Alfred Morris (American football)

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Alfred Morris
refer to caption
Morris with the Dallas Cowboys in 2017
No. 46 – Dallas Cowboys
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1988-12-12) December 12, 1988 (age 28)
Pensacola, Florida
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight: 222 lb (101 kg)
Career information
High school: Pensacola (FL) Pine Forest
College: Florida Atlantic
NFL Draft: 2012 / Round: 6 / Pick: 173
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 11, 2017
Rushing yards: 5,216
Average: 4.4
Rushing touchdowns: 31
Receptions: 51
Receiving yards: 385
Receiving touchdowns: 0
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Alfred Bruce Morris[1] (born December 12, 1988) is an American football running back for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Florida Atlantic and was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Early life[edit]

Morris attended Pine Forest High School in Pensacola, Florida, where he was a letterman in football, basketball, and track.[2] In football, he saw action on both sides of the ball. As a senior, he rushed for 1,049 yards with 17 touchdowns and added 147 tackles and five interceptions on defense. He was named North West Florida MVP, first-team All-State and was a game MVP. He also participated in the PSA All-Star Game. Academically, he was named the student-athlete of the month for Pine Forest. While he was in sixth grade, he played youth football against future Pensacola football stars, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and running back Trent Richardson. Alfred and Trent would meet again in their rookie seasons as the Redskins would travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns.[3]

In track, Morris was one of the state's top performers in the jumping events. At the 2007 FHSAA 1A-2A Outdoor State Finals, he earned a tenth-place finish in the triple jump event, after clearing a career-best mark of 13.40 meters.[4] He also got a PR of 6.48 meters in the long jump and ran the 200 meters in 23.46 seconds.[5]

College career[edit]

In Morris’s 2009 season at Florida Atlantic University, he ran the ball 236 times for 1,392 yards. He also scored 11 touchdowns with a career long run of 48 yards. In his 2010 season, Morris rushed the ball 227 times while gaining 928 yards averaging 4.1 yards-per-carry. He also scored a rushing touchdown seven times that season.

College statistics[edit]

Career Totals
Year GMS Att Yds Avg TDs Long Avg/G
2008 11 7 23 3.3 0 9 2.1
2009 12 236 1392 5.3 11 48 116.0
2010 12 227 928 4.1 7 38 77.3
2011 12 234 1188 5.1 9 -- 99.0
Total 47 731 3531 4.8 27 48 75.1
Career Game Highs
Rush Attempts 29 UNT (10/17/09)
Rush Yards 183 ULL (10/24/09)
Rush TDs 2 5X
Rush Long 48 Troy (11/21/09)
Receptions 3 MTSU (10/31/09)
Receiving TDs 1 ASU (11/14/09), FIU (11/28/09)
Receiving Long 38 ULL (10/24/09)
100-Yard Games
Dates Yards Game Vs.
10/24/09 183 ULL
11/28/09 158 FIU
10/17/09 147 UNT
11/21/09 137 Troy

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40‑yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad BP
5 ft 10 in
(1.78 m)
219 lb
(99 kg)
31 38 in
(0.80 m)
10 14 in
(0.26 m)
4.67 s 1.60 s 2.55 s 4.19 s 7.01 s 35 12 in
(0.90 m)
9 ft 9 in
(2.97 m)
16 reps
All values from NFL Combine[6][7]

Washington Redskins[edit]

Morris at Redskins training camp in 2012.

2012 season[edit]

Morris was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft with the 173rd overall pick by the Washington Redskins.[8] The sixth round draft pick that Washington selected him with was from a trade on July 27, 2011, from the Vikings for Donovan McNabb. He was officially signed by the Redskins to a four-year, $2.22 million contract with a $154,000 signing bonus on May 6, 2012.[9][10] After having impressive preseason performances, where he started two out of four of the Redskins' preseason games, he emerged as a dark horse in the running back competition with Roy Helu, Evan Royster, and Tim Hightower.[11][12][13][14] He was guaranteed a spot on the final 53-man roster for the start of the 2012 season after Morris sat out of the last preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the rest of the Redskins' starters.

The day before the season opener, coach Mike Shanahan announced that Morris would be the starting running back. In his NFL debut and first career start, he rushed for 96 yards on 28 carries and scored two touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints.[15] Despite the Redskins losing to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3, Morris put on a great display, recording 78 rushing yards on 17 carries and scoring a touchdown, and was even nominated for NFL Rookie of the Week.[16] The next week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he had his first 100-yard game; recording 113 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown.[17] On October 7, versus the Atlanta Falcons, Morris rushed for his second career 100-yard game. He was named Rookie of the Week after his performance in Week 7 against the New York Giants, where he rushed for 120 yards on 22 carries.[18] He would later have three consecutive 100-yard performances starting in the Week 12 game against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Morris would be named Rookie of the Week for the second time after his performance against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14.[19]

In the final game of the regular season, Morris ran 33 times for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns, setting two new Redskins franchise records. His effort helped lead the Redskins to a 28-18 victory over their division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, to win the NFC East for the first time since 1999 and earn a playoff spot for the first time since 2007. Finishing the season with a total of 1,613 rushing yards and thirteen touchdowns, he broke Clinton Portis’ rushing record for a single-season of 1,516 yards and Charley Taylor's record of most touchdowns scored in his rookie season of ten touchdowns.[20][21][22] Morris also became the fourth player in NFL history to ever record over 1,600 rushing yards in his rookie year; ultimately ranking third behind Eric Dickerson and George Rogers, respectively.

