Dallas Cowboys run drills using their big yellow ball, as seen here during OTA’s, at the team’s Valley Ranch practice facility in Irving, Texas. More on this later.
Joseph Randle noticed “Meat left on the Bone” in 2014’s running game
Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle isn’t sure how many carries he can expect this season. But he plans to earn the team’s trust this offseason, and if he earns the starting job, he believes he’s ready to pick up where the departed DeMarco Murray left off.
“He (Murray) had a good year last year,” Randle said today in reference to Murray’s single-season franchise-record 1,845 yards. “But I got to sit back and watch a lot and I felt like there was a lot of meat left on the bone. I’m going to try to go out there and grind as hard as I can.”
As Murray’s primary backup last year, Randle had 51 carries for 343 yards (6.7 avg.) with three touchdowns.
His talent is evident, but Randle admits he has something else to prove besides on-field improvement: maturity following a pair of off-the-field incidents in a four-month span between last October and February.
“Everything you go through in life you learn from it,” he said. “I learned from it and moved past it. I’ve grown up. I made some young and silly mistakes but I’m moving forward.”
Randle and Darren McFadden have gotten reps with the first-team offense during the first two days of voluntary organized team activities (OTAs). It’s a crowded group; both are competing for carries with Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams. The Cowboys are open to adding more competition to the current running back depth chart, having worked out four veterans last week.
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan says he “can’t wait to see” what Randle can do with more opportunity.
“I don’t think there’s any reason he can’t have a real productive year for us,” Linehan said. “It’s really too hard to say what the production’s going to be and who’s going to get it. We’ll let that play itself out as the year goes on, but certainly he’s going to have more opportunities to have a more significant role for us and I can’t wait to see him do it. He’s really working hard and doing a great job of getting himself prepared, and I think the competition we have at the running back position is really healthy and is going to help us.”
Murray was a three-down player last year, and his 392 carries were also a single-season franchise record. It seems unlikely the Cowboys will ask one player to shoulder that much work again, but Randle wants to show he can be a go-to guy.
“If they ask me to do that, I’m ready for it,” he said. “That means they believe I’m ready for it, and if they believe in me I believe in myself. That’s for sure.
“Just be here day in and day out, earning Tony (Romo’s) trust and all the older guys’ trust, the whole team’s trust, including the coaching staff. I’ve got a lot of work to do and we have a lot of time go out and make the most of each day.”
Editors note: It’s worth mentioning that the Dallas media routinely pointed out (towards the end of the 2014 season) that DeMarco Murray was leaving yards on the field during his historic rushing performance. Film breakdowns do show missed opportunities for additional yardage. It’s very likely that Randle picked this up during meetings or film sessions or from local media chatter. Randle meant no disrespect towards his friend and teammate DeMarco Murray, he simply put the same observation into a more colorful quote. If there’s any doubt in your mind, check out his short audio clip on the Dallas Cowboys Audio Archives page. My take is that this eager, young, hungry running back has every intention of leaving the bone dry. Assuming, of course, he’s able to work himself out of the doghouse!
AROUND THE NFC EAST: They’re Diggin the Dallas Drones in Philly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Typically, Chip Kelly has been the football coach starting new trends and techniques in the NFL. This time, however, it’s Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys.
Garrett, heading into his fifth season as Dallas Cowboys head coach, has begun using drones to film practices. He got the new-aged idea from SMU football coach Chad Morris.
“We pride ourselves on coaching and teaching our players as well as we can and film has been a big part of the game for a long time,” Garrett said. “Typically you have an end zone shot and a sideline shot. We use a lot of hand-held cameras on the ground. … One of our coaches went down to SMU for their spring practices and saw they were using it. They liked the angle. We got a chance to see it, so we decided to take a look at it.”
More specifically, Garrett explained that the drones give the Cowboys a closer look at the all-22 shot.
“It’s interesting because it gives you the chance from behind to see all 11 guys on offense and all 11 guys on defense but from a closer angle,” Garrett said. “Oftentimes you have to kind of pull yourself away to get the all-22 shot. This allows you to get a little closer so you can coach better. You can see hand placement. You see where they have their feet, where they have their eyes. I think that’s important. You can look at that and coach them better being that much closer to the action.”
Courtesy: Andrew Porter | CBS 3 | Philadelphia
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Orlando Scandrick ready to work towards building a dominate defense in Dallas
He might have missed the early portion of the offseason program, but Orlando Scandrick was confident his contract would work itself out.
“I don’t think there was ever really much panic from my side. There was really no sweat from my end,” Scandrick said. “I was working out, I was preparing to play, and everything took care of itself.”
It certainly did. After a brief negotiation, the Dallas Cowboys rewarded their top corner with a one-year, $9.5 million extension last week. The former fifth-round pick now figures to be a Dallas Cowboys staple for the foreseeable future, as he’s now under contract through the 2019 season.
“This is my eighth year. I just feel like throughout this process, I’ve gotten better and better over these last few years,” he said. “I feel like there’s still room for me to get better, so I’m going to continue to work toward getting better.”
If his new contract numbers didn’t indicate that, his stats over the past few years should.
To that end, the focal point on improving under second-year defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli isn’t surprising. Dallas jumped from 32nd in total defense in 2013 to 19th in 2014, and the Cowboys are no doubt aiming for another jump.
“We’re going to go out here and work every day. We’re going to continue to work on our craft to be a dominant defense, to be able to be the defense that this team can lean on when we need to,” Scandrick said. “Our offense ain’t always going to score 40 points and get 500 yards of offense. We just need to be able to be stable and just have guys play hard and just work towards being dominant.”
Scandrick will be one of the key pieces charged with that improvement, which should make the Cowboys coaching staff happy to have him back in the fold – not to mention Scandrick himself.
“I’m happy to be back,” he said. “I missed it. I missed all of this – looking forward to this season.”
This post is a supplement to this article: