Darren McFadden “Feels Like a Rookie” After Leaving Raiders


May 27, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden (20) runs with the ball during OTAs at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

For much of Darren McFadden’s career with the Oakland Raiders, hope was eternal during each offseason as a fully healthy DMC would look like he was about to light the world on fire with his speed and athleticism. Even in the latter stages of his run in Oakland, it always would seem as if McFadden looked like the player who was drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft when he was preparing for an upcoming season.

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Of course once the season began McFadden’s durability issues from injuries early in his NFL career would always limit him from reaching his potential. DMC finally coming to the end in the road in Oakland after the 2014 season, failing to keep the number one spot on the depth chart as the young Latavius Murray eventually overshadowed McFadden in the second half of the season before the team decided to move on from the veteran rusher.

After leaving Oakland, McFadden landed on his feet in Dallas thanks to owner Jerry Jones love for former Arkansas Razorbacks. The still 27 year old running back coming to the Cowboys in one of the surprise moves of the offseason as McFadden was brought in to replace the dominant DeMarco Murray in a move that brought questions on if Dallas made a massive mistake in letting their workhorse running back walk.

However with another offseason giving McFadden hope that 2015 will be different, the running back is feeling confident that a change in scenery to Dallas is going to be kind to him. Going as far as to say that he feels like he is a rookie again now that he is with the Cowboys in classic offseason McFadden fashion.

“It’s great to be in Dallas,” McFadden said Saturday at a football camp at Little Rock Air Force Base as reported by lthe ocal newspaper Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “I’m looking forward to getting on the field with those guys and doing great things this year. … Definitely exciting. I tell everybody I feel like a rookie all over again.

“I just want to go out there, stay healthy and run the ball the way I know I can run the ball.”

Despite his durability issues and his lower speed than when he was at his peak during the Raiders first of two consecutive 8-8 seasons before injuries slowed McFadden, the former Oakland back is still capable of doing a job at the NFL level. If the Cowboys have realistic expectations and McFadden has realistic expectations for himself the move to bring in the former Raider could work out for Dallas. DMC will never match what Murray did last season, but an excited veteran who says he ‘feels like a rookie’ could just be able to continue to extend his career with the Cowboys after many years in Oakland.