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McFadden ready to compete for carries with Elliott

Cowboys running back Darren McFadden thinks that rookie Ezekiel Elliott is "awesome," but that doesn't mean he's ready to give up carries.

"They picked him high, he's going to play and get his touches," McFadden said, via the team's official site. "I know what that's like. But there's a role for all of us. We're not afraid of competition and I know he'll bring out the best in us and we'll bring out the best in him."

People forget that McFadden finished fourth in the NFL with 1,089 rushing yards in 2015, which may be more of a testament to Dallas' offensive line than DeMarco Murray's monstrous season the year before. And while this is eye-roll inducing commentary in some respects, it does bring to light the elephant in the Cowboys' locker room: Is there a plan in place to not run Elliott into the ground after just a few seasons?

A team could get in just as much trouble trying to baby and protect a top-five pick, especially at running back. But we wonder how involved the team will allow McFadden and free agent Alfred Morris to be.

In a recent mailbag, Dallas Morning News beat writer Brandon George said he saw Morris keeping a role on this team despite a No. 3 position on Dallas' depth chart. That means Dallas plans to return to their roots as a run-first offense, but that the team may do so in a more responsible fashion.

If the Cowboys can manage to get all three running backs at or around four yards per carry as they did in 2014 but prevent any from eclipsing 300 carries, they would be looking at a best-case scenario. A competitive nature between Elliott and McFadden isn't the worst thing.

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