Joseph Randle ready if needed

IRVING, Texas -- As the Dallas Cowboys go forward without Lance Dunbar as their change-of-pace running back behind DeMarco Murray, rookie Joseph Randle is ready.

“I’m just going to go in there and make plays and do what I’ve been doing since I was 3,” Randle said.

Earlier in the year with Murray bothered by a knee injury and Dunbar slowed by a hamstring strain, Randle was the No. 1 back. In four games he carried 45 times for 111 yards. His best game came in his first start, rushing for 65 yards on 19 carries against the Philadelphia Eagles. He also caught three passes for 28 yards.

But he has not had a carry or a catch in his last three games as the coaches have gone with Murray and Dunbar.

Coach Jason Garrett said Randle’s 2.5-yard per-carry average is not a true indication of his level of play. Against the Washington Redskins and Eagles, he had plenty of short-yardage or end-of-game carries against stacked lines.

He does not have Dunbar’s quickness, but he showed he can hit the hole well enough to make some yards.

The Cowboys figure to ride Murray even more now, but Garrett said the coaches have confidence in Randle and Phillip Tanner if needed.

“I know his numbers might not indicate that, but he went in and played football at this level,” Garrett said. “Sometimes, when a rookie goes in there, on his first opportunity to carry the ball for an extended period of time, he seems young, seems like maybe a college guy, and it might be a little bit too big for him. Joseph has never had that way about him.”