Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden is on pace to reach the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second time in his career.
McFadden is 202 yards shy of reaching that feat with three games left. Since taking over the starting running back role in Week 7, McFadden has averaged 83.6 rushing yards a game.
If he keeps up that pace, he’ll easily become a 1,000-yard back and earn a $300,000 incentive in his contract. The Cowboys host the New York Jets Saturday.
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"I would love to get 1,000 yards,” McFadden said. "But at the end of the day, it's a team sport, so I like to go out there and play to win."
Winning is something that has eluded McFadden throughout his professional career. He has never played on a team with a winning record, and has never been to the postseason.
McFadden has surpassed expectations when he signed with the Cowboys in March. He has resurrected his career, and the 1,000-yard mark would be quite a feat for the 28-year-old back. Thirteen running backs reached that mark last season.
McFadden had 129 rushing yards through the first five games of the season, getting limited playing time behind Joseph Randle. But he emerged in Week 7 against the New York Giants, gaining 152 yards on 29 carries.
He has managed to keep that pace for the most part, although a few down games have made some wonder whether he’d hit a wall. Each time, though, McFadden has responded with a productive game.
He did it again Sunday in Green Bay, running for 111 yards on nine carries.
“You’ve heard me say this a lot: running the football is a collaborative effort, just like everything you do on your football team,” coach Jason Garrett said. “It takes everybody, and Darren is certainly working hard to do his part and he’s been a bright spot for us running the football – certainly the other day with the big runs like that. Those are big plays in the game.”
McFadden has been pleased with how his season has gone, and has shown more durability than most thought after an injury-plagued career in Oakland. The lack of wins, however, offsets that.
"I'm happy about the fact that I have been out there, being able to run how I have been running," McFadden said. "But, man, you want to get victories with that. When it comes down to the end of the day, the yards that I rush for don't mean anything without Ws."