The Dallas Morning News

McFadden signs two-year deal with Cowboys,

McFadden signs two-year contract; deal is low risk for Cowboys

- By BRANDON GEORGE Staff Writer Staff writers Rainer Sabin, Da vid Moore and Eddie Sefko con tributed to this report. Follow Brandon George on Twitter at @DMN_George.

The Cowboys acted swiftly Friday to help combat some of the sting left from Philadelph­ia signing away reigning league rushing champion DeMarco Murray on Thursday.

The Cowboys added depth to their depleted backfield by finally signing a free agent with some name recognitio­n. Veteran Oakland running back Darren McFadden signed a twoyear contract to join Dallas, the club announced.

McFadden comes with a long injury history, but the Cowboys were able to sign him to a low-risk deal. McFadden can make up to $5.85 million, and his deal included a $200,000 signing bonus, a source said.

“For me, it was one of those deals where I basically had to wait to see what was going to happen with DeMarco Murray,” McFadden said. “My agent kept in touch with Dallas and a few other teams.

“Last night came, and we were trying to come up with something and [Friday] morning I went in for a visit and everything went great, so I decided to sign. And I’m happy to be here.”

The Cowboys don’t expect McFadden to replace Murray, at least not in terms of workload and production. With Murray gone, the Cowboys know they will need a running back-by-committee approach in 2015.

Adding McFadden doesn’t change the Cowboys’ intentions of selecting a running back in the draft. He does give them insurance, however, if they decide to part ways with Joseph Randle, who is the suspect in a domestic violence investigat­ion in his hometown of Wichita, Kan.

The Raiders made McFadden, 28, the fourth overall choice in the 2008 draft, with his only 1,000-yard campaign coming in 2010. But he’s never run behind an offensive line like the Cowboys have in place. He played in every game last season for the first time in his career — starting 12 — and finished with 534 yards and two touchdowns.

“I love what Dallas’ offensive line has to offer. They have the best offensive line in the league. I don’t have a question about my ability. It’s just a matter of getting the ball in my hands and running.”

McFadden suffered 15 injuries in his first six seasons with the Raiders that caused him to miss 29 games. He’s undergone three surgeries — in 2006 at Arkansas on his left foot, in 2008 at Oakland on his shoulder and in 2009 with the Raiders on his knee. He’s also had hamstring, toe, ankle and head injuries.

McFadden will compete for

playing time with Randle, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams.

“For me, I’m going to come in and work hard and take care of what I’m supposed to take care of,” McFadden said. “On the field, I’ ll leave it up to the coach to decide how they want to play guys and rotate and whatever guy they want to put in there first.”

Fullback joins roster: For the second consecutiv­e day, the Cowboys signed a fullback by agreeing to terms with Ray Agnew III, a source said. Agnew agreed to a two-year, veteran minimum deal, the source said. Agnew worked out for the Cowboys earlier this week.

On Thursday, the Cowboys signed fullback Jed Collins to a one-year contract for the veteran minimum.

Agnew, 24, started nine games last season for Cleveland. He went undrafted in 2014 out of Southern Illinois. His father, Ray Agnew Jr., played 11 seasons in the NFL as a defensive tackle for New England, the Giants and St. Louis.

Extra cash for Leary, Wil

cox: Left guard Ron Leary and safety J.J. Wilcox will receive a nice paycheck that will supplement their 2014 base salaries.

Among the $3.633 million the Cowboys will disperse out of the NFL’s performanc­e-based pay system, Leary and Wilcox will benefit the most. Leary will be paid $286,813 (11th-most in the NFL) and Wilcox will receive an additional $245,173 (22nd among NFL players).

The system rewards players with low base salaries and high play-time percentage­s from the previous season. Leary started 15 games last season and Wilcox started all 16 games. The money doesn’t count against the Cowboys’ salary cap.

Ten other Cowboys players (LB Anthony Hitchens, WR Terrance Williams, CB Sterling Moore, DT Tyrone Crawford, LB Rolando McClain, TE James Hanna, DT Nick Hayden, LB Kyle Wilber, S Jeff Heath and WR Cole Beasley) will receive a check of more than $100,000 for their 2014 performanc­es.

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 ?? File 2014/The Associated Press ?? For the first time in his seven-year stint with the Oakland Raiders, running back Darren McFadden played in all 16 games last season.
File 2014/The Associated Press For the first time in his seven-year stint with the Oakland Raiders, running back Darren McFadden played in all 16 games last season.

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