Joseph Randle prepared for bigger role

ARLINGTON, Texas – It’s safe to say Joseph Randle had grander visions than gaining just 17 yards on the first 11 carries of his career, but the Dallas Cowboys could be forced to lean on the rookie running back more over the next few weeks.

DeMarco Murray suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sunday and will have an MRI today to determine the severity. Felix Jones played with similar sprains last year but was compromised.

The Cowboys drafted Randle in the fifth round just for this reason. Murray has not made it through a season healthy, missing three games as a rookie with a broken ankle and six games last year with a sprained foot.

“I’m going to try to do my job,” Randle said.

Randle’s two third-quarter carries went for no yards but he had 20 in his next three before the Redskins tightened down. The Cowboys were content to run the ball on the final series just to eat up the clock if not yards with a 15-point lead.

But Randle did have a 1-yard touchdown, thanks in part to a push from center Travis Frederick.

“He took good care of me,” Randle said.

Randle had the ball from his first touchdown at his locker after the game and he doesn’t plan on it being his last. He scored 43 touchdowns in 39 games at Oklahoma State.

“I know what to do down there close to the end zone,” Randle said. “It’s to score. The same thing I’ve been doing my whole life.”

He might get more chances depending on Murray. He finished with 29 yards on seven carries and had his third rushing touchdown of the season.

“DeMarco is a dynamic back,” tight end Jason Witten said. “He’s good in the pass game. He’s good in the run. I thought he had some big runs early, so hopefully we can get him healthy. But that’s the way the league works. Injuries happen all the time. Guys have to step up … I thought Randle did a good job filling in for him. He made some big runs. He played yard. It was good to see.”