Rookie review: Lance Dunbar
January, 21, 2013
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
Elsa/Getty ImagesLance Dunbar will compete to be DeMarco Murray's backup next season.
How acquired: Undrafted free agent, North Texas
What he did: He spent the early portions of the season on the practice squad but was called up in October. Dunbar rushed for 75 yards on 21 carries during the season in a backup role. His value increased when DeMarco Murray missed six games with a sprained foot. Dunbar proved to be a player who can do different things -- he caught six passes out of the backfield, averaged 21.8 yards on kick returns and got work on special teams. In the second meeting with the New York Giants, on Oct. 28, Dunbar returned a kick 44 yards.
Where he fits in the future: He needs more work in the passing game, especially in picking up the blitz, but it seems the Cowboys want to keep him around more than Phillip Tanner, the other backup running back. Dunbar has good speed and vision and seems to hit holes faster than Tanner. He will compete, possibly with Tanner in training camp, to be Murray's backup. The key for Dunbar, of course, is whether the new special teams coach thinks he can provide an impact on his unit.