The ‘Zeke Elliott Era May Have Already Begun In Dallas After Darren McFadden’s Freak Elbow Injury

Darren McFadden

The Dallas Cowboys had arguably the worst luck in the entire NFL last season when it came to having its key players suffer injuries. Within the first several weeks of the season, the Cowboys lost Dez Bryant (foot), Tony Romo (shoulder), Lance Dunbar (knee), and Joseph Randle (released). The 2016 season has yet to even begin, and yet, Dallas’s depth chart has already taken a pretty significant hit, as ESPN has reported that running back Darren McFadden has reportedly suffered a broken elbow. McFadden has already undergone surgery and is expected to be out, at least “a couple of months,” according to head coach Jason Garrett. McFadden likely will not be ready to suit up for Dallas’s season-opener against the New York Giants on September 11th. 

Dallas running backs coach, Gary Brown told the Dallas Morning New that McFadden suffered the injury over Memorial Day weekend at his home when he fell to the ground while attempting to catch his phone, while Jason Garrett also confirmed in his press conference on Tuesday that McFadden’s injury was suffered due to “an accident at his home.” 

Despite drafting Ezekiel Elliot with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cowboys were still set on McFadden to be their No. 1 tailback entering 2016 after he won the starting job in 2015 following the release of Joseph Randle and the season-ending knee injury suffered by Lance Dunbar against the New Orleans Saints in week four. 

While the injury to McFadden certainly hurts, the Cowboys do have a little bit of depth to work with at the running back position in ‘Zeke Elliott and the newly signed Alfred Morris. Many will argue that the strength of Dallas’s offense, which features an All-Pro receiver in Dez Bryant and a future HOF tight end in Jason Witten, is their passing attack. But, in reality, the bread and butter of the Cowboys’ offense the last few seasons has been their running game, specifically speed runs to the outside when they still had DeMarco Murray. After Murray departed in free agency, many assumed that the Cowboys would be able to turn Joseph Randle into a rushing star out of the assumption that Murray was a product of Dallas’s exceptional offensive line (he was). However, after Dallas’s running backs were unable to stay out of jail cells and I.R, the Cowboys’ 2016 season took a turn for the worst really quick, as they were never able to get anything going on the ground and injuries to Romo and Bryant doomed them from the start. The one bright spot to the Cowboys’ offense in 2015 was the resurgence of former Oakland Raiders No. 4 overall pick, Darren McFadden. Now, the Cowboys will be without McFadden for all of training camp, the preseason, and likely the first month of the regular season. With Darren McFadden now on the sidelines, Ezekiel Elliott will be given the immediate reigns to the Dallas backfield. Sure, Alfred Morris will likely be seeing some touches as well. But giving the ball to a newly-signed free agent running back coming off of a career-worst season in Washington rather than your No. 4 overall draft pick likely will not go over well with the fans and media in Big D. This is all completely beside the fact that this phone drop by Darren McFadden is one of the dumbest injuries ever suffered in the NFL. Somebody, please glue that phone to Darren McFadden’s hand. It’s kind of hard to feel bad for Cowboys fans because of all the success this franchise has had and how much a clown their owner is, but no fanbase deserves to have their team be horrendous due to a fluctuation of crazy injuries like this occurring. 

Darren McFadden is out, Ezekiel Elliott is in (barring injury). Let the fun begin. 

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