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Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris on life behind Ezekiel Elliott

Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris on life behind Ezekiel Elliott
Published On: Thu, Aug 10
Aug 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) carries the ball as Detroit Lions defensive tackle Caraun Reid (97) and Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) make the tackle in the first quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As shadows fell across the field following practice in the first week of training camp, Alfred Morris reflected on his fight to secure a place on the 2017 Dallas Cowboys.

"Everything happens for a reason," he said. "I'm a true believer in that."

That first line -- delivered with conviction -- was an exact echo of what Morris' teammate, fellow running back Darren McFadden, had said earlier that day when asked about the ups and downs of his career: "Everything happens for a reason."

McFadden, a 10th-year veteran with a first-round pedigree, ranks 12th among active rushing leaders with 5,423 career yards. Morris, a two-time Pro Bowler who's posted three 1,000-yard campaigns in five NFL seasons, ranks 15th with 4,956 yards. So they'd be forgiven for taking a less philosophical view of where they've ended up: planted firmly behind 22-year-old star Ezekiel Elliott on the Cowboys' depth chart.

Consider that McFadden, who rushed for 164 yards in his second NFL game back in 2008, last broke triple-digits on Dec. 19, 2015, when he ran for 100 exactly as he was wrapping up his first season in Dallas. Morris last reached that mark two weeks later, when, as a member of the Washington Redskins, he also hit 100 on the nose in a Cowboys loss. Ironically, Morris' effort helped lock Dallas into the pick it eventually used to draft Elliott, who went on to lead the NFL in rushing and vie for Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016.

To put it mildly, the position group is much different than it was when Morris, 28, joined the team on a two-year contract in March of 2016. Not that it gets him down.

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