Cowboys Extra: Spotlight on Redskins RB Alfred Morris

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Height: 5-10 Weight: 218

Season: 2nd College: Florida Atlantic

Strengths: Morris has been productive at every level, rushing for 1,049 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior at Pensacola (Fla.) Pine Forest, 1,186 yads and nine touchdowns his senior season at Florida Atlantic and 1,613 yards as a rookie with the Redskins a year ago. Morris is not easily brought down. He is smart. He is a good blocker. Morris gets stronger as the game and the season wear on. He averages 5.7 yards per carry this season on his carries after his first 10. Last season, Morris had more yards in December (631) than in October and November combined (606). He ended the 2012 regular season with 200 yards against the Cowboys in an NFC East-clinching victory.

Weaknesses: Morris’ lack of straight-line speed is a reason he lasted until the sixth round of the draft last year. He ran a 4.65 at the combine. While Morris’ longest career run is only 39 yards, he has 12 runs of 20-plus. He only has 14 career catches for 99 yards. He obviously does not have ideal size, prompting the scouting reports on Morris to question whether he had the potential to become a workhorse back. He has played in all 20 possible games of his career.

Last game: He had 16 carries for 71 yards in a Week 4 victory over the Oakland Raiders, leaving with a rib injury. The Redskins had a bye last week, allowing Morris’ bruised ribs to heal.

Who has to stop him? The Cowboys rank fourth against the run, although Jamaal Charles is the only top back they have faced. Weakside linebacker Bruce Carter did not start against the Denver Broncos after being benched for poor effort and poor play against the San Diego Chargers. He still split time with Ernie Sims, though, playing 39 plays to Sims’ 47 against Denver. The Cowboys were in the nickel most of the game last week, with middle linebacker Sean Lee playing all 79 snaps. In two games against the Cowboys last season, Morris had 57 carries for 313 yards and four touchdowns.

Notable: Morris’ 1,613 yards last season were a franchise record and third all-time among NFL rookies. … Morris has five career fumbles, losing four. … He had eight carries in the preseason, blaming that on his poor start. He fumbled on the Redskins’ first offensive play of the season, and later in that game against the Eagles, he botched a pitch from Robert Griffin III, resulting in a safety. … He has 1,909 career yards. Mike Thomas holds the team record for most rushing yards in a player’s first two seasons, gaining 2,020 in 1975-76. — Charean Williams

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