McFadden, who has been injury prone throughout his career, declared he is injury free and ready to take part in the Cowboys' offseason practices.
“I’m 100 percent and ready to go play ball,” McFadden said. “It felt great. We were just taking precautions, they didn’t want me to mess it up or anything crazy. Just being out there today, it felt great. I was out there running, opening up and just trying to do what I can do.”
McFadden says he's ready to take on whatever role the Cowboys present him with. The team is in need of filling the void left behind by last year's league-leading rusher DeMarco Murray.
“Whatever they ask me to do, I feel up to it,” McFadden said. “I’m just going out here and working hard. Whatever it is that they decide they want, that’s how I’m going to roll.”
The workload for
Jason Garrett has declared that McFadden might get a bit more work as his strained hamstring is healing.
McFadden spent his first seven seasons with Oakland, where he exceeded 1,000 yards rushing just once and was generally considered a disappointment.
He hopes to participate at least a bit in minicamp next week, but he remains rankled.
"It's definitely frustrating," he told ESPN. "You always want to be out there taking plays and getting reps, but it's one of those things I'd rather sit out now instead of pushing it and have something linger on me."
McFadden signed a two-year contract with Dallas and could receive the bulk of the carries given the loss of DeMarco Murray to Philadelphia. He has worked some individual drills the last two weeks, but not in 7-on-7 activity.
"For me, I'm just going out there grinding," he said. "However the coaches put me out there – whether it's first team or second team. When it comes time for them to make a decision, it's totally up to them. I'm just trying to get that playbook down and take advantage of this opportunity."
McFadden is competing with Joseph Randle to be the first-team running back, and he said he just wants to work hard and not worry about how many repetitions he's receiving with the first team.
"Once you've been in a place so long like Oakland, you can get set in your ways," McFadden said Wednesday, after his second OTA practice with the Cowboys. "Coming out here and being around guys that work so hard, it just brings out the best in you. It's something I look forward to."
McFadden signed a two-year deal with Dallas. It calls for just $200,000 in guaranteed money, but could be worth as much as $5.85 million, per ESPN.
The scatback has been a disappointment in the NFL. In seven years with Oakland, he exceeded 1,000 yards rushing just once and has 25 touchdowns. He has not averaged more than 3.4 yards per carry since 2011, but the change of scenery and far better surrounding offensive talent could give his career a jump-start.
At least Jones believes so.
"McFadden made a big difference here," he said. "His availability - make no bones about it - we didn't know that McFadden was going to be available when we initially started to think about this year and in our decision regarding that. ... It might have been a little different story had we not had McFadden on our roster in this draft."
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