Neither of the Dallas Cowboys’ top two running backs took part in today’s practice because of injuries, which could lead to an increased workload in Thursday’s game against Washington for Lance Dunbar, a rookie from North Texas and Haltom High School.
Dunbar has logged 19 carries in the team’s last three games, including five carries for 10 yards in Sunday’s 23-20 victory over Cleveland. Dunbar also grabbed his first two passes of the season against the Browns, covering six yards. For the season, he’s carried 20 times for 67 yards (3.4 avg.), with a long of 18 yards against Atlanta.
If the Cowboys’ top two rushers, DeMarco Murray (foot) and Felix Jones (knee), cannot play against Washington, Dunbar and Phillip Tanner (25 carries, 61 yards) figure to get the brunt of the carries.
Dunbar said he would welcome more touches, if given the opportunity.
“I’m ready for it,” Dunbar said. “I know the offense. I know my assignments. Anything I can do to help the team, I will.”
After Sunday’s game, quarterback Tony Romo praised Dunbar’s development but said he also “had to get on him a little bit” for some assignment errors. What did the two discuss?
“Some of the things that happened in the game. Mostly blitz pickup,” Dunbar said. “Something I didn’t see. We talked about … me getting used to being out there and adjusting to everything. It happens fast. You don’t have time to think, so you have to know what you’ve got to do. Some things, I’m learning and he’s helping me out.”
A regular contributor on multiple special-teams units, Dunbar said he would not anticipate a cutback in that workload if he gets more carries this week against the Redskins.
“I’m ready for all of it,” Dunbar said. “I’m young and they expect me to do it and I will do it. I’ve got fresh legs and I’m good to go.”
_ Jimmy Burch