DeMarco Murray, the league’s leading rusher, is in Philadelphia, and the Cowboys didn’t trade for Adrian Peterson, draft a running back or sign a veteran running back. That leaves Joseph Randle as the favorite to win the starting job.
Randle can’t wait, believing Murray’s team rushing record of 1,845 yards can be duplicated, if not improved upon.
“He had a good year last year,” Randle said of Murray, “and I got to sit back and watch a lot, and I felt like there was a lot of meat left on the bone.”
Randle averaged 6.7 yards per carry in limited opportunities as Murray’s backup. His 51 carries ranked second to Murray.
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He is in competition for the starting job along with free-agent signee Darren McFadden and long-shot Ryan Williams. Speedy Lance Dunbar is the only other veteran running back on the roster, but he is likely locked into a role as a third-down back, change-of-pace runner.
“They are all getting chances with the ones and they are performing,” running backs coach Gary Brown said. “They know there is a job to be won, and they all want it. At the same time, they are going to work hard to get better. If they get better, the team gets better. We don’t have a winner right now. We will see what happens when the time comes.”
Randle, who has 105 carries for 507 yards and five touchdowns in two seasons, knows he will have to win the job.
“We still have to compete for the starting job,” Randle said. “It’s still an open competition, and they make that clear every day that it’s still an open competition so once somebody wins that job if they get tired they come out. That’s why I’m working so hard every day in practice so that I don’t get tired.”
Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760