The Dallas Cowboys running back situation has taken on a life of its own since losing DeMarco Murray. Everyone is well aware the Cowboys have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, so the thought has been that any back can rack up yards in the system. The whole situation has been a mess for fantasy football owners trying to fill roster spots for this season.
Naturally, a team that wants to run the ball behind one of the best o-lines you’ll fine makes you wonder: will there be a running back you can trust? Unless the Cowboys really do go full-blown committee approach, fantasy owners will have to pick between the always injured DarreN McFadden or the unproven Joseph Randle.
Darren McFadden has one of the most prolific injury histories for a running back in recent memory. McFadden has one 1,000 yard rushing season in his career coming in 2010 while appearing in only 13 games. McFadden has never been short on talent, a once very powerful explosive back will try to extend his career in Dallas, but has been dealing with hamstring issues and yet to get on the practice field. McFadden hopes to be on the field for practice Saturday.
Joseph Randle has shown flashes in his short NFL career that he can carry the bulk of the carries this season in Dallas. However, the pressure will mount on Randle to become the guy in the backfield as the Cowboys have Super Bowl aspirations entering the year. Randle is coming off an 343 yard season on 51 carries and 3 touchdowns. That’s a gaudy 6.7 yards per carry average for those keeping score at home.
I am very skeptical on this running back situation in Dallas. I am leaning towards Randle getting the majority of carries, especially on the early downs. If McFadden can’t find a way to get healthy and get going early on this season, it appears Lance Dunbar is ready to emerge as a spell back with solid pass catching abilities.
I am on the fence with drafting Randle this year, as his average draft position of 45 is pretty steep considering how no one can be sure how this will shake out. I am avoiding McFadden all together, but will continue to monitor the situation as the preseason goes along. I would recommend waiting out Randle on draft day, and avoiding McFadden until we get some clarity on how he is looking in team drills.
Final verdict: I would take Randle over McFadden but not at the price tag of Randle right now. If you get into the fifth or the sixth, which I would prefer, Randle makes for a better addition to your team than taking him in the fourth round. McFadden is looking like a really late draft pick or waiver wire add this season.
*Photo credit – KT King via Flickr