FOUR HORSES IN THE CORRAL: Meet your new Dallas Cowboys RB Rod Smith | RB Christine Michael brings power punch | RB Position Analysis | Boys Bye-Week Breakdown 2015
The running back position stands to look drastically different than it did just a month ago. Continue reading →
DALLAS COWBOYS OTA UPDATE: ‘Boys Big Balls | Meat on the Bone | Diggin Dallas’ Drones in Philly | No fear, Scandrick secure
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. Continue reading →
FIFTH-ROUNDER FRISKED IN FRISCO: Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle arrested for shoplifting | NFL disciplinary action expected
Dallas Cowboys backup running back Joseph Randle was arrested last night (Monday) after Frisco police say he shoplifted a bottle of cologne and a pack of underwear from the Dillard’s at Stonebriar Mall. Continue reading →
The Dallas Cowboys look to take division lead over the Philadelphia Eagles this week.
Their Nemesis: Dwayne Harris
Dwayne Harris has only faced the Philadelphia Eagles three times in his career, but in those games, he has made more than his share of big plays. In games when the Eagles have kicked off in his direction, he has averaged over 35 yards per return.
For the 2013 season, Harris has returned nine kickoffs for an average of 34.7 yards per return. In 2013, the Eagles are ranked 31st in the league in kickoff coverage, allowing opponents an average of 28.8 yards per return.
Of the 36 kickoffs the Eagles have had this season, they have had 16 of them returned, so Harris should get opportunities to bring a ball back up the field to expand on that average. When the Eagles have punted the ball to Harris, he has an average of 14.2 yards per return, with a touchdown also to his credit – the one he scored in Philadelphia last November.
For this season, Harris has returned eight punts for an average of 23.6 yards and one touchdown, which he scored last week against the Redskins. With two teams as equally matched as the Cowboys and Eagles are, Dwayne Harris has proven in the past that he can in fact be a difference maker in a game.
Our Weapon: Orlando Scandrick
What Monte Kiffin and this defensive staff have shown the last two weeks is that they are not afraid to match their best corners on the opponent’s best threats. The way that DeSean Jackson has been playing this season, the Dallas Cowboys will need to match him with a corner that can play with quickness and straight line speed. Scandrick is that guy.
Where the Eagles might work their way around this is to try and keep Jackson out of the slot, which is where Scandrick does the majority of his work. Kiffin doesn’t have anyone that he trusts enough to take Scandrick out of that role.
Jackson is too quick for both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, which presents a big problem when you match him on the outside. With Jackson, there is that fear that he can score from anywhere on the field, and that is why you need to match him with a player that has the ability to function under that pressure.
There has been little that has affected Scandrick this season. He has been the best player in the secondary. Orlando Scandrick also has faced DeSean Jackson enough in his career to understand how he needs to play him and that is very important when you are trying to match a player with this much talent.
Under Their Radar: Joseph Randle
Last week against the Redskins, rookie Joseph Randle saw his first NFL action as a running back in this league. This week against the Eagles, in a divisional game on the road, he will make his first start.
Randle had little time to prepare when DeMarco Murray left the game with a knee injury. During the week before the game, he might get one or two reps with the first offense while Murray takes the majority of the others.
As Randle prepares for this opportunity, he will be getting all the reps with the offense in practice, and to be honest, he will need every one of them. In reviewing the game, Randle did not appear nervous or out of his element, but this week should be much easier for him because of the extra work he is getting in practice.
There is a confidence that he can come in and get the job done. His teammates are going to need him at his best to beat the Eagles. There are so many things that Murray does well and his play will be missed. Where Randle can help this team is with hard running, a check down or two catching the ball and being absolutely sure of who he has on these blitz pickups, because that is where this defense will test him the most.
Our Nemesis: DeSean Jackson
If you look at DeSean Jackson’s career against the Dallas Cowboys, it’s actually quite impressive.
Jackson’s most productive game that he has ever played in this league came against the Cowboys on a December day. He was unstoppable that afternoon, catching four passes for 210 yards and one touchdown. As a matter of fact, if you look at Jackson’s top 11 career games, two of them have come against the Cowboys.
