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Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys reach contract

The Dallas Cowboys have added a veteran running back in the wake of losing DeMarco Murray.

Jerry Jones' squad agreed to a two-year deal with Darren McFadden on Friday worth up to $5.85 million, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported. ("Up to" indicating the contract will likely be heavily incentive-based.)

The former Arkansas Razorback -- Jones' alma mater, by the way -- has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. Last season was the first in which he appeared in all 16 games during his seven-year tenure with the Oakland Raiders. He also wasn't productive in 2014 before eventually getting replaced by rookie Latavius Murray.

Over the past three seasons, McFadden has averaged 3.34 yards per carry. His bust-out 2010 campaign -- 1,157 yards, 5.2 yards per carry and seven touchdowns -- is a distant memory. Injuries have usurped his speed and tackle-breaking ability.

On the positive side, McFadden, turning 28 in August, will be running behind the best offensive line in football in Dallas. Perhaps Jones can coax a few spry moments out of his Razorback compatriot, but given McFadden's recent struggles, we view him as a bit player at this point of his career. Pro Football Focus rated McFadden 38 out of 42 running backs in their Elusive Rating, which grades a runner's success beyond the point of being helped by blockers. 

The signing shouldn't stop the Cowboys from selecting a young runner early in the 2015 NFL Draft to be a future workhorse, nor should it preclude Jones from chasing Adrian Peterson. There is a chance that if either or both of those happen McFadden might struggle to hold onto a roster spot come August. 

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down DeMarco Murray's move to the Eagles and breaks down which teams have been wise in free agency. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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