Jerry Jones believes Darren McFadden can be a difference maker

Reuters

The Cowboys let running back DeMarco Murray, a third-round pick in 2011, walk away via free agency.  They replaced him with running back Darren McFadden, the fourth overall selection in 2008.  Murray led the NFL in rushing last season, with a franchise-record 1,845 yards.  McFadden, in contrast, sputtered to a mere 534 yards in 2014.

So why do the Cowboys regard McFadden as a competent replacement?

“[Y]ou’ve got a good chance to not live up to expectations,” Cowboys owner and G.M. Jerry Jones told PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio regarding the lackluster career of McFadden, who has only one 1,000-yard campaign in seven seasons.  “Because when you are drafted that high, people think that you are going to be the next Jimmy Brown.  So, yes he would have liked to have had a more productive career.  But the kinds of skills that got him drafted with the fourth pick in the draft, he still has.

“You worry about injury, but we were worried about injury with Murray.  In eight seasons, four in Oklahoma and four with the Cowboys, Murray only had two injury free seasons.  And so the position is one you have to take into consideration no matter what the skill level is, they take a lot of hits, lot of punishment, and you got a good chance to have an injury issue.  And that’s why we couldn’t make that kind of commitment of dollars to that position.”

The team’s position on not investing a lot of cash in an injury-prone position would also suggest that the Cowboys won’t make a play for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.  But Jones wouldn’t confirm that Peterson won’t be a Cowboy.

“I get in enough trouble in a lot of areas anyway with this mouth but I’m not going to talk about that,” Jones said.

He doesn’t need to say it.  There’s no way the Cowboys will make a major financial investment in the tailback position with Adrian Peterson or anyone, hoping instead to get the most out of underpriced talent running behind one of the best offensive lines in the league.

Regardless of how it works, it will be one of the great experiments of the 2015 season.

88 responses to “Jerry Jones believes Darren McFadden can be a difference maker

  1. You’re talking about a coach who has never once spoken to media in two years unless contractually obligated, save for two weeks ago. The reason he spoke to he media then was because he just transformed the organization in a week’s time, and somebody within the organization convinced him that he couldn’t just make all these moves and not speak. Otherwise, you would have got nothing.

  2. Jimmy Brown? Probably the only people who call the great Jim Brown ‘ Jimmy’ is his immediate family.

  3. richiethegreek says:

    “Everyone needs to pump the brakes a little bit on the Cowboys offensive line. It was a great year, but it was one year. Let’s see again.”

    You can pump your hater brakes all you want. The rest of us who know the line will be good again are entitled to feel exactly how they want about it.

    Murray gained 1000 of his 1845 yards before any contact – that is due to the line. And every one of the lineman will be back next year, and more will be coming via the draft, as well as a RB, CB, S, and LB.

    I am not taking anything away from Murray. He is a very good RB who had an excellent season, but he wasn’t worth the price the Eagles paid for him as far as the Cowboys were concerned. So, they Cowboys will draft one of the young RB’s in this very deep RB draft, and I personally hope they take Jay Ajayi out of Boise State. He will help them to forget Murray pretty quickly, IMO.

    Time will tell, but the O-line is very good, and could be even better next year. You don’t get the PFT ranking of #1 overall for O-line if you didn’t deserve it.

  4. @richie

    It was one year because their all pro rg just came into the league. The line was lights out last year but slowly improving previous seasons. Where do you see them dropping off at? Smth is top 3 LT,free is above avg rt great at run blocking. Even if Martin takes a step back in his 2nd season they should still be fine.

  5. I get in enough trouble in a lot of areas anyway with this mouth.

    At least , he got that part right.

  6. You can’t judge a player from his performance in Oakland. They make anyone look bad. Jerry may have something here or he may not. We shall see.

  7. DMC’s problem has always been his legs. Breeze past his legs and he goes down. Tackle him, and he’s injured.

    Tremendous speed and cut-ability, weak legs.

  8. No fan of Jerry Jones, but he’s right not to spend money at the RB position. A good OL will get you the rushing yards you need with even a mediocre back.

  9. Dont get me wrong I was not a happy camper everytime DMac went down and out for another injury but tell you what he does have the talent to be a game changer it all depends on his health..trust me MacFadden is fast but even more impressive is how he is a punishing runner..you never heard much about it because he was always hurt i know that but when he put few games together each year just watch him run over would be tacklers plus picking up blitzes he dont mess around..I wish him the best of luck I am just glad he didnt go to a AFC West rival..To me he is a very good pick up for Dallas low risk high reward thing you cant go wrong with that.

  10. good luck dmc was really hopin you would stay in oakland. i wouldnt be the least bit surprised if he has a good year in dallas. show all them doubters up dmc!!