Jackson currently leads the Eagles in receptions and touchdowns due to how this Chip Kelly lines him up all over the field in different formations — either getting the ball on the move or vertically down the field.
What makes him so difficult to deal with is the speed and quickness he plays with. Jackson is one of those players that, if you play off coverage on him, he is going to eat up your cushion in a hurry. He is on you right now and if he is on you, he is by you.
There have been days, though, where Jackson has been his own worst enemy with drops. As many times as I have seen him catch the ball on the move, there have been times where he has appeared to hear footsteps and drop a ball or two that he should have made a play on.
I would not say that he has the most consistent hands and there are times where they have let him down. Jackson still is a unique talent and has rare ability.
Their Weapon: LeSean McCoy
Nervous as this Cowboys defense is about playing against DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy presents an even more difficult problem. This Chip Kelly offense is perfectly tailored to his running style.
McCoy is one of those backs that can take simple plays and make them into huge gains. It doesn’t matter if it is a handoff out of the read-option or a screen pass in the flat, he is going to be hard to handle. He has the unique ability to make the first man miss, then get into the open field and make others miss.
He is an explosive runner, and when he can turn his shoulders and go downhill, he can be tough to bring down. The best way to slow him down is get him going sideways and not allow him to turn up the field. He makes some violent cuts in the way he runs the ball. He can plant his foot in the ground and explode off of it.
McCoy can take the ball off the read option, allowing the line to get into their blocks, then hit it to the back side as the defense over-runs the play. He plays with outstanding hands, and it’s rare to see him drop a pass. He has a feel for how to work himself open, secure the catch and head up the field. He’s a hard player to completely shut down, and the Cowboys will have their hands full with him.
Under The Radar: Mychal Hendricks
The Eagles have several good, young players on their defensive roster, but one guy that really caught my eye was linebacker Mychal Hendricks.
He was a second round selection by the Eagles in 2012, and, right now, he looks like a quality pick. The first thing you notice about him is how quick he plays. He is very active and is a difficult guy to block when he is on the move.
He looks like a nice scheme fit for this 3-4 defense, because he can get away from blocks. He’s short, but he does play with some pop at the point of attack. He will be used on blitzes to attack the pocket, and he can be a relentless guy when it comes to rushing the passer.
Hendricks does a really nice job of chasing the ball. He’s strong enough to play off blocks, and he can be physical when he needs to be.
He’s a very good tackler in space and a hard guy to get away from when he has the ball carrier wrapped up. He can really close when he sees the ball, and he has a burst and some explosive traits. He showed the ability to carry the back out of the backfield, and he moves with ease and is able to stay in position while playing the route.
Hendricks one of those defensive players you have to be aware of and make sure you get a hat on him at all times.
ARLINGTON — At Joseph Randle’s locker, where he was surrounded by reporters, a football was tucked in his stall. It was a little memento from the first touchdown he scored in the same game he got his first NFL carry.
“That’s the rock, right there,” he said. “I’ve got to keep that one.”
Of course, Randle’s 1-yard dive into the end zone during the fourth quarter of Dallas’ 31-16 victory didn’t come without assistance. Randle, while in a crowd of Redskins defenders, was pushed across the goal line by rookie center Travis Frederick (photo below). As a way of acknowledging Frederick’s contribution, Randle asked Frederick to autograph the football that is now his souvenir.
“I told Travis to sign it for me,” said Randle, who finished with 17 yards and the touchdown. “But he was like, ‘Nah, I can’t do that. I can’t sign your ball.’”
Randle laughed along with the reporters near him. He seemed surprised by the attention he received.
“We wanted to see him play in a real game, get him a couple of snaps,” Dallas Cowboys running back coach Gary Brown said. “And he responded well…I’m looking forward to seeing him practice some more.”
Randle, meanwhile, will savor his first touchdown, and that rock, as long as he can.
Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones talks to the media following the 2013 Cowboys preseason win over the Bengals. (Duration – 3:45)
- Thoughts and planned strategy regarding the preseason Special Teams units
- Parnell/Free right tackle experiment
- DeMarco Murray benching by Jason Garrett
- Tanner’s effort and inspirational value to other backs
- Randle cuts and instincts
- Postgame interview ends, short.
POSTGAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS – Cincinnati Bengals vs. Dallas Cowboys
Video | No Audio
OXNARD, Calif. – Just a little clearing of the notebook following Friday’s 19-17 loss to the Raiders in the second preseason game.
— In the amount of snaps that DeMarcus Ware played the other night, he was very productive but the best player on the field for the Cowboys defense was Sean Lee. If there is concern of how he would bounce back from his injury he suffered last season, well put those thoughts to rest. Lee was in midseason form with his reads, adjustments and the manner in which he attacked the ball.
The Raiders offensive line does not touch him the entire opportunity he was in the game and his blitz that caused the first turnover of the game was textbook. His quickness and agility was outstanding but the physical way in which he finished the play was even better.
— Jason Hatcher continues to impress in the way he is going about his business in this camp and in the way he played in this game. Hatcher has been able to handle a steady diet of playing in this scheme.
He not only has played with tremendous quickness and agility but his power has shown to be better as well. I worried about him getting off blocks consistently but now that he doesn’t have to two gap blockers and he can attack the gap, it’s a much better fit for him. He has also shown the ability to understand what Rod Marinelli is asked him to do technique wise. He is better with his hands and you really see it when he rushes the passer.
— Some were expecting a big game from Dwayne Harris but instead, got it from Cole Beasley. Every time I want to doubt Beasley or question his roster spot on this club, he reminds me of the unique skill set in which he plays with.
The Raiders had no answer in how to deal with his quickness and his route running ability. He was money on third downs and his touchdown in the red zone was also a reminder that despite his height, he can still make plays down there. He is a confident and reliable receiver that when put in the right situations can make those catches when no one else will.
Instead of thinking about all the things he can’t do like play consistently on the outside and by the way, he is getting better at that, we need to concentrate on what he does well and that is the reason he will be in this wide receiver mix. If he can give you something in the return game its a plus but there has to be packages that Bill Callahan can do to get him the ball because he has proven he can make plays.
–As much as I want to have concerns about that breakdown in kickoff coverage against the Raiders on Friday night, I am aware that it’s about the opportunity to evaluate players and not for what the scheme looks like.
Still it was a great example of how important that these teams are when young guys like Jakar Hamilton, Kendial Lawrence, and Jared Green are trying to make the team or get noticed by the coaches. Special team are about effort and desire but also playing with smarts. The Greg Jenkins return came after the Joseph Randle had put the Cowboys ahead and though the defense held, the field position was in the favor of the Raiders who recovered the muffed punt from B.W. Webb and kicked the game winning field goal.
But focusing on the kickoff coverage, Green was knocked into Lawrence who both went to the ground. Hamilton was doubled at the point and couldn’t release off the blocks. As the ball came down the hash, two players were on the ground and Webb was widen, which caused a huge crease which Jenkins was able to take advantage of for the return. It really was nice execution by the Raiders on the return but for some young players on this team trying to get noticed, it was the wrong way to get noticed.
OXNARD, Calif. – The Cowboys are now well underway in training camp here at the Oxnard River Ridge complex. The club wrapped up another light walk-through practice Monday, followed by a regular press conference from Jason Garrett.
Here are some highlights from the morning and early afternoon occurrences today:
- Defensive end Anthony Spencer didn’t participate because of a bone bruise on his leg. Spencer told reporters after practice he is trying to be smart about all injuries. His goal is to be “ready for that first game against the Giants.” From the sound of things, Spencer will be limited in his practice participation.
- With Spencer out, and after the torn Achilles injury of Tyrone Crawford, it put second-year pro Kyle Wilber working with the first-team defense at end.
- Running back Joseph Randle, who has been limited for most of the summer with a broken thumb injury, said he is “pretty much” 100 percent healthy now. Randle said he is wearing a small splint that fits inside his glove.
- Tight end James Hanna suffered a slight hamstring strain towards the end of the walk-through.
