Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden has not appeared in a game in 2016 after undergoing offseason elbow surgery, but he said he is ready to return to the field, per Drew Davison of the Star-Telegram.
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McFadden Comments on Status
Tuesday, Oct. 18
"Elbow is feeling great," McFadden said, per Davison. "Just sitting back and waiting for my time to get back on the field. It’s pretty much up to the coaches. I’m ready to go, so it’s just based off their decision."
Davison noted the Cowboys put the veteran running back on the non-football injury list at the start of the year. While he is eligible to be activated this week, Davison said Dallas likely won't do it right away during its bye.
"They must make that decision in the next three weeks, though, and then they’ll have three weeks from that point as to whether [they'll] add him to the 53-man roster," Davison wrote.
The Cowboys' rushing attack is in good hands for the time being behind rookie Ezekiel Elliott. The Ohio State product has 703 rushing yards through six games and has been a revelation for the 5-1 team.
However, McFadden has an established track record. Following the departure of DeMarco Murray, he was Dallas' starter last season and was among the NFL's top rushers with 1,089 yards on the ground to go along with 40 receptions for 328 yards and three total touchdowns.
The 2015 campaign marked the second straight season the former Arkansas standout appeared in all 16 games and just the second time he accomplished that feat in his NFL career.
Injuries have long hampered McFadden and his development into an elite player, and those issues arose once again this offseason when he broke his right elbow in a home accident and was forced to undergo the surgery that has sidelined him.
Talent has never been a question with McFadden, but the fact that he entered 2016 having missed 29 career games speaks to how much durability concerns have held him back.
The 29-year-old appeared to find a home in Dallas last season after seven years with the Oakland Raiders, as he averaged 4.6 yards per carry behind arguably the best offensive line in football.
That didn't prevent the Cowboys from upgrading the running back position during the offseason, and that proved to be a savvy maneuver.
Even though losing an experienced player like McFadden was an unwelcome loss for the Cowboys, they are capable of overcoming it due to the presence of Elliott, Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar.
Dallas has plenty of backfield options, and despite the fact that McFadden is the most seasoned among them, it should be able to continue excelling with the ground game regardless of when he returns.
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