Announcing a starting running back isn’t usually the big news a starting quarterback announcement is, but it’s still fairly interesting to see who comes out on top in the positional battle between Julius Randle and Darren McFadden for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys are trying to go in a different route after DeMarco Murray had an All-Pro season in 2014, with the help of the best run blocking offensive line in the league. This season we’ll probably learn how much it was about Murray’s skills, and how much it had to do with the massive wall blocking for him.
Both McFadden and Randle aren’t 100%, and both of them have played just once in the preseason. Randle looked good despite his strained oblique in the loss to the San Francisco 49ers, rushing for 30 yards on 7 carries, although he was the one coming in off the bench.
McFadden, playing for the first time after a while of being out due to a hamstring injury, got just 4 yards on three carries, and didn’t show anything to go on in that short performance. Despite missing a lot of practice time, McFadden doesn’t feel like he’s behind the rest, including his competition.
For me, I don’t feel like I’m behind at all. It’s one of those things that you have to get your reps and get your feet back under you. I feel like these last couple weeks I’ve been doing that.
Randle, a fifth round pick in 2013 entering his third season with the Cowboys, doesn’t offer anything new or too revealing about what’s going on between the two players.
We had to wait until everyone got healthy so that we can compete for the job. It’s still a competition. We’ll keep grinding every day.
There’s always the option of signing someone in the free agency market, but the choices out there aren’t very enticing.