NAPA, CA - AUGUST 01: Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders works out during the Raiders training camp at their Napa Valley Training Complex on August 1, 2010 in Napa, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Darren McFadden
I’d like you Cowboys fans out there to put on your thinking caps and remember all the way back to the spring of 2008. Oh, it was a magical time for America. Sarah Palin was a virtual unknown. The Gulf of Mexico was free of oil. Bear Stearns was making investors money with NO SIGNS OF EVER FAILING. And a young scamp named Jerry Jones had his heart set on a young running back from Arkansas named Darren McFadden.
Looking back, it’s shocking that the Double J never managed to trade for McFadden. After all, WHAT THE DOUBLE J WANTS, THE DOUBLE J GITS! Chris Mortensen reported that Jones was looking into trading a first round pick (or both) and Marion Barber to move up and draft McFadden, possibly in the number one slot where Miami was selecting. Instead, Jones opted to stand pat and draft Felix Jones at #22 and, more crucial, Mike Jenkins at #25.
Fast forward two years. The Cowboys play their next preseason game against the Raiders this weekend, and look who isn’t going to be on the field.
Running back Darren McFadden will miss the Oakland Raiders' preseason opener Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys with a sore left hamstring.
In two years with Oakland, McFadden has played 25 games and totaled 856 yards on the ground. His Cowboys counterparts, Barber and Jones, have both bested those totals while splitting time with each other (Jones has 951 yards, Barber 1,817), along with a third back in Tashard Choice. Both Dallas backs have also easily bested McFadden’s 3.9 YPC on the ground.
Now, to be fair to McFadden, he plays for the worst run organization in the NFL. The Raiders line, in particular, has been atrocious for nearly a decade. A running back can’t do it all by himself.
But McFadden shouldn’t be blameless for the tepid career he’s had thus far. He hasn’t shown the kind of explosiveness Jones has, or the kind of toughness Barber has. If the Cowboys had managed to swing a trade to draft McFadden, I can almost guarantee you they wouldn’t be a better team today. They’d be thinner at running back, and they’d probably be without Jenkins, who is now one of the best young corners in football.
So keep that in mind when you watch the Cowboys NOT play against McFadden this weekend. The Double J dodged himself a bullet.
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