IRVING, Texas – Turns out Darren McFadden broke his right elbow at home over Memorial Day weekend trying to prevent a fumble of sorts.
"He just fell down, trying to keep his iPhone S, his brand-new one from falling in the ground," running backs coach Gary Brown said. "And cracked his elbow instead of the phone."
With McFadden tentatively set to miss a couple of months following surgery, the Cowboys' first-round pick is in line for more reps.
Ezekiel Elliott worked with the first-team offense during Tuesday's opening minicamp practice as he continues his adjustment to the Cowboys' scheme.
Brown says things are slowing down on the field for the team's fourth overall pick, and the extra reps can only help.
"Obviously the more reps he gets, the slower it'll become," Brown said, "and I think with Darren missing some time, his learning curve will accelerate and it'll slow down real slow now because he has to go out there and do it every snap.
"I think it's going to be real big for him, really beneficial because now he's forced to go in and do it. He's forced to go in there and perform at a high level. He can't rest on his leader maybe helping him a little bit. He has to rest on himself, so it's going to be a good thing."
Since joining the Cowboys after the draft, Elliott has said McFadden has shown him how to approach the job as a consummate professional. Perhaps the most recent example: pushing through soreness in his elbow during last week's OTAs without knowing it was broken. At the end of the week McFadden told the athletic training staff about his elbow discomfort and X-rays revealed the fracture.
"It just shows that mindset, that football mindset that kind of we all have," Elliott said. "Just kind of never slowing down and not letting anything hold us back. That's a tough guy, and just hoping for a speedy recovery."
In the meantime, he's focused on improving daily, starting with the final team work this week before training camp.[embeddedad0]
"With every rep, you're going to get better, and the more you see, the more you're going to learn," he said. "Just got to take advantage of the opportunity and just get ready to play ball."