NFL Wire News

Cowboys sign RB Williams after cutting Randle


The Sports Xchange

IRVING, Texas — Running back Joseph Randle’s demise is a dream come true for rookie Trey Williams, who was signed by Dallas off the Washington Redskins practice squad on Wednesday, one day after the Cowboys cut Randle.

The 5-foot-8, 195-pound Williams, an undrafted rookie from Texas A&M, is more of a finesse back who could serve as a change of pace option as well as a returner on special teams.

“He’s a productive guy,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s a smaller back but he’s almost small in stature more than he is a small guy. He’s got some thickness to him but a guy that I think has a good feel for playing the game. He has good quickness and explosiveness and he’s made some plays in a short period of time.

“You watch his tape from the preseason, we feel good about him. We liked him coming out of school and we just want to give him an opportunity.”

Williams called the move to the Cowboys a surprise and a dream come true.

“I was more than surprised. I can’t even explain it,” Williams said. “My agent called me and put my mom on the phone. We just pretty much cried together. This is it.

“Growing up as a little kid, this is my favorite team. I can only just give thanks to God and just keep giving my all. It’s never going to change.”

Darren McFadden remains the starter at running back and will carry the load when the Cowboys face the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

McFadden took over from the departed Randle last week when things started spiraling out of control for the three-year veteran.

Among the issues included Randle finding out he faced discipline from the league under the personal conduct policy for his involvement in a domestic violence incident in Wichita, Kan., last spring.

Randle expressed concerns about his girlfriend, calling police to his house on Wednesday afternoon when he bolted from the facility, although they found nothing wrong.

The erratic behavior also included him talking about retiring and going into the ministry.

Randle spent most of last week away from the team facility, including meeting with team counselors as the Cowboys expressed concern for his mental health. He did not play in last Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks and was already ruled out this week’s game against the Eagles when the Cowboys decided to cut him on Tuesday.

Garrett, who told Randle of the decision to release him on the phone call, said the move was in the best interest of the team and the player.

“I think ultimately you look at the body of work of a player and how he can help your football team,” Garrett said. “Ultimately, every decision we make here is made in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys. No individual player or coach or anyone in our organization comes before that.

“That’s the guiding principle that we use and we just felt at this time it was most important for him to get some of the issues that he has in his personal life squared away and it was important for us as a football team to focus on the task at hand that we have going forward without him. We thought that was the right decision with our team.”

–Cowboys vice-president Stephen Jones said he still doesn’t regret letting running back DeMarco Murray walk in free agency.

Never mind that Murray led the NFL in rushing last year before going to Philadelphia in free agency or that the Cowboys’ primary choice to replace Murray has been in failure in the form of Joseph Randle.

The Cowboys released Randle on Tuesday because of personal issues and declining production.

“No that ship has sailed. We don’t look back now,” Jones said.

Jones said the Cowboys would make the same decision all over again and it more to do with the salary cap than anything else.

–RB Darren McFadden is ready to grind as the starter now the Joseph Randle has been released. He has 49 carries for 216 yards the last two games as the primary back. McFadden has 86 carries fro 345 yards this season. In the first five games, he had no more than 10 carries in a game. He said his body is ready for the load.

“To me, I go out there and grind,” McFadden said “That’s something that I do. Being able to get those carries and just come back the next week and do it again, I’m very thankful for it.”

NOTES: Wide receiver Dez Bryant (foot) was limited in practice on Wednesday but it mainly for precaution. Bryant will play against the Eagles. … Strong safety Barry Church (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday. He continues to nurse a sore ankle but it is not expected to keep him out of the Eagles game. … Strong safety Jeff Heath has not been fined for the blindside hit against Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette. Heath regrets that Lockette got hurt, but he doesn’t regret making a tough football play. Heath has reached out to Lockett to check on him. Lockette thanked him for his concern. … Defensive end Randy Gregory has yet to make an impact since returning from a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for four games. He has played a limited number of snaps — 18 — in two games against the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks. But his minimal production and playing time the last two weeks can be blamed on him not being totally back mentally.

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