Dallas Cowboys

Christine Michael could make his Cowboys’ debut Sunday

Running back Christine Michael (30) could make his Cowboys’ debut Sunday after getting work with the first-team this week.
Running back Christine Michael (30) could make his Cowboys’ debut Sunday after getting work with the first-team this week. Star-Telegram

Christine Michael insists he’s ready for whatever the Cowboys ask of him. That might include carrying the football Sunday.

Michael has worked with the starters in practice this week for the first time since the Cowboys acquired him in a trade with Seattle on Sept. 6.

“He’s done well. He’s working hard,” coach Jason Garrett said Friday. “I think he’s working hard mentally but also technically on the practice field. There are a lot of things to like about him, and the biggest thing for a player coming in in the middle of the season is that he doesn’t have the background with us in the offseason and in training camp, so it takes them a little bit of time as we’re game planning for new opponents. He doesn’t have that foundation. But he’s worked hard to get himself acclimated as quickly as he can.”

Although Joseph Randle finished with a career-high 87 rushing yards last week, 85 of them came on his first three carries in the first half. The Cowboys had minus-4 rushing yards in the second half.

Michael, who, at 221 pounds, has a more physical style than the other backs on the roster, played in only 14 games with Seattle. He has 52 carries for 254 yards in his career.

The tricky part is getting four running backs and a fullback on the 46-player game-day roster. The last time the Cowboys carried four running backs on their 53-player roster, in 2013, they had four active on game day only six times.

Michael has never played special teams, though he has worked with the scout team unit since arriving in Dallas.

“You’re looking at what his impact is,” Garrett said. “So if he wasn’t a special teams contributor, you want to make sure that he’s going to contribute on offense in some way. And you’re not always going to be perfect with those assessments. Sometimes you have an idea that somebody might play a certain number of plays in a game, but then the game goes a different way, and he doesn’t play. You want to make those evaluations as accurately as you can, but they don’t always come out the way you want them to on Sunday.”

 

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