"Darren McFadden, that is a running back you have to respect. You have to remember he played out in Oakland. Oakland doesn't have what the Cowboys have," Smith said during an interview on KRLD-FM on Tuesday, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "Having an offensive line, and a quarterback like Tony Romo, and some receivers, and a system that makes some doggone sense, he can become a better running back in this system.
"And (with backup running back Joseph) Randle, you can have a nice one-two punch. The one thing with McFadden, if he gets some of those running lanes that I saw DeMarco have last year, and it's on -- he can take it to the house."
It's true that the Cowboys own the best offensive line in the NFL. However, let's not dismiss the Oakland Raiders' blockers as riffraff. Blaming McFadden's 3.4 yards per carry last year on the blocking would ignore what players like Latavius Murray, Rashad Jennings and Marcel Reece did behind that same line the past two seasons.
While Smith seems confident that McFadden will have a renaissance behind the Cowboys' O-line, the NFL's all-time rushing leader railed against the notion that any running back can be productive behind good blocking.
"It's disrespectful to all running backs, to be honest with you," Smith said. "You can say arrogant, but it's definitely disrespectful. ... The league has gotten very comfortable with this plug-and-play system. When you have zone blocking, or a system to what the Denver Broncos used to have in the late '90s and early 2000s, they think like that."