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Sunday, August 30, 2015, 12:24am
Darren McFadden didn't start -- those duties went to Joseph Randle, who finished the night with six carries for 15 yards -- but he did have the best carry of the night.
Deep in Vikings territory, McFadden took a stretch handoff to the left side and made two explosive cuts that extended the play, giving Dallas a first-and-goal situation inside the Minnesota 10. The carry spawned a thousand Vines wondering if McFadden is finally back. It beat his previous best on the night, a 13-yard carry with 13:59 to go in the second.
"I think that what you saw was vintage McFadden," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said after the game, per the Dallas Morning News. "You saw that acceleration. You saw his abilities."
The question with McFadden will always be health. There is no doubt that plays like these are still in his arsenal, but with a body that has betrayed him so many times, is it something that can be counted on?
While Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett won't go that far, he'll agree that it was a step in the right direction; a step away from uncertainty.
We're expecting Randle to be the lead back, but he didn't help his cause with just 15 yards on six carries. The Cowboys will use a committee to a certain extent, and McFadden's health is not to be trusted. but if he's healthy and active on game day, it may be difficult to trust Randle, either.
Posted by Chris Kucharski
Monday, August 24, 2015 - 9:05pm
2015 represents a new chapter for Darren McFadden as his time in Oakland was mostly a disappointment. There is no doubt that McFadden can play. He has shown great physical skills and could be an every-down back in the league if he can avoid injuries and repeat his performance from 2010. Dallas will run the football behind one of the best offensive lines in football, so there will be opportunities.
There are several reasons McFadden has not reached his potential. Staying on the field has been a problem. He has also been inconsistent and has seen backs on his own team outperform him. He is currently second on the Cowboys depth chart, so he is probably going to have to count on Joseph Randle under-performing or getting injury in order to become the every-down back.
McFadden is getting a second chance. Will he get the opportunity to succeed? That is the big question. For now, he will have to wait his turn and there is a good chance he will only be a backup. His ADP is 116, so he isn't more than a late-round flier as a handcuff for Randle right now. If you want McFadden, don't overreach. It won't be worth it.
2015 Strength of Schedule - DAL
Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.
2014 Game Stats