In a 2015 season filled with disappointment for the Dallas Cowboys, running back Darren McFadden was one of the only bright spots.
The veteran finished fourth in the NFL in rushing in his debut season for Dallas, totaling 1,089 yards on the ground, the second-best season in his career.
Things have changed quickly. Not even a year later, the Cowboys suddenly possess an embarrassment of riches at the running back position, and McFadden’s future with Dallas seems to be in question.
"For me, I’m a ball player," McFadden said of reports the Cowboys are considering trading him. "I just keep my head down and keep grinding. Anything that I can’t control, I don’t worry about. I let everything else be handled in the front office."
Dallas spent the fourth pick in the NFL Draft on Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott and added former Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris in free agency. The Cowboys also have Lance Dunbar back from knee surgery and spent a sixth-round pick on Eastern Michigan’s Darius Jackson, who has impressed the team in training camp and the preseason.
Meanwhile, McFadden has been out all summer recovering from elbow surgery after he sustained an injury in the offseason while slipping and falling. The decision seems to come down to the veteran heading into his ninth season, or the rookie Jackson.
“That’s a good situation,” Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said of the team’s depth at running back. “I think we can figure that out.”
If a trade is not completed, the Cowboys could also keep McFadden on the reserve/non-football injury list for the first six weeks of the season before making a decision.
“Obviously teams will be exchanging information and there will be some opportunities there that we’ll take a long, hard look at,” Jones said. “We’ll wait through the weekend and look at who gets waived, and then eventually end up with our roster.”