  11. Jerry just will not stop talking…. non stop… like a parrot

    he will comment on every player in the NFL by the end of April if this keeps up

  12. McFadden doesn’t run to the hole; he runs to where the hole MIGHT be, fast and hard.

    That results in either a beastly burst when he is right, or more commonly a missile hitting the back of the offensive guard, where we will remain stuck until tackled.

  13. If Darren McFadden had been able to stay healthy and on the field, his fumbling issues would be the greater cause for concern. He has some serious issues holding onto the ball during key plays, and when he finally breaks one.

  14. Is there really ANYONE, Dallas fans included, who think McFadden will come anywhere CLOSE to doing what Murray did last year? C’mon man. When you lose the NFL rushing leader your team takes a hit…end of story.

  15. Chris Johnson is healing up, training hard, and eyeing a return. Cowboys should kick his tires (just not his shoulder) and have a look. He’d be a perfect fit for Jerry’s ‘Boys this year. #TheReturnOf2K #God100 #Juice

  16. McFadden, or McFragile rather has talent, and if healthy he’ll be legit behind that O-line l. But like my Eagles Sam Bradford he has to prove he can stay healthy.

  17. Sure they’ll be differences. Some weeks he’ll be questionable, others he’ll be doubtful, many times he’ll be out and occasionaly he’ll be probable.

  18. “ they take a lot of hits, lot of punishment, and you got a good chance to have an injury issue. And that’s why we couldn’t make that kind of commitment of dollars to that position.”

    Well look at who’s Mr. Fiscally Responsible all of a sudden! Isn’t this the same guy who had to nearly be subdued by his own front office last year so that he wouldn’t blow his 1st rounder on Manziel?

  19. Glorious, I thought were smarter than this. To say there is now way Jerry will go after AP sounds like the NFL is brand new to you. The boys have a 2 to 3 yeah window right now.if they can get AP on a 3 year deal for a late first or second they would just need to restructure Romo’s deal yeah, it would be kicking the can down the road but it would also be a he’ll of a 3 year run.

  20. Jerry is just a loyal Arkansas alumnus. First Felix Jones and now his college running mate McFadden. C’mon Jerry. Put down the cheerleader pompoms and run your team.

  21. Murray was nothing but an injury-prone back with hope prior to last year. According to the “gurus” Dallas had the best 0-line in football last year. Dallas played it smart by not investing in a guy that had one big year. That being said, the word “replacement” has no business being in this article. The real story is whether or not Randle can behave himself off the field. McFadden is just a compliment in the backfield.

  22. Perhaps for the legion of Cowboys haters what he should have said was…he’s an Arkansas guy and I have very minimal expectations of him and don’t expect him to help my football team. Or maybe…I’m really a bad GM as all of you knowledgeable football fans already knew.

    Or maybe the hit count is down on PFT and a good Jerry Jones story with a hint of incompetence to boot will lather up the trolls.

    The NFL offseason…it’s almost predictable.

  23. If I can get paid at my job for half assing it I would do it everyday…and that’s how it would be to be a Raider..so don’t judge let’s see what he really got! I personally think he’s a good talent but the raiders suck

  24. am i the only one that saw all the holding in the NYG-Dal game and then watch the Eagles DL literlly do whatever they wanted to do to that Dallas OL? not saying they aren’t good, and they have improved over the years, but people act like they are way above the rest of the league. just nutty. we will see this year

  25. Sure he does.
    Jerruh believes everything that comes out of his mouth is worth listening to.

    It’s defined as bloviating.
    Americas Team in Jerruh’s World.

    We know one thing for certain, Run DMc will keep the Training Staff busy.
    Big difference right there.

  26. Their line is similar to the chiefs line of the mid 2000s….. Except so young. That is the way to ensure long term success. It all starts in the trenches.

  27. Yeah the biggest difference is he plays for the Cowboys now and not the Raiders. Right Joe!?!

  28. Jerry Jones also believes in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.

    And could sign each one to a one day contract and have them retire as Cowboys.

  29. Jerry Jones might be taking a shot in the dark with a has been or should I say never lived up to.Who knows what someone can do when they have something to prove !!!

  30. I think on the right team McFadden could be very good, didnt moan at Oakland. Even took a gamble last year on a low 1 year deal to resign to finish ‘unfinished business’ (which didnt work !). But respect to him.

    I hope he does well at Dallas BUT i still think what Jerry says is just a smokescreen as they’ll draft a rookie RB for sure

  31. Jerry once again thinks as a fan and overrates McFadden because he played for Arkansas. Just like he has overrated the talent on the Cowboys in the past and have overpaid his own players.

  32. Cheap RB’s are the answer.

    Spend on secondary, DL, OL, QB and 2 different receiving threats and special teams.

    Save on RB, 3rd-5th receiving options, LB’s.

    Seriously. Most running backs get what they are blocked for. Most receivers can catch when open.

