After a season where the Cowboys had the league's leading rusher in DeMarco Murray, who also set the franchise single-season rushing yards record at 1,845, club Chief Operating Officer Stephen Jones doesn't believe having a feature back is a must.
"I don't necessarily think that it's a necessity that you have a lead back," Jones told Dallas-Fort Worth 105.3 The Fan on Friday. "And it may be that one guy establishes himself as maybe getting more carries than the other backs. But at the same time, I think good teams can utilize the different skills that they have on their team. In our case, four running backs all have different styles."
Third-year veteran Joe Randle, a fifth-rounder out of Oklahoma State, fits the build of a lead back, but his experience primarily as a backup and off-field concerns present doubts to bequeath him the role of top running back.
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Eight-year pro Darren McFadden, a free agent from the Oakland Raiders acquired this off-season, has had an injury-riddled tenure in the NFL. While possessing all the skills to be an every down back, he lacks the durability to be an every game back having only play a full 16 games once in his career.
Fourth-year Lance Dunbar is more of a scat back who also has zero starts under his belt, while new addition Christine Michael, who the club got from Seattle in exchange for a 2016 seventh-round pick, is more of a bruising back.
Jones says the team likes their running back stable and will develop them as the season progresses.
"We feel real good about the three that we have in McFadden, Joe Randle, and Dunbar," said Jones. "And I also think that Christine Michael brings a lot to the table as well. So, we've got a strong offensive line up there. We're more committed than we've ever been to run the football, and I think we can do it successfully."
The team still has yet to announce who will start at running back Sunday night against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium, but Jones indicated the coaches will see "who's got the hot hand and go from there."
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