NFL News : At this point, why is Darren McFadden still on the roster?

At this point, why is Darren McFadden still on the roster?

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Published on by The Football Feed in NFL News

Even in star running back Ezekiel Elliott's absense, backup Dallas Cowboys rusher Darren McFadden hasn't played this season. At this point, wouldn't it be better to simply release the veteran back in favor of younger talent?

Kristi Scales, the sideline reporter for the Dallas Cowboys radio network, recently answered questions from Dallas Morning News readers. Here are some highlights:

DMN: What's going on with Darren McFadden? Why even have him on the roster at this point?

Scales: McFadden has been a victim of the numbers game when it comes to 46 players on the active game day roster. And injuries at other positions, namely offensive line and linebackers, played the biggest role in McFadden being inactive last Sunday hosting the Eagles.

The Cowboys kept six wide receivers active against the Eagles (including rookie Noah Brown), so they went long at receiver. Brown is a contributor on special teams, including coverage units.

The Cowboys also went long at linebacker, keeping both Justin Durant and Justin March-Lillard active because Sean Lee was inactive, and because March-Lillard plays special teams (Durant doesn't play special teams).

McFadden does not play special teams (yes, he can help on kickoff returns, but he doesn't play coverage units).

So that's the bottom line for McFadden. When coaches determine they have to go "long" because at other positions because of injury or "who does?" or "who doesn't?" play special teams, McFadden has drawn the short end of the stick. If the Cowboys go "short" at running back as they did Sunday versus the Eagles, they'll go with Morris and Rod Smith because Smith plays special teams and is involved on 3rd down packages. Fullback Keith Smith is also a core special teams player.

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Source: Dallas News · Photo Credit: Keystone Press Agency