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After 'Difficult Decision' In Offseason, Alfred Morris Returns


For the first time since he left for the Dallas Cowboys, Alfred Morris will face the Washington Redskins on Sunday. There will be some emotions, but he's on a rival team now.

Perhaps no player was more beloved during his time with the Washington Redskins than Alfred Morris.

As a rookie in 2012, the sixth-round pick -- who some viewed as nothing more than a developmental fullback prospect -- worked his way up the depth chart to eventually be named the starting running back Week 1. He didn't falter under pressure, instead passing the likes of John Riggins and Clinton Portis in the record books with a 1,600-yard rushing season.

In 2014, he became the fastest player in Redskins history to reach 3,000 rushing yards, doing so in just 34 games.

By the time the 2015 season rolled around, he became just the fourth Redskins player to rush for more than 5,000 yards.

Off the field, he was consistently in the community, working events with children, hosting "Movies With Morris" and so much more. It didn't matter what happened on the field just hours prior, he wanted to give back to a fan base that accepted him with open arms.

Paired together, it is what made the decision to not re-sign Morris – now a member of the Dallas Cowboys – so difficult for the Redskins.

"A sturdy player, and very consistent, and also because he's one of the best people I've ever met," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "So, it was a difficult decision, but decisions like that happen all the time and you have to make them as a coach and as a GM. That's the way we decided to go and we have to live with it. But we have nothing but respect and good things to say about Alfred."

Gruden isn't alone in his sentiment. Even though it became clear towards the end of last season that the Redskins were going to move forward with Matt Jones as the lead running back, even if Morris did return to Washington, it didn't stop the Florida Atlantic product from shedding some light on how to be a professional.

"On the field, I got to take ownership if I messed up on a play, like it's all on me," Jones said of what he learned from Morris. "It's not coach's fault, it's not anybody else's fault, it's my fault. Off the field, being a man is if you mess up somewhere with your family, you've got to be the bigger man and know how to man up and take responsibility and tell people that you're wrong here and there. He taught me a lot. He kind of leads by example and how he carries himself and carries his family and stuff like that. He definitely just taught me how to be a man, period."

Check out some photos of Robert Griffin III's time with the Redskins.

After the completion of his four-year rookie contract earlier this year, Morris tested free agency for the first time. His hope is that it'll be the last.

"There's millions of people that would give anything to be in our shoes and I'm fortunate enough to be where I want to be to live out this dream," Morris told local media this week. "So it kept me level-headed. It's always an opportunity, I just make the most of what I do get. So I knew if it wasn't there, there would be opportunities somewhere for me and I just happened to fall in Dallas. We'll see how this works out over time."

Certainly, there will be a lot of love showed to Morris by his former teammates this week. Whether its pregame hugs or postgame jersey exchanges, Morris will accepted members of the 2016 Redskins.

But in between the lines, he's now a Dallas Cowboy. No special pass will be given.

"He's got a Cowboy uniform on, so it doesn't matter who's in it," linebacker Preston Smith said. "We just know whoever has the ball, no matter who it is, we just got to hit them."

Morris forms a solid one-two punch at running back along with rookie Ezekiel Elliot.

Elliot ran for 51 yards and a touchdown in his regular season debut last Sunday while Morris provided 35 additional yards on just seven carries.

"We've got to be ready and prepared to stop a running back like that that's like a bowling ball," defensive end Ricky Jean Francois said. "He can keep going forward off of hits and mind you he has Ezekiel Elliot behind him and that's one good running back. They have Dez Bryant and they have so many weapons on that field, so we have to get to Prescott ASAP because if we don't, we'll have another game like we had (against the Steelers)."

As for his reception, Morris is unsure how Redskins fans will react to see him with a Cowboys uniform on.

"I just hope for the best and prepare for the worst," Morris said with a smile. "So we'll see what happens. It will be interesting, to say the least."

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