Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/4/14
Murray (29)- Courtesy of ibtimes.com The Cowboys will open the 2013 season in the backfield with the duo of DeMarco Murray and Joseph Randle to carry the load on the ground. Murray will play the feature act, with the rookie, Randle, playing second fiddle. The running game must improve for the Cowboys to become an immediate contender. The running attack finished ranked 31st in the league last season, and only averaged a mere 3.6 yards per carry. However, the team is hopeful to boast a stronger running game in 2013. And that hope is contingent on health. Murray has missed nine games in his first two seasons in the league, and has rightfully earned the title of injury prone. The team needs Murray to stay healthy for the first time in his career. Here’s why: When healthy, there’s no doubting what Murray can do when he’s in the open field. This is a player who showed flashes of greatness when he rushed for over 600 yards in his first stretch as the Cowboys starter. If able to play a full season, Murray has the ability to remind Cowboys fans of the likes of Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett. And that’s high praise for a guy only entering his third season. The Cowboys are expecting Randle to lessen some of the load off Murray’s shoulders. The team drafted Randle out of Oklahoma State, and he possessed similar numbers to the current Cowboys starter in his college career. Cowboys’ scouts had a third round grade on Randle, but he fell to them in the fifth round. If scouts are indeed right about that grade, Randle should be able to play about one third of the snaps in the backfield. This will help in keeping Murray fresh for the 4th quarter, and for the entire season. Randle (35) with cast-Courtesy of fansided.com Randle reminds the Cowboys of Murray in terms of talent, and has also started reminding them of Murray’s injury bug. Randle is recovering from thumb surgery, and was seen during OTA’s and mini camp sporting a cast on his right hand. The injury to the number 2 back has prompted the battle for who will be the 3rd and final back to make the 53-man roster. The battle will be fought between Lance Dunbar, Philip Tanner, and undrafted free agent Kendial Lawrence. It’s a common belief by those in the Cowboys camp that Dunbar will hold on to the 3rd and final spot. His quickness offers an advantage over Tanner and Lawrence, for he can be a change of pace type back and contribute as a possible kick-returner. Tony Romo sure could utilize Dunbar’s quickness on screen passes out of the backfield. It is my prediction he wins the last running back spot. For Tanner to have a shot, he has to play out of his mind on special teams in camp, and improve as runner, which can happen, but Dunbar seems to be more in favor here . Lawrence has received reps with Randle out, but I don’t expect him to be more than a practice squad player in his first season with Dallas. The running game must be better for the Cowboys to contend in the NFC and within the NFC East. If they stay healthy, this unit is more than capable of doing the job. Hold your breath Cowboys faithful, and hope the new duo doesn’t catch that injury bug once again. The season hinges on it.        
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tyler Ulis on West Virginia: We wanted to crush their spirit

Former No. 1 pick Brady Aiken undergoes Tommy John surgery

Ortiz: 'Nobody in MLB history' tested for PEDs more than me

Sam Dekker scores career high after Aaron Rodgers' challenge

Brey Day: Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight after a vintage performance


Ronda Rousey on having kids: 'I'm an ovarian goldmine'

Pedro Martinez: Rose should be allowed in Hall of Fame

Pablo Sandoval 'cut things off at the root' with Giants

Scott Boras taking shots at Cubs' history over Kris Bryant

Kingdome debt finally paid off 15 years after demolition

49ers waive Jonathan Martin

An identity in flux: Harden and the collective consciousness

LeBron James makes Fortune’s list of 50 greatest world leaders

Five under-the-radar National League MVP candidates

Five bizarre NFL offseason moves that don't add up

Texas to Rick Barnes: Change your staff or you will be fired

First 'National Fantasy Football Convention' to star Tony Romo

Teams that don't deserve to win Connor McDavid Sweepstakes

How a basketball-themed art exhibit changed perceptions

Bucs admit they’ve been getting calls about Mike Glennon

The last Expo standing

NHL ships nets which have room for cameras inside posts

Toronto Raptors limping into the playoffs

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

MLB teams that could disappoint

25 years ago, the best Sweet 16 of all time was pure madness

The 2015 bad quarterback carousel

17 facts to know before the Sweet 16

Agent: Sam was horrible at veteran combine

Keeping judo ‘pure’ in Europe means keeping MMA out

The Sweet 16 should be seen as success

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.