Recovering from thumb surgery, Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Joseph Randle will be limited until the start of training camp.
However, that hasn’t stopped him from doing his part to help the team. While sidelined, Randle has been busy studying and learning the Cowboys’ playbook, which he said was the biggest difference between college and the NFL.
“Learning the playbook is always first,” Randle said. “The plays are a little more complex than my old offense, but I’ll pick up on it. It’ll be good.”
Randle is expected to come in and spell starting running back DeMarco Murray, but he will undoubtedly have to fight off a surging Lance Dunbar, who has been explosive during OTAs; Phillip Tanner, who is lighter, quicker and has made major strides as a pass catcher according to Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com; and fellow rookie Kendial Lawrence, who was impressive at the Cowboys rookie minicamp.
Randle will come into minicamp with a chip on his shoulder, and although the Cowboys got great value by taking Randle in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, he will be looking to prove that he should have been taken earlier. Following the Draft I said that Randle would be the starting running back in Dallas by Week 5, and I’m sticking to my guns. He may not have Murray’s athleticism and speed, but he brings a powerful running style that will fit with what the Cowboys are trying to do on offense.
At worst Randle could be the team’s No. 3 running back, but I fully expect him to contribute given Murray’s injury plagued past. Nonetheless, Randle is already a substantial upgrade from where Dallas was at running back just last season.