IRVING The Dallas Cowboys finally plan to take the reins off running back Christine Michael.
The former Texas A&M star has only two carries and has been active for just two games since being acquired in a trade with the Seattle Sept. 6.
But with the running game and offense struggling in the midst of a three-game losing streak, the Cowboys are hoping Michael can provide a spark. Joseph Randle will remain the starter, but Michael will get a bigger load when the Cowboys return to action Oct. 25 against the New York Giants after this week’s bye.
“I think we’re going to give him an opportunity to go out and do some more snaps,” running back coach Gary Brown said. “I think he’s earned it. He’s worked hard, he’s been everything we’ve expected off the field, and he’s a student of the game. I think he’s where he needs to be, and we want to take the reins off him and let him rock. We’re looking forward to seeing him play.”
The Cowboys rank 19th in the NFL in rushing, averaging 106.2 yards per game. Last year, they ranked second in the league, rushing for 147.1 yards per game, despite facing 8-man fronts the majority of the season.
At 5-foot-10, 221 pounds, Michael has the size and power to hopefully have success against the loaded fronts the Cowboys are facing. His physical running style is lacking in the current mix of Randle and backup Darren McFadden.
Brown believes Michael can “absolutely” make a difference against defenses that stack the box to stop the run.
“I think he brings a different style. He’s more of a scat back, twitchy guy with power,” Brown said. “So I think he brings a little different style to the table. I think he probably has a little bit more power. We’ve got to take advantage of that.”
Randle has 74 carries for 289 yards. He is averaging 3.9 yards per carry. McFadden has 129 yards 37 carries at a clip of 3.5 yards per carry.