Dallas Cowboys

McFadden, McClain to start camp on the PUP list

Darren McFadden (20) was placed on the physically unable to perform list to start training camp.
Darren McFadden (20) was placed on the physically unable to perform list to start training camp. Star-Telegram

The much-anticipated battle at running back to replace the departed DeMarco Murray has been pre-empted on the first day of Cowboys training camp.

Free-agent signee Darren McFadden was placed on the physically unable to perfrom list because of a nagging hamstring injury.

Also placed on PUP were linebacker Rolando McClain (knee) and tackle Chaz Green (hip). Linebacker Mark Nzeocha (knee) and center Shane McDermott were placed on the Non Football Injury list.

Linebacker Keith Rivers was placed on the reserve/retired to round out a slew of roster moves to start training camp.

McFadden is expected to compete with Joseph Randle to replace Murray in the starting lineup. But he finds himself in the all too familiar position on injured list.

Injuries have plagued McFadden his entire career and were a huge factor in him becoming a bust in Oakland after being picked in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft following an All-America career at Arkansas. He averaged just 3.3 yards per carry his last three seasons in Oakland.

McFadden signed a two-year deal worth up to $5.85 million in hopes of resurrecting his career with the Cowboys.

McClain, the starting middle linebacker who is also suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, is still recovering from off season knee surgery.

Green, a rookie third-round pick from Florida, is still recovering from hip surgery in June. He was expected to compete for the swing tackle spot. Now there is a question if he will be available at all during training camp.

Nzeocha has been hobbled since the Cowboys took him with in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He missed the off season and mini camp because of a knee injury he suffered as a senior at Wyoming last year.

McDermott is sidelined by an eye injury.

The Rivers retirement comes as a surprise considering he signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys in March.

Rivers started a career-low three games for the Buffalo Bills in 2014, recording 16 tackles.

Rivers, 28, began his with the Cincinnati Bengals, who picked him ninth overall in 2008. He played three seasons with the Bengals before missing the 2011 season with an injury. He played one year with the Giants before joining the Bills.