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With the news that DeMarco Murray has signed a five-year contract with the rival Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys did not wait long to sign a potential replacement, former Raiders running back Darren McFadden.

McFadden was the fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft, entering the league with very high expectations out of Arkansas as a two-time All American, and supposed savior of the running back position. Let’s just say things did not go as planned, as McFadden dealt with a rash of injuries, only eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark once in his career, back in 2010 for the Raiders.

This is a prototypical Jerry Jones hire, who along with McFadden, is an Arkansas Razorback alum. Jones had used a first round pick on Darren’s former backfield mate, Felix Jones, who spent a few un-productive years in Dallas, before eventually falling out of the NFL.

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I certainly would not expect McFadden to return to his college form, or even replace most of DeMarco Murray’s production from last season, but he can become a solid contributor to the Cowboys backfield. With Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar still on the roster, and showing a lot of promise for the Cowboys in 2014, McFadden is not a lock for a lot of touches, if he even makes the team out of training camp (He only received $200,000 in guaranteed money).

If he does impress Cowboys coaches enough to make the roster, he could be a sneaky fantasy play to start 2015. Not expected to be drafted high (still a long way to go til draft time), McFadden will be able to run behind a competant offensive line for the first time in his professional career, something that was severly lacking in Oakland. The Cowboys ran the ball over 50% of the time in 2014, so even if Jason Garrett and the organization employ a running back by committee approach, all three backs could become valuable in many fantasy leagues due to potential production.

Keep an eye on McFadden’s off-season and training camp with the Cowboys organization, as they look to go back to the playoffs for a second consecutive year, something that has not happened in Dallas, since the 1990’s. I believe any running back would be successful behind Dallas’ line-unit, maybe not to the extent of DeMarco breaking Emmitt Smith’s single-season rushing record, but as a team leading the NFL in rushing is not far-fetched.

 

Dan SchalkAnalysisFootballNews and UpdatesNFL#DarrenMcFadden,#DemarcoMurray,#EmmittSmith,#JerryJones,Dallas Cowboys,NFL free agency,Oakland RaidersWith the news that DeMarco Murray has signed a five-year contract with the rival Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys did not wait long to sign a potential replacement, former Raiders running back Darren McFadden. McFadden was the fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft, entering the league with very high expectations out...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?