On a team that features Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley, after three games the Cowboys’ leading receiver is …
A running back.
That says a lot about Dallas’ lack of downfield prowess. But it also says something about Lance Dunbar’s progress.
Dunbar is in 2015 what Preston Pearson was in the late ‘70s – a mismatch for linebackers with reliable hands and shifty moves.
The North Texas alum has been the favorite target of both Tony Romo and Brandon Weeden so far, amassing 21 catches for 215 yards. He’s on pace – not that anyone expects it to hold up – for 100+ receptions for 1,000+ yards.
Nonetheless, he’s a legit weapon out of the backfield on screens, swing passes and, most importantly, third downs. The Cowboys are using him the same way the Eagles use Darren Sproles, the way the Giants once used Dave Meggett, and the way they used to employ Pearson, who caught 189 balls for 11 touchdowns from Roger Staubach.
When Bryant returns and Witten gets healthy and Romo is back, the offense will be loaded. And for the first time in a long time, the Cowboys will have an asset catching passes out of the backfield.
Dunbar isn’t big enough or durable enough to be an every-down back. But he’s already shown he can be a productive part of the Cowboys’ running back committee.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.