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Cowboys to retain run-first approach minus Murray

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Darren McFadden, Ryan Williams, Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle might not be the answer, but the Dallas Cowboys will find one before the 2015 season, coach Jason Garrett said.

The loss of running back DeMarco Murray puts the list of replacement options in the spotlight this offseason. Murray, who signed a five-year, $41.5 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, led the NFL in rushing and had 511 total touches, including the playoffs, last season. He was, in a word, the centerpiece of the Cowboys’ offense.

“What he was able to do for our ball club last year was phenomenal. He had a huge impact on the success that we had,” said Garrett. “We wanted him to be a Cowboy not just for this coming year but for many years to come. … Unfortunately that didn’t work out. Now we have to move on and make the next best decision for our team.”

The Cowboys could address the position in the 2015 draft. Georgia’s Todd Gurley and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon are projected as first-round picks by NFLDraftScout.com, but as many as 10 could be selected in the top 100.

McFadden has some similarity to Murray, including durability questions. Fifteen different injuries cost him 29 games in the first six seasons of his career before he played all 16 games for the first time in the NFL last season. While he has never produced anything close to Murray’s 1,800-yard season of 2014, McFadden was not surrounded by great talent with the Oakland Raiders and shoddy quarterback play often made him the focal points of defenses.

“I’ve had an up-and-down career in the NFL, but I’m a pro about things. I go about things the right way, so I want to come out here and perform the way that I can and just show everybody what I’m capable of all along,” said McFadden. “It’s a lot to prove. I still feel that way. I don’t feel that people have seen the best of me in the NFL. I can only go up from where I’ve been.”


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