"You Want Some?"
Originally Posted by Bluefin
Todd Archer: Cowboys fortunate to have George
03:32 PM CDT on Thursday, July 29, 2004
IRVING - It's a good thing the Cowboys did not wait a few days to sign Eddie George.
If they had, Miami almost certainly would have tried to sign the veteran running back after Ricky Williams' surprising retirement announcement.
There's no way the Cowboys would have participated in a bidding war for George. Some believe the Cowboys overpaid for George because there were no other serious bidders. Maybe they did.
Had the Cowboys waited, they would have gone to camp with Julius Jones, Richie Anderson, ReShard Lee and Aveion Cason as their tailbacks. Coach Bill Parcells was content to see how that played out.
[View Full Quote]He went with untested Troy Hambrick, Cason, Michael Wiley and Lee into camp last year. Later, he added Erik Bickerstaff and Adrian Murrell to the camp mix. And the Cowboys won 10 games a year ago, so what would have been the difference?
George is not the player he was a few years ago, but he provides insurance. On third and 1, Parcells knows he has a player who will fight for yards and not put the ball on the ground.
George admitted that splitting the job with Jones would not be ideal. He is used to carrying the ball 20-25 times a game. He has started 128 straight games. Only Walter Payton (170) started more consecutive games.
There's a very good chance that streak will continue, but the days of 300-plus carries might be over. And that should not be a bad thing for George.
He turns 31 in September and there are very few over-30 running backs who excel. He has carried the ball 2,733 times for 10,009 yards. He has battled some injuries, including a severe toe injury that limited his effectiveness.
Parcells knows how to handle veteran running backs. He did it with Ottis Anderson with the New York Giants and he did it with Keith Byars with New England and the Jets (though Byars was not a tailback at that point in his career).
Last year Parcells mixed 515 carries among 11 players, led by Hambrick's 275. That seems to be about the same number George could take this year. Jones will probably get around 100. Quincy Carter may get another 40 and Anderson could see another 50 or 60.
There will be games George will get 25 carries or Jones gets 25 carries depending on the type of defense they are facing. George, most likely, would get more against a Baltimore. Jones might be more effective against a Chicago.
It could be a week-to-week, quarter-by-quarter type thing.
It's not ideal. Parcells would like to have the bell cow runner like he had with Curtis Martin. But he doesn't. He'll go with what he has and ride the hot hand.
It's something George better become used to.
If Eddie George gets 275 carries and Julius Jones gets 100.
I will snap.
Especially if George gets his customary 3.3ypc and Jones averages 4.0.