- When asked after practice what keeps Jason Witten’s motor running after 10 seasons, the Pro Bowl tight end said, his drive to “win a Super Bowl” is the biggest motivator. However, Witten said having the goal isn’t good enough. Putting in the hard work and long hours of camp and the offseason is only half of the battle. But still, Witten doesn’t deny the ultimate prize is to be holding that Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year. “When that day happens around here, it’ll be very special.”
- Jason Garrett said in his press conference the Cowboys won’t be able to put Crawford on IR until the roster is trimmed to 75 players. While they won’t gain a spot on the roster because of his injury, they already had one open spot. In regard to the defensive end, Garrett said “we need to reload there. We just need to continue to look at available options there.”
- Garrett on Tyrone Crawford: “I thought he had an outstanding year last year. He was a different player at the end of the year than the start. You know he’ll do his rehab right and we know he’ll be better and stronger than ever.”
- The head coach said defensive tackle Ben Bass has “some position flex” and he’ll get the chance with Crawford out, to play both end and tackle in the next few days.
- Jason Garrett was asked a few questions about his team-meeting speech on Saturday that has become viral in the internet Monday. The coach said motivational speaking is the biggest part of his job. “I think you have to give them a path, a roadmap, some inspiration and motivation to get up each and day to accomplish that vision. It’s my job as the head coach to do that. If you’re a human being, you need motivation and inspiration. It’s something I believe I have to do.
- Injured defensive end Tyrone Crawford said he will try to remain upbeat after his disappointing Achilles injury that will put him on IR for the entire season. “I’m still a part of the team. But I’m just not going to be there on the field. I learned a lot from DeMarcus Ware this offseason. I learned a lot from Hatcher, Ratliff this offseason. Now, I’m going to learn a lot from (Barry) Church and Britt Brown and the rest of the medical staff. But I’m going to work hard. I’ll make it back.”
- Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, the team’s director of player personnel, said Tyrone Crawford’s replacement is already on the roster. “We certainly like the guys we’ve got better there anyone out there.”
IRVING – Dallas Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown likes the players he’s tutoring.
“They are mature guys,” Brown said of lead horse DeMarco Murray, backups Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar and fifth-round pick Joseph Randle, who signed a four-year deal worth more than $2 million Monday. “They are guys who want to win, work hard and be the best they can possibly be.’
But being a fan of his backs doesn’t necessarily mean Brown is on the same page with them when it comes to their running styles. For instance, he and Murray differ over the controversial crown-of-helmet rule the NFL Competition Committee passed in March.
The new rule, designed to make the game safer, penalizes players for lowering the crown of their helmet outside the tackle box.
Murray last week became the latest NFL tailback to express his disappointment with the rule, following the lead of such standouts as Adrian Peterson, Trent Richardson, Ray Rice and Matt Forte, who called it “absurd.”
Speaking to reporters at a charity event, Murray said he has no plans to tone down his aggressive style, which includes strong finishing kicks and, yes, an occasional lowered helmet. “I’m not changing my running style,” Murray said. “If I get fined, hopefully (Tony) Romo will take care of the first couple for me. I’m doing it for him.”
While Romo’s six-year, $108 million contract extension gives him the funds to cover his teammates’ fines for the rest of their careers, Brown is hopeful the quarterback won’t have to dig into his pockets to bail out Murray.
Asked about Murray’s penchant for seeking contact, Brown said last week, “I noticed that. I’ve seen that. We’ve talked about it. We are going to have a plan to try to get better than that. He’s explosive enough that he can freeze people’s feet and get away from them and do the things he needs to do to gain more yards.
“With he and I working together to get him better, it should be a great thing.”
Brown, a former Houston Oilers running back who joined Dallas after it fired Skip Peete in January, actually likes the rule and thinks it will benefit Murray.
“What is going to happen is he’s going to be better because he will be able to see,” Brown said. “He will have to keep his eyes up, his head up.”
But it’s the safety aspect of the rule Brown likes best.
“We want them to be safe,” he said. “We want them after their careers are done to be able to play with their children and things like that. So it is a bigger picture. It’s for their future.”
