By Mike Fisher | @fishsports
IRVING (105.3 THE FAN) – We don’t have much use for a comparison of Alfred Morris to Emmitt Smith. But a comparison of new Cowboys running back Alfred Morris to incumbent Darren McFadden?
There’s the value in the appearance on 105.3-FM The Fan’s “Shan & RJ” show this week by Redskins legend and analyst Joe Theismann, who is right when he suggests that the plan is for Morris to serve as Dallas’ “workhorse.’’
It would be good for McFadden, Theismann said, “to be a back who could carry 8-10 times a game. I do believe that Alfred could be and should be the workhorse. Alfred would serve the purpose, and I think serve it very well, to be a first- and second-down back. He’s gonna pick up short yardage and goal-line for you. He’s not gonna break an 80-yarder, but he’s gonna get you enough … to be able to feel like it’s a great contribution to your football team. Besides the fact of what he can do after contact, he does not put the ball on the ground. He does not have a history of fumbling. He does make people miss. He always finishes going forward. He’s much more powerful than people give him credit for.’’
This is exactly what the coaching staff thinks of Morris, who think week signed a two-year deal with the Cowboys that pays the 5-10, 223-pounder a team-friendly total (base and bonus) of $3.5 million. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is on-record as insisting McFadden all be the starter. But that’s “Jerry Poppins’’ talk and not reflective of the coaching staff’s intentions for 2016.
So, as an all-around back, Morris — praised by Theismann as a “first-class guy’’ — can be a better fit than McFadden (why by the way, has a similarly classy personality). Theismann is right there … until he reaches a bit.
Morris, he said, “has a running style a little like Emmitt. They’re both not the tallest of guys, but they’re very elusive when it comes to getting through the line of scrimmage. And they’re very difficult to bring down when you have them in one-on-one situations. That’s where the comparison lies when you talk about Alfred and one of the greatest running backs that’s ever put on a uniform.”
That’s a stretch. But the Cowboys don’t need Morris to be as good as Emmitt. They just need him to be better than McFadden.
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