Joseph Randle, running back for the Dallas Cowboys, has a near-impossible job, waiting in the depth-chart line behind Pro Bowler DeMarco Murray in the Texas-based side.
But the 22-year-old finally opened up his touchdown account this season with a third-quarter score last night as his side comfortably eased to a 31-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London.
A Head For The Game was first to speak to Randle in the locker room about his UK experience following the win.
“The win was very good business,” said Randle, who scored two touchdowns last season. “It was good to get in the end zone for the first time; the hole opened up and the offensive line did a great job with great execution.”
The touchdown represented the first of the season for the Dallas #21, but was it extra-special as it was scored in London?
“It was special wherever it happened,” said Randle, who was born in Wichita, Kansas. “I wish my family could have seen it, but they were watching on TV.
“I had a major adrenaline rush when I first went out there [into Wembley]; I felt like I was in some kind of World Cup game; it was crazy out there, but it was a great environment.”
A large part of the Wembley experience for visiting NFL teams has been the quality, or lack of quality, of the pitch – or turf – with many teams having to adapt their equipment and pay extra attention to it, but Randle himself did not see any problems with playing surface.
“That’s not an excuse for me, I grew up playing on dirt,” said the former Oklahoma State player. “No matter what we’re playing on, to me, I’ve just got to go out there, play on it, get used to it and not make that an excuse.”
The fifth-round pick of the 2013 NFL Draft was also keen to emphasise how much the trip was special for him and was quick to push his coaches for more minutes and carries going into the end of the season and a potential post-season for the Cowboys.
“I really enjoyed London,” he said. “My jet lag lasted a little too long and I never got my sleeping schedule right, although I didn’t really worry about it too much.
“I’m grateful to be down here – I’m blessed. The touchdown was definitely the highlight of the trip for me – how many more I can get this season? You gotta ask the coaches.”
Photo credits: Dallas Cowboys/NFL UK