Last night, every DeMarco Murray owner made a collective gasp of horror when he went down with what is being reported to be an injury to the MCL in his left knee. It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Murray got hurt, he has a long history of injury issues stemming all the way back to his red shirt freshman year in college.
Early reports are that he will at least miss the Dallas Cowboys Week 7 tilt against division rival Philadelphia Eagles. If Murray’s left MCL has suffered even minor tear, it’s entirely realistic to worry that you might lose him for up to four weeks!
The challenge here is trying to divine which one of his dubious backups you should target on the waiver wire this week.
Trying to pick Murray’s handcuff from Phillip Tanner, Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle feels a little bit like trying to win the Russian Roulette scene in the movie The Deer Hunter.
We could sit down and try to do a statistical analysis of the three. But to be honest, there isn’t a lot there.
Tanner and Dunbar both have one year of experience. Tanner actually would have had two had he not been placed on IR as a rookie. Dunbar is currently hobbled and expected back soon but he’s hardly been a spot light player even when he’s been healthy. We’ve seen enough of these two guys to know that they can make some plays but ultimately their ceiling is going to be limited.
It’s fair to assume that while Murray is down, Joseph Randle is the only back that has a possibility of winning the solo starting-job outright. If Randle fails to impress in Week 7 the Cowboys will more than likely turn to a committee approach for the run game. Should that happen all three backs aren’t worth owning.
The Cowboys drafted Randle in the fifth round out of Oklahoma State, where he scored the second most touchdowns in school history, behind only Barry Sanders. He ran a 4.59 in the 40-yard dash and also competed as a multi-event track athlete. Admittedly, at 6-foot and 205 pounds, he needs to fill out more in the weight room but he proved durable through college. At the end of the day, he’s the only guy with enough upside to warrant picking.