Dallas Cowboys

Without running game, Michael Irvin sees a bad trickle-down effect with Cowboys

Hall of Famer Michael Irvin says the Dallas Cowboys will need a solid running game again next season to keep the pressure off Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.
Hall of Famer Michael Irvin says the Dallas Cowboys will need a solid running game again next season to keep the pressure off Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Star-Telegram

Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin is one of the Dallas Cowboys’ biggest fans in his post-career role as a football analyst for the NFL Network.

Irvin rarely picks against his former team.

So it’s interesting to note that Irvin is one of the few people not sold on the team’s off-season moves and is openly concerned about their chances to build off last season’s surprising 12-4 mark and make a Super Bowl run in 2015.

“It’s not just about the collection of talent,” Irvin said. “It’s about the collaboration of talent. We are collecting a lot of talent. Will this team be able to collaborate that talent and do something great this year? Can they get it collaborated to be something special?”

Irvin’s biggest issue is the departure of running back DeMarco Murray to Philadelphia in free agency and the Cowboys’ inability to replace him with a proven performer or a rookie draft pick.

The Cowboys’ options at running back include Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams.

“I think running back is a huge need,” Irvin said. “I’m not just going to rely on what I have. I’m bringing in Chris Johnson. I’m bringing in whatever is out there and make a go of it. Without the running game, it will be a different situation for Tony Romo and the Cowboys.”

Irvin is not only worried about what the absence of a strong running game will mean for Romo, but also receiver Dez Bryant and how it manifests itself into his contract situation.

Bryant is already unhappy that he will be forced to play the 2015 season as the team’s franchise player.

“There will be problems if that running game doesn’t get going,” Irvin said. “It’s going to fall on Dez Bryant. And then he’s not catching passes because of double teams and worrying about the long-term deal. Then it’s not flowed all the way around. I’m still concerned about the running game.”

Irvin also believes the best thing the Eagles did this off-season was weakening the Cowboys by acquiring Murray.

Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760

Twitter: @clarencehilljr

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

  Comments