ARLINGTON, Texas – Darren McFadden led the Cowboys in rushing during the 2015 season and had missed the first 13 games of 2016 with an elbow injury.
His first carry of the season Sunday night wasn't from the tailback spot. It was at fullback, lined up in front of rookie starter Ezekiel Elliott.
"It was something new for me," McFadden said, "but we worked on it during the week and it was just a way to try to catch the defense off guard and try to steal a first down from them."
McFadden converted the third-and-1 for three yards to the Buccaneers 2-yard line, and Elliott scored a touchdown two plays later.
McFadden finished the game – a 26-20 Cowboys victory – with three carries for 10 yards. But the veteran running back was happy to line up anywhere, including the punt team for a couple of punts, after waiting 14 games to make his season debut.
"I've been walking around smiling all week," McFadden said, "just knowing that I'd be up this week and being able to get out there with my teammates."
With McFadden activated from the Non-Football Injury list, the Cowboys made season-long backup Alfred Morris inactive for the first time this season. Fellow running back Lance Dunbar was active, too, and caught two passes for 20 yards.