IRVING, Texas -- Has Darren McFadden hit the wall?
In the last two games, McFadden has 24 carries for 64 yards, which is why the question is being asked once again.
“I don’t notice that at all,” coach Jason Garrett said. “I don’t notice him slowing down or not being able to do the things physically that we’re asking him to do. He’s had some good games for us. He’s had some games where he’s been less productive.”
Since becoming the every-down back Oct. 25 against the New York Giants, McFadden has had 146 carries in seven games. He has never had the many carries in a seven-game span in his career. In fact he has had more than 146 carries for a season just three times. In 2010 he had 223 carries. In 2012 he had 216 carries and last year he had 155 carries.
Injuries during his time with the Oakland Raiders played a big part in the carry total, but he has managed to play in every game this season.
In Monday’s win against the Washington Redskins he carried 14 times for 53 yards and had a touchdown, but he missed time in the second half after being given a concussion test, which he passed.
“I think it’s probably new for him to carry the ball as much, but he’s certainly capable of doing it,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “I’m not concerned about a wall or anything like that. I just think as we get through the year, our expectation is our backs are going to get a good dose of carries.”
While there has to be natural concern about how much work McFadden receives because of his past, the more he has gotten the ball, the better he has been. He has had four games with at least 20 carries and that has led to all three of his 100-yard games. He has averaged 4.4 yards per carry when he carries the ball at least 20 times in a game.
His first three carries of the second half against Washington went for 7 yards each until he fumbled and got hurt. Linehan thought they were finally getting the ground game going in the second half.
“You've got to keep fighting, keep battling,” Garrett said, “and he’s certainly someone we’re going to feature as we go this weekend.”