Joseph Randle wasted no time in answering whether being named the starting running back of the Dallas Cowboys matters.
“Yeah, of course,” Randle said. “No doubt.”
Randle is the projected starter for the Cowboys, and has stated his dream has always been to be a featured back in the NFL. But he will be pushed for playing time, and possibly the ‘starter’ title, by veteran Darren McFadden.
McFadden has already been a starter in the league, but injuries haven’t allowed him to live up to expectations as the fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft. So, yes, he would also like to be named the ‘starter.’
“A lot of people are going to put a lot of emphasis on it,” McFadden said. “The competitor in me is going to say I want to be the starting running back. At the end of the day, we’re both going to get carries however they decide to play it out.”
That is true, too.
The Cowboys are going to split carries between Randle, McFadden and change-of-pace back Lance Dunbar. None of them has done enough to separate themselves from the pack, and take on a workhorse-type role that DeMarco Murray had last season.
None of them, in other words, is likely going to carry it 20-plus times a game. Instead, Randle could fall in the 10-15 carry range with McFadden slightly below that.
“I’m just going to go in there and be as productive as a I can and take full advantage of the opportunity that I get,” Randle said. “And let the rest fall where it may.”
Added McFadden: “[A committee approach] is something I’ve done pretty much throughout my career, at school [in Arkansas] or being with the Raiders. It’s one of those deals, it’s the NFL, it’s a long season. You have to be able to have two backs that can go in there and be able to tote it the way you need them to tote it.”