Dallas Cowboys

Darren McFadden takes over third-down role

Darren McFadden had his most productive day since signing with the Cowboys last spring.
Darren McFadden had his most productive day since signing with the Cowboys last spring. FWST

The Cowboys played their first game without Lance Dunbar. The third-down back and kickoff returner averaged 108 all-purpose yards per game before a season-ending knee injury.

Darren McFadden took over the third-down role against the Patriots and had nine catches for 62 yards and five rushes for 16 yards.

“He was productive,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “A lot of his production came at the end of the game when they were dropping deep and forcing us to throw the ball underneath. But he had a pretty good understanding of what we were asking him to do, and when we threw him the ball, he seemed to catch it and go north and south and do some positive things for us. So he got some opportunities and seemed to take advantage of them.”

In the first three games, McFadden got only 39 offensive snaps to Dunbar’s 80. He had 25 touches, including 22 rushing attempts, to Dunbar’s 23, including 21 receptions.

In the past two games, McFadden has seen the field for 52 plays. That includes a season-high 32 against the Patriots, three more than Joseph Randle got Sunday.

“It’s just felt normal to me to be able to go out there and take check downs from the quarterback,” McFadden said Tuesday. “It’s something I’ve always done. I didn’t really put a grade on my game or anything, but I just I felt like I did what I was supposed to do out there and took care of the ball and just tried to make plays when I could.”

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