Injuries have been an issue for the 6-foot, 215-pound Murray ever since Dallas drafted him in the third round in 2011. The Oklahoma-ex missed three games his rookie year and six in 2012 but still managed to lead the club in rushing both seasons (897 yards in 2011, 663 in 2012).
While Brown said he’s powerless to prevent the ankle and foot issues that have plagued Murray, he’s certain the new rule will help prevent catastrophic injuries.
“If you keep your head up, you can see what’s going on,” Brown said. “If you drop your head…you are going to break your neck eventually. “It’s a good thing. You can still stay low and keep your head up. That’s what the thing was when (the rule) first came out, ‘Oh, running backs aren’t going to be able to protect themselves.’ Well, that’s not true. We are always going to run low to the ground. We’re just going to keep our heads up.”
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett suggested the club must walk a fine line when tinkering with Murray’s style.
“One of the things we like about him is he finishes runs,” Garrett said of Murray. “You think it might be blocked for three or four yards and he makes five or six because of how he finishes.
“You don’t want to lose that. At the same time, you want to make guys miss. You want to make longer runs and, at the end of runs, not be so susceptible to contact. But, again, you don’t want to lose that finish trait we like about him.”
RELATED: Coach Brown’s thoughts on drafted backs, new blocking scheme
IRVING – With 1,265 rushing yards last season, the Cowboys ranked next to last in the NFL and established a franchise low for a 16-game season. New running backs coach Gary Brown, though, is optimistic there will be improvement this season with a healthier DeMarco Murray, the addition of fifth-round pick Joseph Randle and some new blocking schemes.
Murray has missed nine games due to injuries the last two seasons, so Brown has his fingers crossed that the Oklahoma-ex in 2013 will finally put in a full season.
“There’s nothing a coach can do (to prevent injury),” Brown said. “You can just coach him hard and try to encourage him and try to just make sure he’s doing the right thing to take care of his body because of lot of those injuries are freak things. Nothing we can do about it. He just has to be blessed with a 16-game season and, hopefully, that will happen.”
Brown is a big fan of Randle, who was limited at rookie minicamp because of a cast to protect his injured thumb.
“I think he is a great player,” Brown said of Randle, an Oklahoma State-ex. “We are happy to have him. Just happy he was there for us, and he’s going to fit in real well.”
Asked why Randle slid to the fifth round, Brown said, “It’s a lottery. I don’t know why. (Former Denver running back) Terrell Davis slipped to the sixth and he had a 2,000 yard season. You don’t know why (Houston star) Arian Foster never got drafted. Things just happen. This whole draft thing, it ain’t a perfect science. We make mistakes, so that’s what it is.”
Speaking of Houston, the Cowboys plan to take a page out of the Texans’ playbook and run more zone blocking schemes. “We feel like we have players that can run it, blocking that can do it, so we are going to emphasize it and get better at it,” Brown said.
A cast on Joseph Randle’s right arm kept the running back from taking part in drills during the Cowboys rookie-mini-camp.
But it hasn’t kept him from signing a contract.
The team’s fifth round pick agreed to a four-year deal Monday that will pay him slightly more than $2.29 million. He is the second player from this rookie class to sign with the Cowboys.
Sixth round pick DeVonte Holloman signed a four-year deal for $2.2 million over the weekend.
Randle should play a valuable role this season. He’s expected to ease the load on starter DeMarco Murray and be a solid insurance option if Murray goes down with injury, as he has in each of the past two seasons.
Randle had surgery on his thumb last week and is expected to be in a cast for the next five to seven weeks. He might be cleared to go through drills during the latter part of the team’s OTAs or its mini-camp in June. There is no concern about his ability to be cleared to compete fully once training camp rolls around in July.
The Oklahoma State running back make it clear he comes into the NFL with a chip on his shoulder pads for lasting until the third day of the draft.
“People can make whatever they want to make for their motivation,” Randle said. “I’m going to find plenty to motivate me.”
MIND OVER MATTER: Maturing Dez Bryant sees himself as a veteran mentor, says ‘No more games, no more wondering’
PHOTO: Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant talks with media after hitting in the Reliant Home Run Derby benefiting the Salvation Army at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. (Brad Loper/The Dallas Morning News)
ARLINGTON – Dez Bryant says he has a different mindset entering his fourth NFL season. The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver now looks at himself as a veteran.
