An inordinate number of D.C. fan favorites have left town over the past year, from Brooks Laich with the Caps to Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann with the Nats to Alfred Morris with the Redskins. And as the first three have shown, what feels awfully weird at first — seeing Desmond playing center field in a Rangers jersey — pretty quickly becomes just normal pro sports. The first time is wacky, the next few times are strange, but if humans can get used to paying regular-season prices for preseason football, they can get used to anything.
So I’m going to assume that eventually we’ll all get used to Morris performing his signature touchdown celebration while in a Cowboys uniform. But man, did that sight look pretty strange Friday night.
With Ezekiel Elliott and Darren McFadden both out, Morris played plenty in Dallas’ fake game against the Dolphins, gaining 85 yards on 13 carries. He had one touchdown run called back, but scored on another, and then he busted out the move that wound up on T-shirts here, the one he did something like 29 times, not counting the preseason.
It was a move Morris created in honor of some Virginia Little Leaguers he met in the team hotel during his first OTAs with the Redskins, way back in 2012. Morris hung out with the kids, went swimming with them, ate cupcakes with them, watched one of their games and then promised them he would “hit a home run for ya’ll” in a game.
And so, when Morris scored a preseason touchdown that August, he swung for the fences. The parents and players got in touch with him. They loved it. And he never stopped swinging.
“The kids get so excited,” he told Sarah Kogod. “It brings joy to my heart.”
But the thing is, those kids have probably never even been to Dallas! Plus they all have to be teenagers now. And mostly, one would hope, not fans of the Cowboys. It’ll be weird enough watching Morris wear that uniform against the Redskins twice this season. Adding in that celebration only makes it weirder.
As luck would have it, Morris had his big (preseason) night at the same time Washington was having a bit of (preseason) panic, with starting running back Matt Jones now injured and his backups all inexperienced and/or ineffective. The Redskins sure seem like they could use a veteran running back right about now, and meanwhile, here is Morris, swinging away for Washington’s rival.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) August 20, 2016
Oh well, at least Morris’s quotes don’t make the whole thing feel even more painful. Wait.
“If I had my way, I would still be there, but that’s not the way it worked out,” Morris recently said, via the Ventura County Star. “This is where I’m supposed to be and I’m excited about the opportunity here.”
Meanwhile, writers for the team Web site appear to be falling for Morris, with one writing Friday night that Morris “has clearly grabbed the position by the horns” and “needs a significant role” this season.
What’s so great about Morris is that…nothing is great. He’s just good at a lot of things. He’s a good inside runner, but not with a ton of power. He’s got quick feet, but obviously not great speed. He’s not a pass-catcher and he’s not a great blocker. But he’s just good. And sometimes good is great, especially for what will eventually be a backup role.
To me, from what I’ve noticed about Morris in the few months he’s been with the Cowboys, is how different he is from other players. And by different, it’s certainly refreshing. His perspective is unlike other players.
Reading that on DallasCowboys.com is weird, too. Now that we’ve seen this weirdness in the preseason, maybe it won’t feel as odd in the regular season. Maybe.
(Via 106.7 The Fan.)