Coach Jason Garrett repeated again Monday that the Cowboys like running backs Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar.
But the addition of Christine Michael gives the Cowboys something the other three don’t have.
Michael, who stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 221 pounds, is a physical runner the Cowboys can use in short-yardage and goal-line situations and to wear down defenses in the second half.
The Cowboys converted 70.4 percent of their third-and-1 and fourth-and-1one rushing attempts last season with DeMarco Murray, who left for Philadelphia in the off-season.
“I think he’s a talented guy,” Garrett said of the 24-year-old Michael. “He’s a big guy. He’s physical. He’s quick. He’s explosive, can be a downhill runner. He’s got a good change of direction. ... We’ll try to get him up to snuff as quickly as we can and put him out on the practice field and begin our evaluation.”
The Cowboys gave up a conditional seventh-round pick to acquire Michael from the Seattle Seahawks. They surrender the choice if Michael makes the 46-player, game-day roster three times.
The Seahawks made Michael a second-round pick in 2013 after he rushed for 2,791 yards and 34 touchdowns in four seasons at Texas A&M. In 14 games over two seasons, Michael had only 52 carries for 254 yards.
The Seahawks moved on from Michael after signing Arlington Lamar’s Fred Jackson as a free agent last week.
Cowboys sign QB
The Cowboys have moved on from Dustin Vaughan, adding former Lions quarterback Kellen Moore to the practice squad instead.
Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has a history with Moore, having served as Detroit’s offensive coordinator when Moore signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2012.
“Kellen is just a really good football player and has been, really throughout his whole life,” Garrett said. “I think he had 53 starts in college, and he won 50 of them. He’s just a very, very productive player. He knows how to win, knows how to play.”
The Cowboys kept only two quarterbacks, Tony Romo and Brandon Weeden, on their 53-player roster. They intended to sign both Vaughan and fourth quarterback Jameill Showers back to their practice squad before Moore became available.
The Cowboys signed Showers to the practice squad as well, because of his versatility.
Moore went 29 of 47 for 254 yards with a touchdown and an interception this preseason.
Dez Bryant is expected to be a full-go for Wednesday’s practice, Garrett said.
The Cowboys’ star wide receiver didn’t play in the preseason, limited by a hamstring injury since Aug. 6. Garrett did not seem overly concerned with the fact that Bryant hasn’t had any game reps with quarterback Tony Romo going into the season.
“We’re fortunate Tony and Dez have a lot of time on task over the years,” Garrett said. “... We’re confident in that they have a lot of experience in the past that they certainly can hone in on.”
In other injury news:
▪ Guard Zack Martin (neck) returns to practice this week. He will wear a neck roll, something he played with in high school.
▪ Wide receiver Devin Street (ankle) is expected to practice Wednesday. He sat out the final two preseason games.
▪ Linebacker Anthony Hitchens (right foot) is expected to be good to go.
Middle linebacker Rolando McClain began his four-game suspension Saturday for violating the NFL substance abuse policy.
League rules, though, permit players who are suspended under the substance abuse policy to work out at the team’s facility. That is not the case for players who are suspended for personal conduct or the performance-enhancing drug policy.
McClain missed almost all of training camp rehabbing from off-season knee surgery. He was finally cleared to practice the final week of preseason.
Defensive end Greg Hardy will not be allowed at Valley Ranch during his four-game suspension under the personal-conduct policy.