IRVING, Texas – Darren McFadden has received more than three-quarters of the Cowboys rushing attempts in the last four games (93 of 121 carries; 76.9 percent) as the team's featured running back since Joseph Randle's release on Nov. 3.
But with Christine Michael waived Tuesday, rookie running backs Rod Smith and Trey Williams moved up the depth chart and one step closer to carries.
Both players joined the roster in recent weeks – Smith was claimed off waivers from the Seahawks during the bye and Williams was signed off the Redskins' practice squad Nov. 4 – but neither have touched the ball on offense yet. Only Smith has an NFL regular-season carry (two for five yards with Seattle).
Both have spent a lot of time learning the Cowboys' offense, and both are staying ready to play.
Undrafted out of Ohio State, Smith got eight snaps as the third-down back Nov. 8 against the Eagles and had one kickoff return for 26 yards this past Sunday against the Bucs.
"I'm just trying to find my place on the team," he said. "I just want to be able to play a role, whether it's in practice or if it's in games, just to help this team get on the right foot."
The Cowboys lost their all-purpose back in Week 4 when Lance Dunbar suffered a season-ending knee injury and landed on injured reserve. Undrafted out of Texas A&M, Williams has been inactive his first two weeks on the roster, but he did have a versatile skill set in college as a rusher, receiver and returner.
"Just keep studying, going hard, giving my all," Williams said.