IRVING, Texas – With Joseph Randle excused from the team to deal with a personal matter and then missing Sunday's game against the Seahawks with an oblique injury, the Cowboys' running game turned to Darren McFadden again.
McFadden, named the starter early last week, reached the 20-carry mark for the second consecutive week and the second time this season. He averaged only 3.2 yards, but Garrett said his 64 yards on 20 carries were efficient and persistent against a Seattle defense that entered Sunday allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game (94.1).
The Cowboys couldn't capitalize in the passing game – Matt Cassel completed 13 of 25 attempts for 97 yards for a 61.6 rating – but McFadden and Christine Michael (five carries, 20 yards) helped deliver manageable down-and-distances and Cassel also picked up multiple first downs on scrambles.
The running game has been a positive for an offense that has failed to score a touchdown in two of the last three games. McFadden has gained 216 yards on 49 carries since Randle exited in the first quarter of the Giants game on Oct. 25.
"He made some big runs in the Giants game, but if you watch him at the end of those runs, the big runs he was finishing forward and then he made a number of dirty runs last week," Garrett said. "A short-yardage run that was a big play for us where he pushed the pile and a number of other runs where it's not always clean, but if you finish the run the right way and you make a 2-yard run into a 4-yard run and a 4-yard run into a 6-yard run and so on. He's done a lot of that the last couple of weeks."
The Cowboys' players had their customary day off Monday. Asked whether he anticipates Randle returning to practice this week, Garrett said, "We'll just take it day by day."