Alfred Morris: Returning To Washington As A Dallas Cowboy
Alfred Morris was a beloved member of the Washington Redskins during his first four NFL seasons. Now, he will play for the first time against them in Week 2 of the 2016 NFL season.
The Washington Redskins are going to be playing the Dallas Cowboys in the second week of the NFL season. The two teams are both 0-1 to start the season, and the game will be an important divisional matchup that could break some ties down the road. There are a lot of storylines in this game, but one of the most sentimental ones will be about the Cowboys backup running back, Alfred Morris.
Morris was a member of the Redskins for the first four seasons of his NFL career. He was a sixth round pick out of Florida Atlantic University and he vastly exceeded expectations early in his career. During his rookie season, Morris started all 16 games alongside Robert Griffin III. Morris ended up running for 1,613 yards on the season with a whopping 13 touchdowns. He was a force for the Redskins and looked like the back of the future.
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Over the next three years, Morris would start every game for the Redskins. Though he was very popular with the Washington fans, his abilities began to decline midway through his third season. By his fourth, he was averaging only a paltry 3.7 yards per carry. He could not move the pile and the Redskins had drafted his heir apparent, Matt Jones, in the 2015 NFL Draft. He was not in Washington’s long term plans.
In a piece by CSN’s JP Finlay, Morris opened up about his time in Washington. He communicated that he did not want to leave the team, but he understood at the end that he was not going to remain a Redskin for his entire career.
"I didn’t get a reason. I didn’t go looking for one either. I thought about it. I contemplated it for a while, just go ask kind of, ‘What’s going on?’ I just felt like I didn’t really need to. Whatever happened, happened, and I guess it was time to move on. So that was fine with me. Like I said, it goes back to ‘it’s a business’ and like I said, I can’t cry over spilled milk. I just had to go buy me another gallon."
That is just what Morris did. He bought another gallon, and is now with the Cowboys. He is a perfect backup for the team. The Cowboys drafted Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, and he is going to be the team’s featured back. However, Morris is a great power back off the bench who will definitely have an impact for the team. He will not be a workhorse back, but as a complement he should be great. In the opener, he averaged 5.0 yards per carry behind the Cowboys stellar offensive line. He will be able to step in and start a game as necessary, but until then he will thrive getting 5 to 10 carries a game.
Right now, letting go of Morris is looking like a poor decision, as the Redskins rush offense was very poor in Week 1. Jones is injury prone and inconsistent. The team does not have a qualified backup, and having Morris to fill that spot would be immensely helpful. The team is definitely missing him now.
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If the team is missing him any amount, then the fans are missing him even more. When Morris returns to Washington on Sunday, the fans will almost certainly greet him with a chorus of cheers. They loved Morris when he was on the team. They long to have him back on the sideline. Unfortunately, he will now suit up for the enemy.
The tale of Alfred Morris is one that is all too common in the modern day NFL. He was a fan favorite who was shunned as his performance declined. At the end of the day, the NFL is a business. Players no longer stay with teams for their whole careers, unless they are truly great. Morris was not quite on that level. Still, the current Cowboy will still be loved by the Redskins fans for the rest of his life.