With Morris's 1,613 rushing yards combined with 815 rushing yards attained by Robert Griffin III, the two rookies accounted for 90% of the Redskins' total rushing yards for the 2012 regular season, which led the Redskins to finish first in the league in rushing.[23] In the regular season, he also finished second in the league in total rushing yards, only behind Adrian Peterson, and ranked second in rushing touchdowns behind Arian Foster.[24]

Morris rushing during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 17, 2013.

2013 season[edit]

Prior to the 2013 season, Morris was named to the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2013 by his fellow players at #64[25] On September 9, 2013, Morris ran for 45 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown in the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.[26] Morris was tackled in the end zone for a safety.[27] On September 15, 2013, Morris ran for 107 yards on 13 carries against the Green Bay Packers.[28] On September 22, 2013, Morris ran for 73 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown against the Detroit Lions.[29] Morris ran for a 30-yard touchdown, his second touchdown of the season.[30] On September 29, 2013, Morris ran for 71 yards on 16 carries against the Oakland Raiders.[31] It was reported that Morris suffered a rib contusion.[31] On October 13, 2013, Morris ran for 81 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys.[32] Morris ran for a season-long 45-yard touchdown, his third of the season.[33] On October 20, 2013, Morris ran for 95 yards on 19 carries against the Chicago Bears.[34] On October 27, 2013, Morris ran for 93 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown against the Denver Broncos.[35] On November 3, 2013, Morris ran for 121 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers.[36] On November 7, 2013, Morris ran for a season-high 139 yards on 26 carries against the Minnesota Vikings.[37] On November 17, 2013, Morris ran for 93 yards on 22 carries against the Philadelphia Eagles.[38] On December 1, 2013, Morris scored his sixth touchdown of the season against the New York Giants.[39] On December 15, 2013, Morris ran for 98 yards on 18 carries against the Atlanta Falcons.[40] On December 22, 2013, Morris ran for 88 yards on 24 carries against the Dallas Cowboys.[41]

At the end of the 2013 season, Morris finished with 1,275 rushing yards on 276 carries and 7 touchdowns and 78 receiving yards with 9 catches.[42] Morris was ranked 4th in rushing yards, was 1 of 13 players to break 1,000 rushing yards and 1 of 7 players to break 1,200 yards.[43] Morris was also the only running back in the 2012 draft class to break 1,000 rushing yards, 500 yards over second place, Miami Dolphins' Lamar Miller (709).[44] Morris also ranked first in rushing touchdowns amongst the 2012 draft class, 2 more over second place, Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Bobby Rainey with 5.[45] On January 17, it was announced that Morris would play in the 2014 Pro Bowl, after originally being selected as an alternate.[46]

2014 season[edit]

On September 7, 2014, Morris ran for 91 yards on 14 carries against the Houston Texans.[47] Morris recorded a 21-yard run in the second quarter, getting tackled at the 1-yard line.[48] On September 14, 2014, Morris ran for 85 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars.[49][50] On September 21, 2014, Morris ran for 77 yards on 23 carries against the Philadelphia Eagles.[51] On September 25, 2014, Morris ran for 63 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown against the New York Giants.[52] Morris ran for a 20-yard touchdown.[53] On October 27, 2014, Morris ran for 73 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys.[54] On November 2, 2014, Morris ran for 92 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings.[55] Morris ran for a 14-yard touchdown.[56] On November 16, 2014, Morris ran for 96 yards on 20 carries against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[57] On November 23, 2014, Morris ran for 125 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers.[58] Morris broke 100 rushing yards for the first time in the 2014 season, the last time Morris ran a 100-plus game was November 7, 2013.[58] On December 20, 2014, Morris ran for 83 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles.[59]