    If you spend on QB, OL and 2 good threats then the rest of your offense gets the job done.

    Then you have spare cash to rush the passer and stifle teams in the secondary.

    The Cowboys have a solid enough QB, they have Dez and Whitten, they have an O line. They need to invest in more pass rush and secondary so they have a better defense.

  33. Loved McFadden in college, but something happened on the way to Canton. Jones is either a politician-in-the-making or is just trying to see his fans used cars. McFadden could have been a difference maker years ago, but he is not gonna make people forget that the Cowboys have some serious problems

  34. 1)The Cowpokes are probably going to draft a running back #1.
    2)McFadden ground up the best years of his career behind pathetic offensive lines in Oakland. With a very good offensive line in front of him he might show some pop.
    3)If they do draft a running back #1, McFadden will be the second back, and at his career stage, that would be a good thing.

  35. Adrian Peterson would be more of a difference maker.

    Just give Minnesota your First Round pick and a conditional 2016 pick….. And they’ll probably forget that issue of tampering last off-season.

  36. *Cowboys won’t make a play for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. But Jones wouldn’t confirm that Peterson won’t be a Cowboy.*

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Isn’t AP under contract for another 3 years with the Vikings … ?

    Makes it pretty hard to make a play for a player that’s under contract, methinks.

  37. Jerrah jones wanted McFadden when since he was a rookie draft pick by Oakland. Cowboys wouldv’e been better off to just pay Murray. Maybe McFadden plays great for the Boy’s but chances are he is another Trent Richardson looking to be “a butcher ball of knives” that never cuts the mustard. Think they can con the Colts into a 1st rounder if he av’s less than 3 ypc? Hah!

  38. McFadden can’t break a tackle, especially a leg tackle. One touch and he’s down. If he can lay a shoulder on a defender, then he has a chance. With a good line, maybe he has a better chance, but I doubt it.

  39. Now that he’s free of the Raiders he’ll have a 2000 yard season and 21 touchdowns.

  40. Like murray mcfadden’s biggest problem is staying healthy n on the field which they both ur blessed n able to do last season. Mcfadden is only a mere 5 n 1/2 months older than murray so age is basically even as kong as mcfadden gets into top physical shaoe n conditioning i believe he is capable of having a potentially monster year as long as he stays healthy he reminds me of marcus allen for some reason #wedemboz

  41. Like murray mcfadden’s biggest problem is staying healthy n on the field which they both we’re blessed n able to do last season. Mcfadden is only a mere 5 n 1/2 months older than murray so age is basically even as long as mcfadden gets into top physical shape n conditioning i believe he is capable of having a potentially monster year as long as he stays healthy he reminds me of marcus allen for some reason #wedemboz

  42. Obviously a very limited sample size but Joseph Randle led the league in YPC behind that o-line. McFadden is no risk with at least some potential for upside. Add a RB in the draft. The Boys will be fine.

  43. Besides his injuries the worst thing that happened to DMac was Greg Knaap as OC. When Oakland went 8-8 under Jackson they had a power running game, and even with DMac hurt, Bush ran like a beast.
    Knaap installed ZB schemes for an O-line that had to totally readjust and it killed them. Knaap, a retread who had Fail stamped on him was Dennis Allen’s choice and McKenzies biggest mistake in #1, allowing it and #2, not firing him when it was obvious the Oakland offense lost whatever mojo and teeth they had in that 2011 season and reverted back to sub .500 play.
    But, in all of the issues with him, McFadden was a class act and a good guy.

  44. arwiv

    “Is there really ANYONE, Dallas fans included, who think McFadden will come anywhere CLOSE to doing what Murray did last year? C’mon man. When you lose the NFL rushing leader your team takes a hit…end of story.”

    Have another margarita there, orville. NOBODY is saying McFadden will come anywhere close to Murray. The Cowboys won’t be using McFadden anywhere near Murray. The Cowboys will use a RB by committee approach this year, where the cost of ALL of their RB’s will be less per year than what Murray was guaranteed per year by Philly.

    Williams, Randle (if he doesn’t get cut or miss games due to suspension or jail time), Dunbar, McFadden and whatever rookie they draft – potentially 5 RB’s that will all compete for playing time, and will likely form a very effective running game behind that line.

    It isn’t about Murray anymore. He defected to Philly, and is now a traitor. It is now about the RB’s who will be on the team, and Linehan will put together a very solid plan to utilize them all to their strengths.

  45. Last night i was watching the Chiefs @ Raiders game from last year.. McFadden doens’t have any explosion left, 1-2 yard gains into the back of his lineman unfortunately…He can’t cut either, just a straight ahead runner….

    Now Latavius Murray on the other hand, has plenty of explosion and and can cut.. Imagine 6’3″ 225 and runs a 4.4. Be very afraid 🙂

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