Dallas Cowboys

Running back Darren McFadden ready to fill whatever role Cowboys ask

Darren McFadden had 1,089 rushing yards a season ago.
Darren McFadden had 1,089 rushing yards a season ago. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Wednesday will be the six-month mark since Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden underwent offseason surgery on his right elbow.

He never thought he’d be sidelined as long as he has been, but he’s ready to contribute in whatever way necessary after being promoted to the active roster on Tuesday.

“Man, it feels good,” McFadden said. “I’m just glad to be active, happy to be out there with my guys. Just looking forward to us going out there continuing doing what we’ve been doing.”

McFadden, 29, may be best utilized in a special teams role with the Cowboys’ running game in good shape behind standout rookie Ezekiel Elliott, backup Alfred Morris and third-down back Lance Dunbar.

McFadden said he has been working with special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia the past three weeks at practice to get a better feel for the units, and owner Jerry Jones raved about McFadden’s special teams play during his college days at Arkansas.

“I’m a ballplayer, man,” McFadden said. “Whatever it is – special teams, backing up – whatever it is they need me to do, I’m up for it.”

McFadden has returned just four kicks in his career. He had the fourth-most rushing yards in the league a season ago with 1,089 and was named the Cowboys’ offensive MVP.

But McFadden is just pleased to rejoin the team, taking the roster spot of since-cut Darius Jackson. McFadden, who has battled numerous injuries throughout his career, doesn’t remember a time in his career missing this many games.

“When I had surgery in June, I never thought it’d be December before I would be playing again,” McFadden said. “It’s one of those things I had to deal with. I’m glad it’s behind me now. I’m ready to move forward and keep getting better.”

McFadden has been receiving his $1.25 million base salary since being injured, and is now in line to receive his per-game roster bonuses of $31,250 each week.