Dallas Cowboys Sign Underachieving Free Agent RB Darren McFadden


Just when we thought Stephen Jones, the son of eccentric Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, was in charge of “America’s Team,” daddy dearest made butted his head in the team’s personnel decisions. Instead of re-signing Pro-Bowl running back of Offensive Player of the Year DeMarco Murray, Jones let Murray become a free agent. Consequently, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Murray in March. Left in a huge gap in the backfield, who did the Dallas Cowboys bring in to try to replace Murray’s production? The Cowboys signed oft-injured former Arkansas Razorback Darren McFadden to a two-year deal worth $5.85 million. The move is bizarre and has left NFL observers scratching their heads.

Why bring in McFadden? One possible explanation is owner Jerry Jones is a proud alum of the University of Arkansas and has coveted former Razorbacks over the years. According to reports, Jones wanted to sign McFadden before this year. Jones loves Razorbacks so much, the Cowboys drafted McFadden’s college running mate Felix Jones in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft. Can McFadden replace Murray? Don’t think so.

In 2007, McFadden ran for 1,830 yards, 16 TD for the University of Arkansas. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones‘ attended Arkansas

Senility Ain’t Attractive

Darren McFadden, known as “Run DMC,” has never lived up to the hype generated by his college numbers. Simultaneously, McFadden can’t stay on the field–he’s consistently been injured throughout his NFL career. Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News pointed out McFadden has suffered 15 injuries in his first six seasons with the Oakland Raiders that caused him to miss 29 games. McFadden’s injury history reads like a surgeon’s list of expertise. The running back has undergone three major surgeries. In 2006 at Arkansas his left foot was injured. In 2008 surgery was performed on his shoulder and in 2009 he underwent knee surgery. McFadden also suffered hamstring, toe, ankle, and head injuries.

So what is Jerry Jones thinking? That’s the million-dollar question. Maybe Jerry isn’t thinking.

Bleacher Report wrote about the McFadden signing, “This move just strains credibility. It’s not the sort of back-of-roster padding that a back the caliber of McFadden deserves at this stage of his career. It reeks of desperation thanks to the timing of the signing and the fervor with which the Cowboys reached out to McFadden. It’s just…It’s just not a move that makes any sense.”

Greg Nelson/SI

The McFadden Expectations

Darren McFadden should spend more time on the sideline with an injury than toting the rock. Leave to Jerry Jones to screw up his running game in just one year. In January, Jones gave a $10 million endowment to his alma mater. Money can buy a lot of material objects but it can’t buy you intelligence. Good work Jerry. The Cowboys signing of Darren McFadden is ingenious.