Garrett doesn't believe Darren McFadden has hit a wall

Truth time: The Cowboys are extremely limited on offense. This is life when Tony Romo keeps breaking his damn collarbone.

To have a chance to steal the wretched NFC East, Dallas needs a legitimate running game that can take pressure off Matt Cassel. That falls on the team's primary ballcarrier, Darren McFadden, who has picked an inopportune time to fall into a slump.

McFadden has been unable to crack 55 yards rushing in three of the Cowboys' last four games. He did have an 129-yard effort against the Dolphins in Week 11, but that doesn't alleviate the concern that the veteran running back has hit a wall as we head into the season's final quarter.

"I don't notice that at all," coach Jason Garrett said, via "I don't notice him slowing down or not being able to do the things physically that we're asking him to do. He's had some good games for us. He's had some games where he's been less productive."

It's important to keep an eye on workload here. McFadden was riddled with injuries throughout his time in Oakland, and his 213 touches this season has already surpassed what he did in either of his final two seasons with the Raiders. If McFadden keeps up this pace and stays on the field, he will wind up with the biggest workload of his entire career.

McFadden has 146 carries in seven games since becoming the Cowboys' primary back in late October. He's never carried the ball that much in a seven-game span.

"I think it's probably new for him to carry the ball as much, but he's certainly capable of doing it," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "I'm not concerned about a wall or anything like that. I just think as we get through the year, our expectation is our backs are going to get a good dose of carries."

The depth chart doesn't leave Dallas great options if McFadden's slump deepens. Joseph Randle is no longer around, and Robert Turbin and Rod Smith are the only other options behind McFadden. There's a reason you keep on hearing speculation about a potential DeMarco Murray reunion.

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