IRVING, Texas – Needing 102 yards in the final two games, Darren McFadden is getting close to a 1,000-yard rushing season, something the eight-year veteran has accomplished just once in his NFL career.
The fact that he's averaging nearly 64.1 yards per game makes it sound rather plausible for McFadden, who is actually averaging 85.4 yards in the nine games in which he led the team in carries.
But oddly enough, if McFadden were to get to reach 1,000 yards, it would mark the first time in Cowboys history that two different players reached that feat in consecutive years.
Considering this is the 56th season of Cowboys football, the franchise is running out of "firsts" but in no other year has this team seen that occurrence. When players like Tony Dorsett or Herschel Walker or Emmitt Smith moved on, there was always at least one or two years of a back-by-committee approach that kept the numbers down.
This year, the Cowboys have taken a lot of heat for not re-signing DeMarco Murray, who set the single-season rushing record in 2014 with 1,845 yards. In fact, that was Murray's second straight 1,000-yard season after recording 1,121 yards in 2013, breaking a streak of six seasons in which the Cowboys failed to have a 1,000-yard rusher.
For McFadden, getting there would be a quite an honor, especially considering he had only 127 rushing yards after the first five games.
"It definitely would mean a whole lot, something I would definitely like to have," McFadden said of 1,000 yards. "It's a long football season, it's been a long season so it's one of those things that you just have to keep grinding and grind the rest of these games out."
When he was drafted No. 4 overall in the 2008 draft by the Raiders, McFadden probably didn't expect just one 1,000-yard season (1,157 yards in 2010) by now. But injuries have piled up on him throughout his career, forcing him to a combined 27 games in his first six years.
Up until last year, McFadden had never played more than 13 games in a year but now he has a shot to play in 16 games for a second straight year.
"For me, it's just going out there and playing football. I'm happy that I'm healthy," he said. "I feel pretty good, normal nicks and bruises for this time of year. I feel good. I'm ready to play still."
McFadden rushed for 111 yards against the Packers, followed by 100 yards against the Jets. He's never had three straight 100-yard games in his career.
McFadden will likely handle the majority of the reps but backup Robert Turbin has had two seven-carry games since he joined the team in mid-November.