The Dallas Cowboys trading for Christine Michael of the Seattle Seahawks shows just how little faith they have in Julius Randle and Darren McFadden to step up for the lost yards now that DeMarco Murray is gone.
The Cowboys got Michael, a second round pick in 2013 following an impressive career with Texas A&M, for an undisclosed pick in the 2016 NFL draft, but it can’t be too high. Michael hasn’t been able to do much in two seasons with the Seahawks, playing behind Marshawn Lynch, which means not playing a lot at all.
His numbers don’t tell much. He has 0 rushing touchdowns, 52 carries overall for 252 yards and a 4.9 rushing average. He also has just one receptions for 12 yards. That’s it for Michael, who might be fresher and less worn out than McFadden, but is something of an unknown quantity heading into next season.
The theory suggests that anyone can put up big numbers behind the Dallas offensive line, but DeMarco Murray was good even before the Cowboys slowly added the final pieces of the puzzle (Zack Martin and Travis Frederick). Still, last season’s numbers were hard to ignore, and it seems that Cowboys, and a lot of other people (except the Philadelphia Eagles) decided to give most of the credit for Murray’s numbers to the offensive line.
McFadden hasn’t been good in a number of years, and it’s going to be surprising seeing more than a few good games from him next season. Randle does have speed and an ability to pick up some yards once a hole is presented, but he isn’t the blocker or receiver Murray is. Michael might add something a little bit different into the mix, but are the Cowboys actually going to be using the RB by committee approach, or make this a clear hierarchy, which means someone hardly getting any touches?
The Cowboys kept on looking for running backs during free agency once Murray left, but couldn’t find someone else to add to the Randle-McFadden duo. The addition of Michael seems like a slightly panicky move, even if he’s only there to back players up, suggesting the Cowboys aren’t too confident about how they’ve reacted to losing DeMarco Murray.