OXNARD, Calif. – Most of the focus is, understandably, on Ezekiel Elliott – but the Cowboys' other injured running backs are progressing, as well.
Throughout the course of training camp, Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar have worked on conditioning and rehab on their respective injuries. McFadden broke his elbow back in June, and Dunbar is still rehabbing his knee injury from last fall.
To hear it from Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, neither player is quite ready to come off the Physically Unable to Perform list just yet.
"He's still a little bit aways," Garrett said of McFadden. "We don't anticipate him playing real soon but he's working hard. It's an elbow injury, so he can do a lot of stuff with his lower body. He's working hard on his running. We just can't put him out there and play football quite yet."
Dunbar and McFadden work together on the sidelines of every walkthrough and every practice, though they are facing vastly different recoveries. As Garrett said, McFadden isn't dealing with any issues to his lower body – while Dunbar is rehabbing diligently to get his knee back to full strength.
"He and Darren are really working hard together. Making great strides," Garrett said. "They are both conscientious guys. So they are very engaged with the team, at the meetings, at the walkthroughs, and they're getting better physically. It's good to see the progress they've made."
In the meantime, Darius Jackson and Rod Smith will continue to benefit from the injuries. Garrett said both young running backs will continue to get snaps, which is an opportunity to hopes they'll take advantage of.
"If an older player, a veteran guy isn't able to take those snaps, it's a great opportunity for the young guy," Garrett said. "If he goes about it the right way the gains can be exponential for them at this point in their careers."