Joseph Randle runs well, makes tackle

Joseph Randle started three games last season. The 2013 fifth-round pick did little to inspire confidence he could adequately replace DeMarco Murray, gaining 108 yards on 44 carries in those games.

But he's had a good training camp, and it continued Thursday with a nice performance against San Diego. Randle gained 50 yards on 13 carries, a 3.8 average, but he ran through arm tackles and showed a burst and decisiveness we didn't always see last season.

The Dallas Cowboys' scheme is designed for the running back to make one cut and go. It's not good for a runners who want to take their time picking a hole.

"He did a good job of cutting his foot in the ground and getting up the field," coach Jason Garrett said. "It looked like he saw the field well, saw the holes, saw the soft spots and got north and south. I thought he had a real good night."

More important than his running, Randle did well on his blitz pickups and made a tackle on special teams.

"I'm trying to take step forwards every day," Randle said. "This is the time of year you grind and try to move up the depth chart. I'm supposed to be pushing my way toward more playing time and finding a role on this team."

He's fighting Ryan Williams, a former second-round pick, for a roster spot. The best special teams player will earn it.

For now, Randle has a slight edge.