Darren McFadden Impressed vs Rams, But

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Darren McFadden impressed Cowboys owner and general manager, Jerry Jones, in one on one drills during the joint practice with the Rams on Tuesday. But…

darren mcfadden

We all know Darren McFadden is an athletic freak of nature with blazing 4.33 speed, but the Cowboys front office needs to decide if they wanted an every down back or a receiver out of the backfield.

Darren McFadden dominated one-on-one pass drills, impressing owner/general manager Jerry Jones,

“McFadden hit that thing for the first time up in there and showed some real stuff, and he sure showed some real burst in a couple of drills where they weren’t just full tackling,” Jones raved Tuesday morning. “Boy, if we can keep him out there, he’ll tear their you know what up.”

Darren McFadden was drafted fourth overall in the 2008 NFL draft after showing elite athletic ability and blazing speed at the scouting combine. Al Davis, much like Jerry Jones, tended to get enamored by athletic ability and speed. That’s all well and good if it translates to the field at the NFL level.

Since Darren McFadden was drafted in 2008, he has only started 64 of a possible 112 games. He has only had “ONE” SEASON with over 1,000 yards rushing.

If you think that’s bad for the fourth overall pick: Check this out. I recently made a case for the Cowboys to sign Benjarvus Green-Ellis to add some veteran depth in the event Darren McFadden can’t stay healthy. (if history is a true indicator he can’t.) You can read it by clicking here. Lets see how they compare.

Over the last three years, Darren McFadden only had one season over 600 yards; 707 in 2012. He had a measly 379 in 2013 and 534 in 2014 for an average of 3.3 yards per carry. It gets worse.

Over the last seven years, Darren McFadden only amassed nine rushing TDs and one receiving. He fumbled the rock 17 times! Is this what you would expect from the fourth overall pick? Lord have mercy.

Benjarvus Green-Ellis carried the Rock 1,008 times for 3,914 yards (3.9 yards per carry), 42 touchdowns, and only fumbled the rock five times. McFadden only had 2 more rushing TDs in his entire career than The Law Firm averaged per season as a situational back. Let’s be real Cowboys Nation. How many times prior to last season did the Cowboys have a 1st and goal, then end up settling for 3 because they couldn’t punch it in? DeMarco Murray had more TDs last year than McFadden had in his entire career. The great Emmitt Smith averaged around 20 per season when the Cowboys were winning championships.

let’s not forget, the Cowboys went 6-10, 8-8, 8-8 and 8-8 before the emergence of the running game last year when they were one catch away from the NFC championship game! Taking all of this in to consideration: Who would you rather hand the ball to on 3rd and short, or 3rd and goal? The Law Firm, or Darren McFadden? It’s not rocket science, that’s for damn sure.

Jerry let the NFLs leading rusher run off to Philly and has all of his eggs in one basket. He can get excited about drills if he wants to. All I care about is real games. The window is closing for Romo and Witten. The time to win is now.

NFL history has taught us that a culture change or a better situation, can be all it takes for a player to become what he was expected to be. As a fan of the Cowboys, I hope to God that is the case with Darren McFadden. As an analyst I have to be objective. What are the odds? In the world of professional sports, there has to be a plan B. We have no way of knowing if Randle is durable enough to carry the load if McFadden lives up to his reputation. Dunbar is in no way an every down back. You can’t put Romo and Witten back in the same situation they have been in for over a decade. Jerry Jones needs to pull his head out of his you know what and make sure there is a plan B.

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  • BigDIndiana

    Been waiting to see your take on the backs and about what I thought it would be. I think they can do OK with this line IF…..IF they can stay healthy. My confidence level on that is 50/50 on a good day. Really curious to see what McFadden does behind something besides the Raiders line and with actual other weapons on the team. As a lifelong fan I want root for the guy. I would use the belicheat method of splitting carries, no way would I give any of them close to what DM did last year as far as carries. Maybe 60/30/10 DM, JR, LD They seem content to go with what they got. Cross your fingers 🙂

    • I think if Randle has the durability he could be better than murray

      • BigDIndiana

        He hits the holes in the zone scheme faster than murray did. Not all backs do well in zone runs but Randle seems to have no problem at all. JJ talks like McFlab (like that) is his pet cat. That might tell your starter. How about you get an over/under on the site how long it takes McFlab to get his next soft tissue injury? 🙂

        • Lol he was hurt twice before he got in pads and missed almost half his career games
          the true test in a zone is the quickness to get to edge on stretch plays, make the one cut, shift gears and have the burst to get up the field. Unless Clutts can step up, we don’t have anyone to get the tough yards. I don’t ser Randle moving a pile.McFlab would break lol

  • Great job. I don’t trust mcflab either

  • Don Godwin

    I would be curious to see how the o-lines of the Raiders and Bengals graded out (PFF etc.) during those years. But however that works out, I know this… what Murray ran behind was a lot better than whatever fronted for McFadden

    • That’s a valid argument, but the fact remains, Barry Sanders never had a line. The biggest issue is, McFadden could never stay healthy.

      • Don Godwin

        I see your point, but I KNOW you’re not downplaying the role of the offensive line. Barry’s success was an anomaly, just unimaginable talent. And everybody makes a lot of McFadden’s tendency toward injury, but Murray only managed one mostly-healthy (and glorious!) season with us.

        • I preached OL for the Cowboys for yrs. not downplaying it. I was never a big murray fan. My thought is, Jerry should have drafted a RB. If Randle has the durability, he will be better than Murray.