Dallas Cowboys: Is Felix Jones Officially a Bust?

Chris Hummer@chris_hummerAnalyst IAugust 27, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 04:  Runningback Felix Jones #28 of the Dallas Cowboys watches from the bench during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys 19-13 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys select Felix Jones.

With those words, Jones was labeled as the future of Dallas' backfield; now, a more appropriate label is bust.

Sure, he's had his flashes of brilliance, but he's seen more time off the field than he's seen on it. Jones has played a full 16-game schedule only one time in his career, 2010, and even when Jones is on the field, he's still hampered by minor injuries.

The injury problems would be OK if Jones consistently performed, but his breakout games are few and far between. Jones has only three 100-yard rushing games in his career, and even when you add those to his production receiving the ball, it still equals a wasted first-round pick.

When you select a back at the top of the draft, teams expect him to come in and make an impact right away. Jones has just failed to bring that. He has only 2,326 yards rushing in his four-year career and hasn't been able to find the end zone either, scoring only twice over the past two seasons.

His skills are on full display at times, but not enough to justify his status as a first-rounder.

Jones even lost his starting spot to then rookie DeMarco Murray. He lost the spot during another injury stretch, and the demotion came only a few months after he proclaimed he wanted to be the best back in the league.

That's going to be a hard goal for Jones to accomplish, considering he averaged only 10.5 carries a contest last season, a miniscule total for a front-line back.

Now, Jones is just happy being Murray's backup and returning kickoffs, not exactly the role that the Cowboys were looking for Jones to fill when they picked him 22nd overall.

Further hurting Jones' case is that he's just plain out of shape. He failed training camp's opening conditioning test and looks like he's stopped at the drive-thru at Taco Bell one too many times this offseason.


Plus, he even got the dreaded vote of confidence from Jerry Jones after rumors swirled around Felix Jones being cut from the team.

But, the thing that really makes a Jones a bust is when you consider the running backs taken around him in the 2008 draft.

Jones was the third half-back taken in 2008, behind Darren McFadden and Jonathan Stewart. Both have had good NFL careers, but those two are just the tip of the iceberg in this draft class. Just take a look at some of the backs taken behind Jones.

Name Team Round, Pick
Rashard Mendenhall Pittsburgh Steelers Round 1, No. 23 overall
Chris Johnson Tennessee Titans Round 1, No. 24 overall
Matt Forte Chicago Bears Round 2, No. 44 overall
Ray Rice Baltimore Ravens Round 2, No. 55 overall
Jamaal Charles
Kansas City Chiefs
Round 3, No. 73 overall
Peyton Hillis
Cleveland Browns
Round 7, No. 227 overall

Crazy enough, that list isn't even all of the productive backs who call claim to the 2008 draft class. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead both went undrafted that season and have each carved out solid NFL careers.

Three of the highest paid running backs in the NFL were drafted behind Jones—Rice, Forte and Johnson—Charles has made a Pro Bowl, Hillis was on the cover of Madden, and Mendenhall has a ring to his credit.

All Jones has to show in his four seasons is a myriad of injuries and a gangly looking neck beard. 

Jones has teased Cowboys' fans for years. But, considering his pedestrian play and the success of his peers, at this point in his career it's fair to label the former Razorback a bust.


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