Darren McFadden hasn’t played a down for the Dallas Cowboys one year after leading them in rushing yards, and it’s worth wondering whether he will get to.
No. 4 overall pick Ezekiel Elliott leads the league with 703 yards despite not playing last week. The Cowboys also signed Alfred Morris away from the Washington Redskins this season, although it has been Elliott’s backfield all the way.
That leads to wonders about if McFadden would be traded. The ninth-year pro has proven his value through the years, from being the No. 4 pick in the 2008 draft to rushing for 1,157 yards with the Oakland Raiders in 2010 to last year with the Cowboys, when his 1,089 yards ranked fourth in the NFL.
McFadden just turned 29 and has had a career full of injuries, including the elbow surgery that has kept him out of action so far. He is still a few weeks away from returning as the Cowboys contemplate when to pull him off the Physically Unable to Perform List, he told reporters this week.
Now, if he returns, or when he returns, the backfield will be quite different than when he led the team in rushing a year ago.
“It’s just the way it played out right now,” McFadden said, per the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. “We’ve got good backs. They’ve been doing a hell of a job running the ball. Right now, it’s just a waiting game for me.”
Dallas is 5-1 and sits alone atop the NFC East, thanks largely to the running game and the play of fourth-round rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. The Cowboys do have pass-rush needs they could look to address through a trade.
For the meantime, McFadden told reporters he’s focused on making a return to playing football. He knows he has to get healthy to have value for any team.
“It’s something I don’t really pay attention to,” McFadden said, per the Star-Telegram. “Right now, whatever happens man, I’m going to be ready regardless. Whether they decide to bring me up and play me here, or if I get traded or whatever, I’m going to be ready to play.”