“There’s no more games, no more wondering,” Bryant said Wednesday while participating with Cowboys teammates and head coach Jason Garrett in the Reliant Home Run Derby at Rangers Ballpark. “I know what I’m doing. I got to come in and do what I did at the end of last year. And I hope to build on that.”
Bryant was referring to the final eight games of the season when he caught 72 passes for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns. That strong finish allowed the 24-year-old to continue to steadily improve statistically over each of his three years in the league.
The former first-round pick appeared in all 16 games despite battling multiple injuries in 2012. Bryant fractured his left index finger in a Dec. 9 victory over Cincinnati. The injury required surgery but Bryant played through it, choosing to wear a specialized splint and glove.
“It’s never going to be normal, but I promise it’s never going to be an issue,” Bryant said Wednesday. “I’m ready to go. I’ve been catching footballs and I actually feel like I’ve been catching better, so I’m ready to go.”
In the final game of the season, Bryant suffered a lower back injury during the fourth quarter. Bryant was in so much pain that he couldn’t stand on his own. Asked about the back injury Wednesday, Bryant admitted that it took him a little longer than expected to fully recover.
“But the back is not an issue now,” he said. “It’s all about getting into OTAs and trying to help out all of the younger guys, make sure everybody is on the same page, and ready to go for this 2013 season.”
Two of the younger guys Bryant was likely referring to are 2013 draft picks Terrance Williams and Joseph Randle. Bryant spoke highly of both, mentioning that he expects Williams, a wide receiver out of Baylor, and Randle, a running back out of Oklahoma State, to do “big things” while wearing a Dallas Cowboys uniform.
DeMarco Murray said he understands the Dallas Cowboys might want to use two running backs, but he’s used to that. He said he’s never been a “true starter,” either with the Cowboys or in college at Oklahoma.
“I’ve started, but Felix was always here, and things like that, so I’m excited for the new kid,” Murray said Wednesday at a charity event in Arlington.
The new kid is Joseph Randle, a running back from Oklahoma State drafted by the Cowboys in the fifth round two weeks ago.
“He’s definitely a quality running back from Oklahoma State – they’ve always been known for great running backs,” Murray said. “I’m excited to bring him in the family. Definitely, we’re going to get after it a little bit and help him out as much as we can.”
But Murray didn’t forget about two other running backs still on the roster.
“I’m excited for Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner, two great running backs,” he said. “Those guys have definitely worked hard and earned themselves a shot at playing time next year.”
Related articles about new Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle:
2013 ROOKIE’S TO WATCH: Dallas Cowboys new draft picks RB Joseph Randle and WR Terrance Williams college highlights
Sure, reading and hearing about your newly drafted players is interesting. But, nothing beats seeing! Watch these young studs in action in the short videos below.
Joseph Randle Highlights
The Dallas Cowboys desperately needed some depth at running back with Felix Jones heading for free agency, so they picked up Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. But anybody that watched Randle in college might’ve been shocked that he lasted as long as he did. The former OSU Cowboy racked up more than 2,600 yards and 38 touchdowns during his last two seasons in Stillwater, making him one of the most prolific backs in college football since 2011. Check out some impressive highlights of Randle at work below:
Terrance Williams Highlights
The Dallas Cowboys drafted prolific Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams in the third round of last week’s NFL Draft. While Big 12 fans are plenty familiar with Williams’, those of you who don’t follow college football probably haven’t seen much of him in action. Here’s a video that shows off some of Williams’ more impressive displays of athleticism during his time at Baylor.
Entering the NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys were looking for a No. 2 running back to get carries behind DeMarco Murray. What they landed in the fifth round was a three-down runner that compares well to the team’s starter.
Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle was selected by the Cowboys with the 151st overall pick, making him the 10th running back drafted. With free agent Felix Jones’ time likely done in Dallas, the Cowboys needed someone to compliment Murray, the team’s leading rusher but also someone who has missed nine games over the last two years.
