One of the least talked about players this offseason could be one of the most important this upcoming season. Lance Dunbar is coming off left knee surgery and has said he thinks he might be faster than he was last year. The ill-fated November game last year ended his season as he was having a great game of 12 carries for 82 yards. Getting Dunbar healthy could be a huge key for the success of the offense this season.
Now that Scott Linehan is the offensive play caller one could assume that he will use the Dallas Cowboys RBs as Detroit used them. Getting the ball to them in space on screens and pitches was vital to the Lions offensive success. Dunbar has pretty good hands, and once he is in space is shifty enough to make people miss and has enough speed to break a large gain. As a backup RB Dunbar has the ability to pound the ball, but also open up the passing game.
While it will be difficult to get him the ball in such a weapon packed offense, using him as a check down or as yet another choose your poison type weapon gives the offense the ability to open the field up more and allow for more mismatches. With Dunbar and even Murray coming out of the backfield as a receiver it will force either the LB, S, or a CB to cover them. This should allow less double coverage for Bryant and Williams. Using both at the same time will allow the offense to move players around a little more and open up more lanes for Witten or Escobar.
Getting Lance Dunbar back and healthy is also important because if Murray can’t go, Dunbar has proven he can fill the shoes pretty well. While there has been issues of the coaching staff to call run plays, using them in screens or pitches would help ease some of the criticism of the play calling.
This offense is geared to put up points and Dunbar will add another dimension that many defenses haven’t seen out of the Cowboys offense. Add in if J.C. Copeland makes the team, the Dallas Cowboys really could even out the play calling more as a running team which will play into opening up the field for Romo and Co. Anyway you look at it, Lance Dunbar is an important piece to this team and keeping an eye on him this offseason could show how they plan on using him and his skills. Now if only Jason Garrett would call more run plays this could work perfectly.