Robert Turbin just got to town. Despite that, after just four days of work, the running back earned the backup job to Darren McFadden and gained 35 yards on seven carries against the Dolphins.
“The fact that Turbin knew the plays is pretty impressive,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “I reiterated on almost every play, but he already had it; he didn’t even need it. That’s pretty special when a guy can come in and do that. He’s going to get himself some playing time just because of this knowledge of the game and his ability to focus and make it important. Some of the secrets to some of these young guys who come in, they don’t realize, if you just make it important, you’ll have a great opportunity of sticking around and playing for a while.”
Turbin’s effort Sunday speaks volumes about Joseph Randle and Christine Michael, both of whom had the job and lost it. The Cowboys waived both this season.
Turbin got to Valley Ranch on Wednesday and by Sunday was playing.
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“It’s been a huge blessing for me really,” Turbin said. “I mean, a lot of people don’t know what it’s like to kind of be on the street, watching the games on Sunday at home, and not being on a team. So to have this opportunity means a lot to me.”
The Cowboys trusted Turbin more than Rod Smith or Trey Williams, their other two backup running backs. Smith, claimed off waivers from Seattle on Oct. 14, did not have any carries, and Williams, signed off Washington’s practice squad Nov. 4, was inactive.
Smith has played only four career games, with two carries for 5 yards. Williams has never played in the regular season.
Turbin, a fourth-year veteran, now has played 52 games.
“I didn’t know how much I was going to play,” Turbin said. “My job was to get ready and get prepared and learn as much as I could as quickly as I could and when my numbers was called do my job to the best of my ability.”
Turbin proved a quick study.
“Hours of studying,” he said. “On top of that, I’ve got great teammates all the time to kind of coach me up and kind of give me these little quizzes throughout the locker room, making sure I’m staying on top of my stuff and in my playbook and things like that. These are some of the greatest teammates I’ve ever had in my life. Always positive. They welcomed me with open arms. I don’t even feel like I’ve been here three days. I feel like I’ve been here the whole season. That’s how they’ve embraced me. When you have that, it kind of gives you the confidence to go out there and execute.”