With Phillip Tanner getting held without a carry in the Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals preseason game, Dallas got a good look at Oklahoma State Cowboys rookie Joseph Randle. ESPN reported on Aug. 21 that Lance Dunbar’s sprained foot will now give Randle a chance to win the backup job outright.
Joseph Randle has 102 yards and one touchdown so far in three preseason games, although his touches in the first game were limited due to an injury he opened Cowboys Camp with. Coaches feel that Dunbar is a good runner, pass catcher and blocker, but Randle can possibly work better as a game time replacement than Dunbar, who is more the size of a third down back.
However, with Dunbar out until the start of the regular season, this battle will include Phillip Tanner, who may not be ready to relinquish his role to the rookie. Head Coach Jason Garrett has said he likes Tanner’s willingness to play anytime he is needed without complaint, but Dallas drafted Randle in 2013 for a reason.
It is time for Joseph Randle to prove he deserved his draft position for the Dallas Cowboys.
One area that Garrett said that Randle needs to work on is his blocking. Since DeMarco Murray is the main lead back, the backups will need to be able to block for Tony Romo when called on, and if Randle is not prepared to be a shield for his quarterback, he won’t win the main backup job.
There are two preseason games left for Joseph Randle to prove he deserves consideration in the Dallas Cowboys rotation, but he won’t have it given to him over a solid back like Phillip Tanner.