With the beginning of training camp less than two weeks away, the Dallas Cowboys have some big decisions to make. The biggest being who will be the team’s bell cow at running back now that the NFL’s leading rusher in 2014, DeMarco Murray, is gone. The list of names is well known to Cowboy fans. Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar, Ryan Williams and Lache Seastrunk currently fill-out Dallas’ bloated depth chart at running back.
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But for many fans, it’s a two-horse race. McFadden and Randle seemed to be the early favorites for toting the rock this upcoming season. On Monday, I stated my case for the latter in an article titled: Will this Running Back make fans forget DeMarco? On the field, I believe Randle is the heir apparent. Off-the-field, he’s portrayed an immaturity you wouldn’t expect from a 23-year old man. It’s that knucklehead syndrome that’s resulted in two arrests in a four-month span since October. And it’s that same mindset that had Randle making the following statement about his former teammate, Murray, back in May.
"“[DeMarco] had a good year last year, and I got to sit back and watch a lot,” Randle told the Dallas Morning News, “and I felt like there was a lot of meat left on the bone.”"
Brash words for a player who carried the ball just 51 times last season. (as compared to Murray’s league-leading 392) That statement surely didn’t strengthen the friendship between the two running backs. And those words also ruffled the feathers of a former Cowboys great and Hall of Famer. So much so, the former #88 took to the airwaves on Monday to lecture and educate the third-year back. And what the legend had to say should have Cowboys fans standing up and applauding.
"“Joseph you’ve got to show me something. Show me something,” Cowboys great Michael Irvin told G-Bag Nation on KRLD-FM 105.3 the Fan on Monday (via the Dallas Morning News). “I don’t want to hear that mess, talking about, ‘he left meat on the bone.’ OK, DeMarco left meat on the bone. DeMarco left meat on the bone. Yeah, to get to the meat he left on the bone you’ve got to break through all these meaty arms at the line of scrimmage. I know you want to run that race. You want the 60, but you’ve got to get passed the first two yards and that’s going to be a problem. Get passed that and you’ll get to the meat on the bone. Show me. Don’t tell me.”"
Can I get an amen? The Playmaker just told the truth and a choir of Cowboys fans should be shouting amen right now. It’s one of many lessons Randle needs can learn from Irvin, as the wily veteran knows what he’s talking about. As the Cowboys former emotional leader, and an occasional troublemaker himself, the brash recevier always backed up his talk. Irvin has three rings to prove it!
The Hall of Fame receiver’s sentiments were echoed by Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett directly to the young running back right after the boneheaded meat on the bone statement was made.
"“We addressed that with Joe really immediately,’’ Garrett told the Dallas Morning News in June. “I think sometimes comments like that get taken out of context or they are not really intended the way they come out…we have to focus on what we do, not with what we say and I think he understands that…the biggest thing is you need to focus on doing, not talking.”"
Since that incident, no one’s heard a peep out of Randle. And that’s a good thing! The young man appears focused on simply getting better and helping the team win anyway he can. And that’s the mindset you want Randle in heading into training camp at the end of this month. But it certainly never hurts for a player like Irvin to come in and make sure these young Cowboys players are on the right path.
Joseph Randle? Dr. Irvin will see you now.