Dallas Cowboys’ Starting RB Spot Is Up For Grabs

Who is the starting running back for the Dallas Cowboys? Will it be Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden or Lance Dunbar? Who will step into the large hole left by the departed DeMarco Murray? According to ESPN, tonight’s preseason game versus the San Francisco 49ers may determine the winner of the Cowboys’ starting running back’s job.

Neither player participated in the Cowboys first preseason game, so sorting out a winner has come from which player has impressed the coaching staff during training camp. Since neither player has done anything to distinguish themselves throughout their respective NFL tenures, there is not a clear-cut winner at this point.


Of the three players who are competing for the role, only Darren McFadden has been a full-time starting running back. That was when he played for the Oakland Raiders for seven seasons. McFadden has only topped the 1,000-yard mark once in a career that has seen its share of injuries. A career rushing average of 4.1 yards per carry looks great on paper, but then you take a look at the number of carries McFadden has in seven seasons and come up with why, he has been a disappointment so far.

Darren McFadden has a chance at a do-over in Dallas for a Cowboys’ offensive line that is rated one of the best in the NFL. The Cowboys have bullies protecting quarterback Tony Romo, making huge holes for the running backs in the process. McFadden is not used to rushing behind an offensive line that is this stout. Winning the Cowboys’ starting running back competition could revitalize his career, one carry at a time. Darren McFadden is the most notable name of the group, but is he the best RB?

While Darren McFadden was a disappointment on the field, Joseph Randle became a disappointment off of it. The former backup to DeMarco Murray made more headlines for his off-the-field running than anything he has ever done in the NFL.

In February, KAKE reported that Randle was arrested in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas, after pointing at his ex-girlfriend’s car and broke the window out with his fist. During an argument with Randle, the woman told her friend to take her child away. Randle became furious afterwards, leading up to the eventual arrest. That was his second arrest during his stint with the Cowboys. Joseph Randle was arrested in San Francisco for shoplifting last fall. According to the Dallas Morning News, he agreed on a deal that will defer any adjudication until a later time. He must stay out of trouble for 180 days or receive some form of penalization.

Joseph Randle has talent, but can he be trusted to stay on the straight and narrow long enough to help the Cowboys with their Super Bowl dreams? He also is suffering from an oblique injury, which has cost him important time on the practice field.


As for Lance Dunbar, he is the dark horse of the Cowboys’ running back challenge. He has gone virtually unused in his three seasons with Dallas. That does not dismiss his chances at competing for the job, it enhances his opportunity to take the reigns because he is the freshest of the Cowboys trio of running backs.

Whoever wins the Cowboys job must understand that they are a few mistakes away from being replaced. The Dallas Cowboys have desires on advancing further into the NFL Playoffs, and they cannot allow ineffectiveness at the running back’s position.

[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images Sport]