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Miami RB Duke Johnson: I fit Dallas' offensive scheme

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The Dallas Cowboys need a running back in this draft, and Miami's Duke Johnson says he fits Dallas' scheme. And he fits it quite well, too, he says.

Johnson, who is the leading rusher in UM history, was on NFL Network's "NFL AM" on Monday and was asked what team best fits his running style. Johnson picked Dallas.

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"In college, we ran the same outside zone scheme," said Johnson, who also said his familiarization with the scheme means "I can run it, basically, in my sleep."

Johnson said he ran the same scheme in high school at powerhouse Miami Norland, where the Vikings used it to win a state title.

"That system fits me well," he said.

Johnson (5-foot-9, 207 pounds) left UM after his junior season, already holding the school's career rushing mark with 3,519 yards. He also had 14 career 100-yard games, tying him with Edgerrin James and Clinton Portis for the most in school history. Along with his production, Johnson gets high marks for his receiving ability.

Johnson is in with Boise State's Jay Ajayi, Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah, Indiana's Tevin Coleman and Alabama's T.J. Yeldon among the second tier of backs available. But while Georgia's Todd Gurley and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon are seen as first-round picks, that's not the case with any other back.

Dallas lost DeMarco Murray as a free agent and signed Darren McFadden this offseason, but McFadden is not a long-term answer at the position. Dallas picks 27th overall, and you have to figure the Cowboys would be interested if either Gurley or Gordon is available. But if both are gone, would they still go with a running back? That seems doubtful. Dallas' second-round pick is 60th overall, but the question there is whether any of the second-tier backs would still be available.

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock has Johnson as his No. 4 running back in his latest rankings.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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