Excited McFadden Calls Dallas "Fresh Start," Eager To Run Behind "Tremendous" O-Line

IRVING, Texas – Seven seasons with the Oakland Raiders, Darren McFadden played for five different head coaches.

Continuity wasn't exactly something the former first-round running back has experienced since being the No. 4 overall pick in 2008.

But as he joins the Cowboys on Friday, he knows he'll be viewed as DeMarco Murray's primary replacement.

But for McFadden, who signed a two-year contract worth $5.69 million on Friday, the former Arkansas standout is looking for a fresh start.

"I'm very excited to be here. I don't know if I can express in words how excited I am," said McFadden. "I always grew up a Cowboys fan, right across the way in Arkansas. I'm excited to get here and mesh with my new teammates and get this thing going. I feel like it's a fresh start. Being here in Dallas couldn't be a better place. I look forward to playing with those guys. This is their team. I just want to come in and contribute and help the team."

McFadden said once Murray signed with the Eagles on Thursday, he knew Dallas would be his top choice.

"For me, I kept up with it," McFadden said of the free-agent moves. "I let my agent most of it. But I always kept my eye on Dallas. I thought whatever happened with the DeMarco Murray situation, it would have an impact on my situation. I feel like it worked out great."

McFadden, the Heisman Trophy runner-up in both 2006 and 2007, had met Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a former Arkansas alum, but he said Friday's visit in Jones' office was a little different.

"Being able to sit in his office is a dream come true for me," McFadden said. "To go in there and put my name on that piece of paper and make it official. I loved it."

And it sounds like McFadden is going to love running behind an offensive line that includes three first-round picks and helped Murray claim the NFL rushing title with a Cowboys-record 1,845 yards in 2014.

"Demarco did a great job. I loved watching him run," McFadden said. "The offensive line did a tremendous job opening the holes. As a running back that's something you love to see. I like to get downhill. That's the first thing I can see when I look at the film. This offensive line gets in there and opens the holes. Once I get the hole I'm going to hit and get downhill."

Seven years ago, McFadden wowed the scouts and coaches at the scouting combine in Indy when he ran a blazing 4.33 in the 40.

"A lot of people ask me if I can still run a 4.3," McFadden said. "I say, 'any day, just line it up.'"

Whether or not he lines up for the 40 again remains to be seen. But McFadden is going to be lining up in the Cowboys' backfield in 2014.

And it doesn't sound like there's any other place he'd rather be.

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