Finally, we were awakened from our turkey-induced comas by a 5-foot-8 kid we thought got lost along the way.
The Cowboys trailed the Raiders by seven midway through the third quarter. AT&T Stadium was lifeless. Selena Gomez was long gone. The extra helping(s) of stuffing were working on our eyelids. And then … Lance Dunbar happened.
He took a handoff from Tony Romo, put a jaw-dropping move on Raiders’ defensive back Charles Woodson and darted 45 yards. It energized the crowd. It set up the game-tying touchdown. It made us remember what we’d forgotten: That the Hurricane Katrina survivor and undrafted back from North Texas has the skill set to be a huge asset in the Cowboys’ offense.
But Dubar had been banished to the doghouse in the wake of his costly fumble in the one-point loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Slowly, he’s winning back Jason Garrett’s trust. Three carries with some burst against the Giants. And Thursday, a career-high 12 carries for 82 yards.
He entered the game with 68 yards the entire season.
DeMarco Murray is the Cowboys’ No. 1 back. But they need a change-of-pace weapon. Someone who can juke and jive and run screens.
First, he’s got to get healthy (his hyperextended knee should be healed by the time the Cowboys face the Bears in 10 days). Second, he’s got to take care of the ball. If so, the Cowboys will get a much-needed shot in the offense down the stretch.
So while you’re rooting against the Eagles this weekend, take time to be thankful that Lance Dunbar arrived. Finally.
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 currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.