The Dallas Cowboys selected running back Ezekiel Elliot in the first round of the NFL Draft. While Elliott has an upside that somebody like McFadden simply cannot reach, they would have been a productive unit no matter who they put back there.
After all, the Cowboys already had a 1,000-yard rusher and buttressed that by signing Alfred Morris in free agency while Rod Marinelli's defense was in need of plenty of help and defensive back Jalen Ramsey, a player most had rated higher than Elliott, was there for the taking. Obviously, Tony Romo isn't going to be a threat to pull the ball off of it but the Cowboys offensive line gets on defenders quickly enabling Elliott to hit the hole hard and push the pile.
That said, the cachet simply wasn't there and no one was game-planning to stop Dallas on the ground. Dallas then followed up that great season with a nightmare, with Tony Romo getting injured multiple times, Dez Bryant screwing up his foot, and the whole Greg Hardy situation.
"He's going to compete", running back coach Gary Brown told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram this week. However, an even more exciting player appears to be poised to sign with the team - Tim Tebow. "Zeke has to earn it".
"I've been around the game long enough that I know there's always going to be a new guy coming in whether they had picked him up in the fourth round or fifth or sixth or first round", McFadden said. "It keeps you on your toes and make sure you get your work done".
Murray had his fumbling problems with the Cowboys while Elliott has had just four fumbles over the past two seasons at Ohio State. He added, "You are changing other people's lives for better or worse, every day".
Elliott is not shying away from the challenge, however.