Dallas Cowboys

Joseph Randle admits reaching ball out “wasn’t the most fundamental thing to do”

Cowboys running back Joseph Randle (21) leaps over the pile for a touchdown in what originally was ruled a fumble.
Cowboys running back Joseph Randle (21) leaps over the pile for a touchdown in what originally was ruled a fumble. AP

Joseph Randle apparently has learned his lesson.

Coaches admonished the third-year running back for holding the ball over the goal line two weeks in a row. Coach Jason Garrett acknowledged earlier this week that it played into Randle being sidelined the rest of the first half Sunday.

“It wasn’t the most fundamental thing to do, but I’m going to keep grinding,” Randle said.

Randle then took his leave, having answered four questions.

The past two games, without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, the Cowboys have run 49 times for 242 yards. But only 17 of those carries and 21 of those yards have come in the second half.

Randle has 17 carries for 117 yards in the first halves of the past two games, and eight carries for minus-4 yards in the second.

“I think we’re missing that bigger run in the second half,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “I’ve always said, you get two or three long runs in the game, the running game looks a lot different even if maybe 25 of the runs were getting 2 or 3 yards, you know? I think the biggest thing we’ve got to improve upon is not having the lost yardage plays. I think what’s happened to us in the last two games, we’ve had some negative runs, significant negative runs that have really hindered our ability to stay on the field. First-down runs where we lose 2 or 3 yards, that’s big. The biggest thing we’re harping on, a zero gain or 1-yard gain is not a negative. We’re running against some loaded boxes, and we were last year too, but the one thing we did a good job is we stayed ahead of the chains even on first down. So I think that’s, for me the second half in the last two games, we’ve had some significant negative rush plays that put us behind the eight ball.”

Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain returned to practice Thursday. Video by Drew Davison.

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