Dallas Cowboys’ Dunbar Looking to Prove Himself

By now, everyone has heard running back DeMarco Murray jumped ship and left via free agency for the division rival Philadelphia Eagles after leading the league in rushing and setting a franchise record for rushing yards in a season. Yes, he topped even the great Emmitt Smith’s top rushing season.Lance-Dunbar-Cowboys

The Cowboys signed former Oakland Raider Darren McFadden via free agency and also have Joseph Randle already on the roster. McFadden has had an injury-riddled career and Randle has had a few instances with the law since last September. The Cowboys also have Ryan Williams on the roster who is a former second round pick of the Arizona Cardinals put of Virginia Tech who was on injured reserve his first two seasons in the league with injuries to his patella tendon and shoulder, respectively.

What people seem to be forgetting is that Lance Dunbar is on the roster. Dunbar made the 53 man roster in 2012 as an undrafted free agent out of North Texas. Standing 5’8″ and weighing 191 lbs, Dunbar is built similar to Darren Sproles who has enjoyed many strong seasons in the NFL. That is exactly what Dunbar is hoping for this season as the Cowboys are looking to work him into the mix at running back.

Offensive coordinator acknowledges Dunbar’s size limits his opportunity to be an every down back, but his skill set allow him to be very productive with the opportunities he is given, When he was the offensive coordinator in Detroit, Linehan was able to get running backs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell over 50 catchers each. Dunbar appears to be the best pass catcher of the running backs on the roster so maybe this is where he could contribute although he has also proven he could put up yards on the ground, too, when he carried 12 times for 82 yards against the Oakland Raiders on Thanksgiving in 2013 before leaving the game with a season-ending knee injury.

Dunbar is fully confident in his abilities to contribute.

“I know what I can do. It’s the little details and the coverages and how they’re going to try to play me, what to do, how to react. But I feel like I’ve got everything down. I’m just working on the little things each and every day, so my time will come to where I can react the right way each time.”

Even head coach Jason Garrett has offered words of praise on Dunbar.

“Sometimes he doesn’t play as many plays as some of the other guys, but when you look at his production within the plays that he has, it’s usually pretty good. He’s usually a difference maker. He’s a really smart football player. He’s talented. He’s quick. He’s fast and explosive, has great intuition and instincts for the game. We try to use him a lot of different ways, and when we have used him he’s been effective for us. You’re always trying to give those guys more opportunities.”

Those are some pretty impressive words of praise. When you hear words like talented, quick, smart, and explosive, it’s a wonder Dunbar has not been given more opportunities. Murray was a big part of why Dunbar did not touch the ball more, but that will change now that the Cowboys are taking running back by committee approach. While no running back on the roster will put up anywhere close to Murray’s 2014 production, as a committee who is to say they can’t come close?

And that’s as I see it!

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Internal photo courtesy of http://www.rantsports.com

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