The Dallas Cowboys Top Ten Biggest Needs By Position

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Dec 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) carries the ball as Washington Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo (98) attempts to make the tackle in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Cowboys won 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

9. Running Back

Cowboys starting running back DeMarco Murray had his best season of his short three-year career last year, earning his very first Pro Bowl bid. Despite the success, Murray still missed two games due to injury. It is a trait that has followed him throughout his professional and college career. And he has yet to play an entire season for the Cowboys because of it.

His back-up, Lance Dunbar, has also struggled with injuries.  After a strong showing in training camp, expectations were at an all time high for Dunbar last season. But a fumble on only his second play of the regular season landed him firmly in Jason Garrett’s doghouse. He would play sparingly the rest of the season up until late November.  On Thanksgiving Day, Dunbar rushed for 82 yards on 12 attempts showcasing his signature speed. Just as it appeared he would finally become a viable weapon for Dallas, it was announced Dunbar suffered ligament damage to his left knee during the game and would miss the rest of the season.

Luckily, the Cowboys drafted Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle in the fifth round earlier in 2013. And although I believe Randle did an admirable job when he was called upon, I’m not sure he’s the back Dallas was hoping for. He has certainly not develop as quickly as they hoped.

Third-year back Phillip Tanner is the forgotten man on this depth chart. Despite playing in 16 games last season, Tanner rushed the ball just nine times for a total of 12 yards and one score.

With injury issues plaguing both Murray and Dunbar, the maturing of Randle will be important to watch this offseason. Depending on how the Cowboys feel he is coming along, they may look to sign another young back as insurance.

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  • Old Frog

    I hope JJ, McClay, and Linehan agree with your assessment that we need a premier guard rather than rotational help. We’ll have to wait until May to find out.

  • SmartThinking

    Murray and Lee have played two and three seasons and missed significant time due to injuries because, as good as they are, Jones didn’t pay attention to their history when he drafted them.

    Injury history needs to be taken more seriously in the drafting process. Otherwise, this team is paying good money for damaged goods.

    Jones likes to pick up players that are hurt or have a history of injuries because he can get them cheaper. He’s a wildcatter so he’s used to betting on the Come.

    Claiborne, Murray, Lee and a few others on this team had to either undergo surgeries or recover from surgeries before they could take a snap for the Cowboys. And the result has been a continuing long trail of missed games at critical points in the season because they couldn’t get on the field.

    For the past two seasons, at least, injuries have devastated this team and cost them playoff runs. I wonder when it will occur to Jones and company that, even with all the money he’s spending, he’ll never get to the post season with players whose background indicate they’ve been hurt and continue to get hurt again and again.

    • Chesney Blair

      Murray and Lee have been excellent picks even with missed games. I can see the frustration though. Wasn’t there a rumor for Murray to be traded this year? What happen to that? Who got that out? I wouldn’t mind getting Tre Mason a power running back this year. Secondly the injuries were not restricted to the recent draft picks. Our team is getting older and all those over the top contracts have a funny way of catching back up on us (Austin, Ratliff). We just don’t have enough people willing to fight for us.

  • GoalLineStan

    Your order needs to change. It should be 4, 1, 2, 3. Then 1, 2, 3 again. All the rest is grist for the mill.

  • Chesney Blair

    Hahhaha. I just wish there was a stat showing you how important a safety is vs de. I would say our pressing needs is in order: dt, de, guard, lb, rt, cb,safety,qb, rb, wr..

  • truecowboysfan

    Why DeMarco Muarry… He does a good job at the running back position

  • truecowboysfan

    Why DeMarco Muarry… He did a terrific job at the running back position… Now the quarterback position should change cause Romo is no good