Stat Review: 29 or More Carries

A work horse would carry the ball 29 or more times.

A work horse would carry the ball 29 or more times.

Darren McFadden has earned the starting RB job in next Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. He will start in place of Joseph Randle, who suffered an injury against the New York Giants.

McFadden was effective last weekend, rushing 29 times for 152 yards and a touchdown. He is the first Dallas running back this season to rush for more than 100 yards.

It marked the fourth time in McFadden’s career that he had 29 or more attempts in a game. He twice ran the ball 30 times while a member of the Oakland Raiders. Unlike last Sunday for the Cowboys, the Raiders won all three games when McFadden had at least 29 attempts.

In team history, a Dallas running back has carried the ball 29 times or more in 43 games. Not surprisingly, the Cowboys have won most of those games, holding a 36-7 record.

The last time a Dallas running back carried the ball at least 29 times in a loss was January 2, 2005, when Julius Jones carried the ball 29 times for 149 yards and a touchdown in a 28-24 loss to the Giants.

Jones had at least 29 carries five times during his four seasons in Dallas, ranking him second in team history. The franchise leader in this category is hardly a shock: Emmitt Smith carried the ball 29 or more times  in 22 games.

Here is a summary of the backs who have carried the ball this many times:

Emmitt Smith (22)
Julius Jones (5)
Tony Dorsett (4)
DeMarco Murray (4)
Calvin Hill (3)
Troy Hambrick (2)
Herschel Walker (1)
Eddie George (1)
Darren McFadden (1)

N.Y. Giants 27, Dallas 20: All Alone in Last Place

Better than bags on the head. Not much better, but better.

Better than bags on the head. Not much better, but better.

The Dallas Cowboys were once 2-0 and had beaten two division rivals.

That was once upon a time, as in September 20, 2015.

Just over a month later, the Cowboys find themselves with a 2-4 record and sole possession of last place in the division. The team could not hold on to a halftime lead, making numerous mistakes in the second half that cost Dallas the game in a 27-20 loss to the Giants.

The loss ruined a good game by Darren McFadden, who carried the ball 29 times for 152 yards. The defense held Eli Manning to 171 passing yards and a QB rating of 76.7.

McFadden’s touchdown with 2:17 left in the first half gave Dallas a 13-7 lead. It appeared that the Cowboys had stopped the Giants on the next drive, but Rolondo McClain was called for illegal hands to the face, extending the New York drive. The Giants ended up kicking a field goal.

New starter Matt Cassel did not make any major mistakes in the first half, but the third quarter was disastrous. He threw three picks, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Another interception occurred at the Giant 1-yard line, and the Giants were able to drive nearly the length of the field to kick a field goal.

Dallas kept the game close in the fourth quarter. Cassel made a few nice plays on an 80-yard drive, and his touchdown pass to Devin Street with 7:14 remaining tied the game at 20.

But former Cowboy Dwayne Harris returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Dallas tried to drive the ball back for a game-tying score, but the Giants stopped the Cowboys on downs.

The Cowboys held the Giants and still had 1:36 to score. However, Cole Beasley muffed the punt, and the Giants recovered. Game over.

This is the team’s worst start since 2010, when Dallas started at 1-7. The last time the Cowboys had a 2-4 record after six games was 2001. That team finished 5-11.


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