Dallas Cowboys

Darren McFadden ready to return to practice, ignoring trade rumors

Darren McFadden feels he is ready to return to practice.
Darren McFadden feels he is ready to return to practice. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden feels he is ready to return to practice after sitting out all of training camp and the preseason recovering from right elbow surgery.

“Oh, yeah, definitely,” McFadden said of returning to practice. “It’s one of those things I’m working with the trainers. They have me on the right track, keep me going.”

McFadden, 29, refused to speculate how many practices he’d need in order to get in game shape. Instead, he said, it’s more about the number of reps and “getting the feel of things and getting out there and moving around.”

McFadden has made progress since requiring elbow surgery after a Memorial Day accident, but is looking at a crowded backfield.

McFadden, the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher a season ago, is unlikely to see significant playing time in the current running back structure.

The Cowboys intend for rookie Ezekiel Elliott to become the team’s featured back with Alfred Morris being used in a complementary role and Lance Dunbar returning as the team’s change-of-pace back.

Rookie Darius Jackson has made a favorable impression too.

All of that has led to McFadden’s name being thrown around trade rumors with rosters being cut down Saturday.

But McFadden brushed off any trade talk following Thursday’s preseason finale.

“For me, I’m a ballplayer, man,” McFadden said. “I just keep my head down and keep grinding. Anything I can’t control I don’t worry about it and let everything else be handled on the front office side.”

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