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Joseph Randle Solves Running Back Problems for Dallas Cowboys

Fifth-round Pick from Oklahoma State Provides Boost, Improvement in Backfield

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COMMENTARY | In a lame attempt to use a Jamie Foxx reference, you can blame it on the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys not having a productive running attack.

Or blame it on the actual crop of talent at the running back position. Going with the latter seems much more logical.

The Cowboys had to take a running back during the NFL Draft, but instead of going for one of the high-profiled names, they waited until the fifth round and still received great value by taking Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle.

Going from one Cowboys team to another, Randle spent the last two years as Oklahoma State's featured back, tallying 2,633 total rushing yards and 38 touchdowns. Twenty-four of those touchdowns came in 2011.

Randle doesn't possess the breakaway speed needed for a lead running back - he ran a 4.63 40-time during the NFL Combine - but he does give Dallas that needed power runner to run between the tackles and get the tough yardage.

Taking advantage of those short-yardage and goal line situations has been a major problem for Dallas over the last couple of seasons. When DeMarco Murray missed time in 2012, that - along with running the ball in general - took a huge hit.

Felix Jones looked more like a shell of his former self when he was the starter, and with the Cowboys having no intent on bringing him back, Randle might be the backup heading into training camp.

Randle doesn't need to be the featured running back in this offense, but in the event that Murray does go down with another injury, he can do it in stints. The relieving factor to keep in mind, is that the Phillip Tanner/Lance Dunbar experiment isn't quite over. There's a chance they can improve heading into 2013, as well.

Nevertheless, bringing in Randle is already a significant upgrade from where Dallas was a year ago. The Cowboys finished 31st in rushing last year, so it could be somewhat worse: They could've finished where the Arizona Cardinals were. But they probably won't in 2013.

Expect a much better rushing attack from the Cowboys this upcoming season, barring if everyone stays healthy. At this point, that can be argued as the only thing preventing Dallas from having a top-ranked offense.

If Randle can play his part in 2013, then Dallas' offense will be alright.

Danny Webster is a featured columnist for the Dallas Cowboys. You can get in contact with him by going on Twitter and finding @DannyWebster21.

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