Darren McFadden Signs Two Year Deal With Dallas Cowboys


Former first round draft pick Darren McFadden’s time with the Oakland Raiders has officially come to an end as the running back has signed elsewhere during the first week of 2015 NFL Free Agency. Cashing in on a contract year after signing a “prove it” deal with the Raiders for 2014 where he played all 16 games by getting a two year contract with the Dallas Cowboys.

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After letting DeMarco Murray walk on Thursday to division rivals in the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys quickly snapped up McFadden as a veteran replacement for their former running back. Bringing in a veteran who at one point was one of the most explosive backs in the leagues before injuries slowed him down until 2014 where he played every game in Oakland, despite not having the same explosiveness he had when he entered the league.

McFadden’s roots with the Arkansas Razorbacks likely gave him an in with owner Jerry Jones, who has a soft spot for players from the school, already having DMC’s former running back mate in Felix Jones on the team from 2008-2012.

In McFadden the Cowboys are getting a veteran talent who can still break off a big play or two a game, particularly in the flats where he has developed as a talented receiving back with some size for the role. Behind the Cowboys elite offensive line it is expected that McFadden could have a rejuvenation in Dallas if he is healthy, but playing 16 games is always going to be a question mark for a player who has had long standing durability issues.

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Leaving Oakland McFadden will bow out of his Raiders career as a player who never lived up to the expectations of being a high draft pick, helping guide the team to within two wins of the playoffs in his best season in the first 8-8 season before injuries the following year likely sunk the team’s playoff hopes. Even if the team struggled, McFadden’s best season came in the year in which the Raiders were closest to the playoffs since the Rich Gannon era and his injuries that followed that success began an unfortunate downturn that he had little control of with his body betraying him at every turn.

After a 16 game season in 2014, McFadden will be hoping those injury days are behind him with a new start in Dallas where he can fill a role as a veteran who can join what will likely be a running back committee. Playing in an offense that ran the ball at will last season there is a chance that DMC can revive his career, something that he deserves after years of adversity playing through injury hell even if that success won’t be in Oakland if it comes.