Cowboys Add to Running Back Committee With Michael Trade

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Gus Johnson and Ben Maleena had the Cowboys’ only rushing touchdowns of the preseason. And, as of Saturday’s cuts to 53, they are now former Cowboys.

We knew deep down they weren’t serious candidates to replace DeMarco Murray. But neither did we see this one coming:

Christine Michael?

The Cowboys will sell their acquisition of the Seahawks’ running back in exchange for a conditional, low-round draft pick as a move for “depth and insurance.” But it’s also a sign that they’re not totally sold on their stable of runners: Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar.

And I don’t blame them. Because of injuries, that trio amassed a combined 87 yards on 21 carries in the preseason. Randle, still projected as the team’s starter Sunday night against the Giants, missed the team’s kickoff luncheon last week while cleaning up his legal affairs related to 2014’s arrest in Wichita.

Not that Michael is being brought here to be the guy.

After starring at Texas A&M, he was drafted in the 2nd round by Seattle but then buried on the bench behind workhorse Marshawn Lynch. He’s a stocky, strong runner with a burst, but not take-it-to-the-house speed. He’s more likely to deliver a hit than offer a juke, and could eventually be Dallas’ short-yardage specialist.

It’s been a strange journey to replace last year’s NFL rushing leader. The Cowboys didn’t pursue Adrian Peterson. Didn’t draft a running back. And didn’t make strong pushes for veterans Ray Rice or Steven Jackson.

The Cowboys in 2-15 are still going to run by committee. Just, with the addition of Michael, a bigger 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.

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