IRVING, Texas– Exit interviews have a way of bringing out forgotten aspects of a season, and this past Monday was no different.
As the 2015 Dallas Cowboys cleaned out their lockers and started their offseason, several previously-unseen players made appearances. Tony Romo spoke to the media despite sitting out since Thanksgiving, and Orlando Scandrick was on hand despite missing the entire year.
Bustling around that scene – without the need of crutches – was another missing piece in Lance Dunbar. It's easy to forget, given that he tore his ACL and MCL all the way back on Oct. 4, but the fourth-year running back was easily on his way to a career year with 67 rushing yards and a whopping 215 receiving yards through just four weeks.
It's hard to project, considering how early on in the year the Cowboys lost Dunbar. But given those averages, the diminutive back was on pace for 85 receptions and 860 receiving yards, not to mention another 268 rushing yards.
"It was very frustrating. My whole career, every time I've gotten an opportunity either I've got hurt or something bad has happened," Dunbar said. "But it makes me stronger. I'll keep fighting through that adversity and just get better. I'll have another opportunity, and when it comes I'll be ready."
Thanks to the business side of football, though, it'll be interesting to see when and where that opportunity comes. Dunbar signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract as a restricted free agent last spring, and he's set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2016.
It stands to reason that the Cowboys have a good chance to re-sign Dunbar should they choose to. His production has been limited to this point in his career, and he is recovering from a serious injury. However the coming months play out, Dunbar said he's more focused on his rehab than his contract status.
"There's not much I really can do – I got hurt. Whatever happens, happens," he said. "I'm not really focused on that. I'm just trying to get back healthy. I've got to get back healthy before anything happens so I can get back to playing at a high level like I was before."
To that end, Dunbar said he's slowly but surely working into that process. He said Monday was one of his first serious weight sessions, as he's mainly been focusing on treatment and rehab. Beyond that, he said it's hard to say when he'll be able to return to football activities – but he's working toward it steadily.[embeddedad0]
"There's really no timetable, it just depends on how my body heals," he said. "I'm just taking it slow depending on how I feel. I'm kind of pushing it a little bit because that's just me – I feel like that's the way to get better is to work hard. But there's not really no timetable – just taking it day-by-day."