Lance Dunbar may never return to being the explosive, elusive running back he once was. But if he does, it will be with the Cowboys.
The running back flirted with the 49ers, Seahawks and Bears, but on Thursday signed a one-year deal to stay put in Dallas. Now his job is to get healthy. It won’t be easy.
Dunbar was off to a great start in 2015 when he suffered on a devastating knee injury on a kickoff return in New Orleans in Week 4. Though looking relatively mundane by NFL standards, Dunbar planted awkward and fell and in the process tore his ACL, MCL and patellar tendon. In other words, the knee trifecta.
For a guy who uses bursts of speeds and changes of directions to make a living, it was a massive blow. Add to it that Dunbar’s already come back from a major injury in 2013, and it’s not illogical to think he’ll never return to the 100 percent cat-quick, third-back back the Cowboys envisioned.
Shame. Dunbar’s a good kid. And early last year he was on his way to being a good player. Through four games he already had 21 catches for 215 yards and was also a big part of the Cowboys’ offensive game via the running game.
With a one-year deal, the Cowboys aren’t convinced Dunbar will make it all the way back. But he has plenty of motivation, as in 2017 he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.
Obviously a healthy Dunbar fills a void in the backfield. But considering the question marks, it shouldn’t sway the Cowboys from drafting a running back.
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.