Dallas Cowboys Are Searching For That Featured RB


Sep 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle (21) rushes against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, I wrote about how the Dallas Cowboys needing a “powerful rb in its offense to be successful. I explained in great detail why that was the case. I talked about the “powerful” running of DeMarco Murray. And what benefits Murray brought to the Cowboys’ offense and defense.

In essence, I explained how a powerful rb is what the Cowboys needs. Not any rb by committee approach. Because a powerful running game wears out a defense over four quarters. Primarily, that is what Murray did for the Cowboys last season. As a powerful runner, he became the focal point for opposing defenses. Which opened up man coverage for Dez Bryant, who just obliterates defensive backs in man coverage. Or just watch Tony Romo play catch with BFF Jason Witten, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley.

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That’s what a powerful rb will do for the Cowboys. However, I was wrong because so many Cowboys’ fans reminded me that a powerful rb isn’t needed for the Cowboys offense to be successful. I was reminded, in so many different ways, that any rb can come in and be successful behind the best offensive line in the NFL. Or that a rb by committee just needs to collectively gain 2300 rushing yards to be productive.

The latter can work, just depends on the rb’s who are playing. But is that possible?

And I love this from Cowboys Nation, “The New England Patriots won the Super Bowl with a rb by committee approach. They didn’t have a powerful rb. So we don’t need one either!”

Yeah, and the Patriots are known for cheating, too. Like multiple times.

What is possible is that the Cowboys find a “Featured” RB to maximize its offense. This is more evident in that the Cowboys brought in Ben Tate, Felix Jones, Daniel Thomas and Ronnie Wingo. That’s not a good sign for the Cowboys to bring in those  players, especially Jones, who didn’t even play last year. And Tate was basically a complement rb to Arian Foster and played for the Steelers in the playoffs after Le’Veon Bell suffered an injury. Neither one of them are starting rb’s.

Maybe rotational backs at best.

The question should be why are the Cowboys bringing in Jones, Tate and two other guys nobody has ever heard of for work outs? That should sound the alarms. And should tell everyone that the Cowboys are looking for someone to duplicate what Murray did last season or come close to it. Or they aren’t satisfied with the quartet of Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden, Ryan Williams and Lance Dunbar. Leave Dunbar out, he’s a third down back.

He will not be the featured back.

If the Cowboys are so content with their own rb’s, why are they working out other rb’s? Why not focus on the four rb’s on the roster? Why not come out and say Randle, McFadden and Williams will compete for the starting rb position? It’s not like they don’t have any tape on these guys. Especially Randle, who averaged 6.7 yards a carry last season.

Or trade for Adrian Peterson and put this argument to rest. Case closed.

The Cowboys recognize what myself and many others have known for a long time is that they need a rb that can produce. Produce in such a way the running game doesn’t skip a beat. It can pick up where it left off from last season. So far the Cowboys are unknown about that possibility.

When it comes to a “featured rb”, he’s normally a 1,200 yard rusher, averages at least 4 yards a carry, scores at least 10 rushing touchdowns, can catch out of the backfield, picks up blitzes, and he’s a perennial All Pro RB.

The Cowboys don’t have that anymore.

And as so many of you reminded me last week, the Cowboys don’t need a “powerful rb” to have a successful season.

They need a “Featured RB” to have a winning season.

Exactly what they are searching for.

Next: Don't Be Fooled, Dallas Cowboys Need A Powerful RB