Drew Bledsoe, Trent Green and even Jason Campbell are all players who have lost their starting jobs due to injury, something that fans think isn’t supposed to happen in the NFL.
The Cowboys were interested in Boise State running back Doug Martin, but he wasn't able to visit Valley Ranch for a pre-draft visit because of last week's storms. Jones isn't a feature back -- in fact, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett continues to call him a complementary running back -- and the team had internal discussions about trading him. If the Cowboys find a younger version, it wouldn't surprise anyone if he's let go.
This wouldn’t surprise anybody (including me, since I predicted this months ago) since DeMarco Murray has emerged as the obvious starter in Big D.
The writing was on the wall last November. After Murray had 31 touches against the Redskins, one would’ve thought that Jones would get more of a workload on Thanksgiving since the team was on a short four-day rest.
That wasn’t the case, though. Instead, Jones didn’t get a single carry and only caught one pass while Murray ran the ball 22 times on Turkey Day.
But don’t feel bad for Jones if he isn’t wearing a star next season; he’s had plenty of time to prove that he’s worth the starting job. In 12 games, he’s rushed for 575 yards. Meanwhile, Murray rushed for 897 yards in 13 games.
The issue is, could Phillip Tanner be a reliable backup to Murray, or should the Cowboys spend a draft pick on a running back?
Is it time to look for Felix Jones' replacement?
There are a few veteran running backs still available. Cedric Benson, Justin Forsett and others are still unsigned as of this writing. But Dallas has routinely stuck with younger backups rather than aging veterans.
Like Calvin Watkins pointed out in his article, Boise State’s Doug Martin is on the Cowboys’ radar. The 5’9” back has an all-around game and would compliment Murray perfectly. NFL.com ranks him as the 10th-best back in the draft and could go anywhere between the late second and fourth rounds.
Tanner hasn’t been given much playing time and only ran the ball 22 times last season for 76 yards. This will be his second year after being signed as an undrafted free agent. He had his season cut short last year after a hamstring injury and needs to prove he’s even worth the roster spot before he can picture himself has the No.2 running back.
Keep your eye on the draft. If America’s Team drafts a running back for the second straight year, then you’ll see them cut a veteran back…for the second straight year. It pains a lot of fans to even think of that, though, since Jones has shown flashes of skill in the past.
But unfortunately for him, Murray has emerged out of nowhere, and Jones couldn’t keep up.
Rob Brown is a contributor on B/R as well as the founder of www.CowboysVsRedskins.com