Dunbar in 2012.
|No. 25 Dallas Cowboys|
|Date of birth:||January 25, 1990|
|Place of birth:||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Height:||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight:||195 lb (88 kg)|
|High school:||Haltom (TX)|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2015|
|Player stats at PFR|
Lance Dunbar, Jr. (born January 25, 1990) is an American football running back and kick returner for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of North Texas. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cowboys.
Dunbar lived in New Orleans until 2005, when he was forced to move due to Hurricane Katrina. He initially attended De La Salle High School (New Orleans, Louisiana) where he played running back and safety, but transferred after his family settled in Haltom City, Texas. In his junior and senior years at Haltom High School, he had over 2,200 combined rushing yards and was named first-team All-district both years.
Dunbar then opted to attend the University of North Texas, as it was close to his home. He played in his first college football game on September 6, 2008, against Tulsa. He had 10 rushing attempts for 72 yards and a touchdown, and he also had three receptions for 25 yards. He played in five games that season, finishing with 178 rushing yards on 39 attempts, for a 4.6 average.
In 2009, Dunbar played in all 12 of North Texas' games. He did not have more than 16 rushing attempts during the first four games. On October 10, against Louisiana-Lafayette, he had 32 carries and set career-highs with 187 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Against Florida Atlantic a week later, he ran for 238 yards, his highest total of the season, and scored three times. Dunbar had 1,378 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns in 2009 and was the team's leading rusher. North Texas had a record of 2-10.
Dunbar was named to the preseason All-Sun Belt team in 2010. He did not rush for over 141 yards in any of the first seven games that year. However, in the last five games, he rushed for over 200 yards three times. During the final game of the season, against Kansas State University, he set a career-high for rushing yards, with 270. He had 22 carries and averaged 12.3 yards per attempt that day. In addition, he scored three rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown. North Texas lost that game and had a 3-9 record in 2010.
Dunbar finished his junior year with 1,553 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. He led North Texas in rushing yards for the second-straight season and also ranked sixth in the entire country.
He finished his college career with many accomplishments:
- Leading rusher in school history with 4,224 rushing yards
- First in career touchdowns with 49.
- First in career all-purpose yards with 5,375.
- Tied in career 100-yard rushing games (21) with Patrick Cobbs.
- First in career points scored with 294.
- First in career rushing touchdowns with 41.
- Second in career rushing attempts with 782.
- First running back in school history with three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
- Second running back in school history two consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
After being passed over in the 2012 NFL Draft because of size concerns, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys on April 28, 2012. Dunbar showed off his skills during the preseason and made the team's practice squad as a running back and special teams player. On October 8, he was promoted to the Cowboys' 53-man roster. He was also used as a gunner covering punts, finishing with 10 special teams tackles.
Dunbar began the 2013 season with the expectation of being a change-of-pace back that could back up DeMarco Murray, but injuries (three games missed) and fumble issues impacted his playing time at the start of the season. He was fighting for the third-string running back position with rookie Joseph Randle, when he had a breakout game against the Oakland Raiders, registering 82 rushing yards (6.8 average), but also suffering a season-ending knee injury. For the year he recorded 150 yards, averaging 5 yards per attempt, leaving the Cowboys with high hopes about his running ability. In 2014, he didn't see much playing time behind Offensive Player of the Year DeMarco Murray and also fell to third-string behind Joseph Randle.
In 2015, after the team lost Murray (free agency) and Dez Bryant (injury in the season opener), he earned a more prominent role in the offense. In the first game against the New York Giants, he registered a team-high 8 receptions for 70 yards and was a key player in the fourth quarter game-winning drive with 2 catches for 40 yards. Against the Atlanta Falcons, he finished with a career-high of 10 receptions for 100 yards. He entered the fourth game of the season against the New Orleans Saints as the team's leading receiver and recorded a 45-yard run, before tearing the ACL, the MCL and the patellar tendon in his left knee, during a kickoff return, which was a task he was assigned to replace the recently departed Dwayne Harris. He was placed on the injured reserve list on October 10.
- Rosenstein, Greg. "Lance Dunbar, Bobby Rainey ready to renew running feud". usatoday.com. August 16, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "Lance Dunbar Game By Game Stats 2008". espn.go.com. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "Lance Dunbar Game By Game Stats 2009". espn.go.com. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "North Texas Mean Green 2009 Statistics". espn.go.com. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "Preseason All-Sun Belt Team". sunbeltsports.org. July 18, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "Lance Dunbar Game By Game Stats 2010". espn.go.com. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "Lance Dunbar". espn.go.com. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "North Texas Mean Green 2010 Statistics". espn.go.com. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "Dunbar Named To Doak Walker Watch List". meangreensports.com. July 15, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- "Cowboys make it official: Place Lance Dunbar on IR". NFL.com. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Wesseling, Chris (March 17, 2016). "Lance Dunbar agrees to one-year deal with Cowboys". NFL.com. Retrieved March 17, 2016.