IRVING, Texas– For one week, at least, there's going to be some clarity at the Cowboys' running back position.
That's to be expected when Darren McFadden rips off 152 rushing yards in the most complete rushing performance of 2015. So much so that Cowboys coach Jason Garrett declared McFadden the starter against Seattle, regardless of how well Joseph Randle rebounds from his oblique strain.
"That's how you approach it. We use our eyes to evaluate. We don't use our ears. We just use our eyes," Garrett said Wednesday. "We've given these guys chances. Are they taking advantage it? Are they warranting more opportunities? That's what we've tried to do. If someone really grabs hold and says 'I want to be the guy,' we're going to give him more chances."
McFadden's performance against New York was an emphatic case for more touches. His 29 carries tied for the second-highest tally he's ever logged in an NFL game, and those 152 yards were the fourth-highest output of his career.
"I've just been wanting to go out there and show it to everybody on the field, because I know what I can do and I know what I'm capable of doing," McFadden said. "My big thing is just going out there and being able to show it."
He certainly showed that ability, but now the question becomes whether he can sustain it. McFadden's career has been marked by inconsistency, as he has only logged back-to-back 100-yard efforts three times in his career – and all of those came all the way back in 2010.
On top of that, the Cowboys may need him even more this weekend if Randle isn't able to return to the lineup. It's been a while since he's had that type of workload, but McFadden said he's ready for it.
"Just going out there and being able to get those carries and get banged around a little bit, you're pretty sore," he said. "It's a good soreness and you just want to keep going and try to build on that each week."
The Cowboys will be hoping he's up to it. As they've already shown before, they aren't afraid to go away from the "by committee" approach if someone is deserving. McFadden's 29 carries against the Giants were 11 more than the next highest total of the season, which was Randle's 18 in the win against Philadelphia.
"It was good to see that he had it in him," Garrett said. "Once he got going in that ballgame I think we all felt that, 'Let's keep giving this guy the rock.'"
For at least this week, it seems safe to say McFadden can expect the rock to come his way again. Now, it's a matter of keeping it that way.
"You know right now it's whatever the coaches decide," he said. "I'm just doing my job and whenever they call my number, I'm going to be ready."
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