Dallas Cowboys Lance Dunbar has career day against the Falcons


It’s been a long time coming. But after three seasons in the NFL, Dallas Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar finally appears to be living up to his potential. The diminutive undrafted runner out of North Texas has shown glimpses in the past of the possible offensive dynamo he could become. Now, Dunbar seems to be fulfilling that prophecy.

The fourth-year back had a career-day as a receiver on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Dunbar recorded a career-high 10 receptions on 10 targets for 100 yards in the loss. The Cowboys leading recevier also rushed once for five yards, had a kick return for 26 yards and a punt return for four yards. The truly amazing thing was Dunbar did all of this while playing a total of just 20 offensive snaps!

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Dunbar started this new year off with a bang, recording eight receptions on eight targets for 70 yards in the Cowboys Week One come from behind victory over the New York Giants. So far this season, he’s recorded a total of 21 receptions for 215 yards in only three games. That’s what you call a difference maker.

It’s a far cry from earlier this year, when some speculated Dunbar wasn’t even a lock to make Dallas’ final roster. In fact, he could have been easily stolen by another NFL team this offseason, as the fourth-year back was a restricted free agent. The Cowboys re-signed Dunbar to a one-year, $1.542 million contract in April. And now, I’m sure the team is delighted they did so.

But Dunbar’s recent effectiveness has been far from an accident. Lining the versatile running back up as a wide receiver on certain plays this season has been part of the ingenious game plan by the Cowboys new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan this season.

"“Yeah, I think it was pretty right on with him,”€ Linehan told the team’s official site following the Cowboys win over the Giants. €œ”Lance has a big role for us as a matchup guy. We talk about him as a pass receiver because we don’t run the ball as much with him, but we have 100 percent confidence that he can…He hasn’t played as much, especially the first half of the year last year because we played primarily one back. This year, I think there’€™s going to be a little more distinct roles for guys.”"

So far this season, Dunbar’s distinct role for the Cowboys has been as a recevier. This new focus has caused the 25-year old veteran to already have more receptions in three games than he’s posted in his first two years in Dallas combined. In fact, in his first three seasons as a Cowboy, Dunbar has recorded a total of 31 catches. He already has 21 receptions under his belt in 2015.

According to Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, Dunbar’s offensive explosion this season comes as no surprise to him.

"He’™s been a guy, anyone who follows our football team, any time we’ve given him opportunities in the past, he seems to be productive with them,” Garrett told the team’s official site after Week One. “Either as a runner or as a receiver coming out of the back field and also when he lines up outside, he’s just a darn good football player.€”"

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