Morris finished the 2014 season with 1,074 rushing yards on 265 carries and 8 touchdowns along with 155 receiving yards on 17 catches.[60] Morris achieved his third consecutive season of 1,000+ rushing yards by the end of the 2014 season. With this achievement, he became the fourth running back in the Redskins' franchise history to have at least three 1,000-yard seasons along with John Riggins, Clinton Portis, and Stephen Davis.[61] Morris was ranked 11th in rushing yards, only 1 of 13 players to break 1,000 rushing yards, and ranked 2nd among third-year backs, just behind Miami Dolphins' Lamar Miller.[62][63] Morris ranked eighth in rushing touchdowns, but ranked second amongst the 2012 Draft class, behind Minnesota Vikings' Matt Asiata with nine and tied with Miami Dolphins' Lamar Miller with eight.[64][65] He went to the 2015 Pro Bowl as an alternate for LeSean McCoy.[66] Morris' 3,962 career rushing yards at that time placed him sixth all-time in Redskins' history, just twelve yards more than Earnest Byner with 3,950.[67]

2015 season[edit]

Morris in 2015

Morris remained the starter for the Redskins, splitting carries with rookie Matt Jones and Chris Thompson. The Redskins' rushing scheme in their offense was noticeably poor causing Morris's statistics to be particularly lower compared to his past seasons.[68] On September 13, 2015, Morris ran for a season-high 121 yards on 25 carries against the Miami Dolphins.[69] During the game, Morris was tackled by Ndamukong Suh after a nine-yard gain, and as Suh got up it appeared that he kicked Morris's helmet off, causing major controversy in Suh's first game as a Dolphin.[70] On September 20, 2015, Morris ran for a 35-yard gain against the New York Giants.[71] On November 15, 2015, Morris ran for 92 yards on 15 carries against the New Orleans Saints.[72] On November 29, 2015, Morris ran for 78 yards on 23 carries against the New York Giants.[73] On December 13, 2015, Morris scored his first and only touchdown of the season against the Chicago Bears.[74] On January 3, 2016, Morris ran for 100 yards on 19 carries against the Dallas Cowboys.[75] During the fourth quarter, Morris was tackled in the end zone by J.J. Wilcox for a safety.[76] On January 10, 2016, Morris ran for 50 yards on 11 carries in the NFC Wild Card loss to the Green Bay Packers.[77]

Morris finished the 2015 season with 751 rushing yards on 202 carries and a touchdown, and 55 receiving yards on 10 catches.[78] Morris ranked 4th among the 2012 draft class, behind Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Doug Martin (1,402), Miami Dolphins' Lamar Miller (872), and Denver Broncos' Ronnie Hillman (863).[79] Morris's 4,713 career rushing yards jumped him to the 5th-most career rushing yards in Redskins' history, passing Terry Allen with 4,086.[67]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

With the Cowboys in 2017.

2016 season[edit]

On March 22, 2016, Morris signed a two-year, $3.5 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys, with the potential to earn up to $5.5 million.[80] The Cowboys were looking to improve their running back production from the previous year and also drafted Ezekiel Elliott in the first round on April 28. With the emergence of Elliott who became the league's leading rusher, Morris was mostly used on third downs and was forced to focus on his blocking and receiving skills.

On September 11, 2016, Morris made his debut with the Cowboys, running for 35 yards on seven carries in a 20-19 loss to the New York Giants.[81] On September 18, 2016, Morris scored his first touchdown of the season against the Washington Redskins.[82] On September 25, 2016, Morris scored his second touchdown of the season against the Chicago Bears.[83] On November 6, 2016, Morris ran for a season-high 56 yards on 17 carries against the Cleveland Browns.[84] In week 15, he was passed on the depth chart after the Cowboys activated Darren McFadden from the non-football injury list. He was declared inactive against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions. He finished the season with 243 rushing yards, 11 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He was also declared inactive for the divisional-round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.

Statistics[edit]

  Rushing Receiving Fumbles
Season Team GP Att Yds Avg Yds/G Long TD Rec Yds Long TD Fum Lost
2012 WAS 16 335 1,613 4.8 100.8 39T 13 11 77 20 0 4 3
2013 WAS 16 276 1,275 4.6 79.7 45T 7 9 78 17 0 5 4
2014 WAS 16 265 1,074 4.1 67.1 30 8 17 155 26 0 2 1
2015 WAS 16 202 751 3.7 46.9 48 1 10 55 12 0 0 0
2016 DAL 14 69 243 3.5 17.4 17 2 3 11 6 0 0 0
Total 78 1,147 4,956 4.3 63.5 48 31 50 376 26 0 11 8

Personal life[edit]

Morris is the son of Ronald and Yvonne Morris. He has six brothers.[85] Morris is a Christian.[86]

Despite being able to afford a new car, he still drives his 1991 Mazda 626, which he nicknamed "Bentley".[87] He drove this car from Boca Raton, Florida to his new D.C. home. Due to the positive publicity, Mazda refurbished the car free of charge. As part of the refurbishment, the car received a new radio featuring a CD player and a navigation system but otherwise was restored to factory floor condition.[88] Mazda later launched a similar program in 2017 for Japanese owners of the first generation Mazda MX-5.[89]

Morris had swapped jerseys with his idol Earl Campbell after Campbell became impressed with his performance in his rookie season.[90]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]