From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.
Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.
Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.
They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.
Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:
Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract
DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.
According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.
DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million
This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.
Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.
This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.
Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.
There is risk on both sides, of course.
Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.
Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.
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