It has been a long time coming for Joseph Randle. The rookie running back said he expects to make his 2013 on-field debut Sunday with a role on two of the Cowboys' special teams.
Randle suited up in the season opener, which Lance Dunbar missed with a foot injury, but he did not play. Randle was inactive for the past two games.
"I’m suiting up this week, so I’m very happy with it," Randle said.
The Cowboys expected the fifth-round draft pick to have a role on offense this season, but Randle missed the off-season program while rehabbing from thumb surgery.
"Randle has made progress," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "There’s no question about that. He’s one of those guys who was very productive in college. He came in here, and it didn’t seem too big for him. He certainly has some running skills that we liked. We liked him in college. We like what we’ve seen so far. So he’s definitely a guy who’s working hard and making progress."
Randle said he last played special teams as a freshman at Oklahoma State. It took some practice reps for him to get to where he needed to be.
"I’m getting more into the special teams a little more," Randle said. "I’m getting involved on the special teams, and I think that’s what they wanted from me, so that’s what they’ve got."
Randle still believes he'll be a big contributor before the season is finished. He thinks the Cowboys now believe that, too.
"I hope they do," Randle said. "That’s what it’s all about is getting other people to believe what you believe in yourself. I believe I’m ready to go, and I think they’re starting to feel a little more that way, too."
-- Charean Williams