Last season, Murray carried 161 times. Jones was next in line with 111 rushes, followed by Phillip Tanner with 25 and Lance Dunbar with 21. Even if Murray avoids injury, Randle should be stepping into a significant role.
“I can’t envision Murray carrying the entire load for an entire game,” Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Saturday night. “In Dunbar, we’ve got a back that we really like a lot, and he’s very natural in what he does, but he’s your third back. He’s not the guy that comes in and carries a big part of that load.”
The Cowboys are hoping Randle is capable of taking on that workload. And Jerry Jones’ relationship with Oklahoma State athletic booster T. Boone Pickens might’ve provided the Cowboys with some additional intelligence.
“We had a lot of great information about his entire Oklahoma State [career],” Jerry Jones said. “I respect and know the coach over there really well. Boone’s one of my three or four best friends there are, and Boone gets you some information over there.”
Randle rushed for 1,216 yards and 24 touchdowns as a sophomore and 1,417 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. So why did he last until the 18th pick in the fifth round? Well, it could be because he’s dealing with a thumb injury.
Jerry Jones said Randle will wear a club-like cast and be limited in OTAs and minicamp but it won’t prevent the 21-year-old from participating in training camp.
“He’s been a real productive player as a runner,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Not only as a runner, but as a receiver, and he certainly has all the physical traits you want. But you also feel like he’s a guy who is going to get bigger and stronger. He’s a six-foot 205-pound guy now, and he can probably be even bigger than that as he grows into his body even more. You see quickness, explosiveness in a fairly big body, and some versatility.”
IRVING – Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle made it clear he has a chip on his shoulder after going to the Cowboys in the fifth round.
Randle said in a conference call he is “extremely excited” that Dallas selected him, but he expected to go higher.
“I will use it as fuel to my fire,” the 6-foot, 200-pound underclassman said in a conference call Saturday afternoon. “I will work harder and remember this day, all the teams that passed me up…When I hit the weight room again, I will definitely be hungry and determined to show my worth, my value.”
Randle gives the Cowboys a valuable insurance policy in case DeMarco Murray is injured again.
“The NFL is a two-back system now,” Randle said. “Guys need other guys to come in and you don’t want to drop the tempo off much, so I think we will work well together. I am just going to come in and work hard and see where that gets me. I respect (Murray’s) game a lot.”
Randle led the Big 12 in rushing last season with 1,417 yards on 274 carries with a14 TDs. He also caught 28 catches for 224 yards.
Randle is also known as a strong, willing blocker and a good leader.
RELATED: Cowboys grab running back Joseph Randle from Oklahoma State
The Dallas Cowboys, in need of a backup running back, drafted Joseph Randle from Oklahoma State with the 18th pick of the fifth round.
Randle is the running back ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper targeted in the last couple of weeks as “the back late in the draft that could be this year’s Alfred Morris.” Morris was taken in the sixth round last year by the Washington Redskins and wound up second in the NFL in rushing with more than 1,600 yards.
Randle is the third recent Cowboys to Cowboys player acquired by Dallas, joining wide receiver Dez Bryant and kicker Dan Bailey as Oklahoma State alums on the roster.
He projects to compete as a backup to DeMarco Murray, and maybe more, given Murray’s injury history. Murray is a former Oklahoma Sooners standout, so he and Randle will have to talk their way through that rivalry.
The Star-Telegram’s Jimmy Burch, “Cowboys score real value with RB Joseph Randle as their 5th round pick. Great value at that point in draft. Versatile, talented RB”.
RELATED: RB Randle might be slowed by thumb injury in rookie minicamp
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said fifth-round pick Joseph Randle has a thumb problem that might limit him in rookie minicamp, mainly catching the ball.
Jones said Randle will wear a “club” to protect the thumb, but that it shouldn’t slow him down in anything except pass-catching.
Randle described himself as versatile and considered his pass-catching a strength.
“I do everything well: running, blocking. I take pride in my blocking. I take pride in being able to catch, and I take pride in being able to make tough yards and make people miss one-on-one,” he said. “That’s just my game in a nutshell right there.”