DeMarco Murray: Dallas RB's Injury Makes Felix Jones a Must-Start vs. Panthers

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IOctober 15, 2012

Sep 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones (28) stretches before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

In the wake of DeMarco Murray's injury last week, Felix Jones received a season-high 18 carries against the Baltimore Ravens and promptly went off for 92 yards and a touchdown.

After racking up 93 yards on 14 carries against the Ravens, Murray is "doubtful" to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, via Ed Werder of ESPN.

Werder tweeted on Monday:

Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray has sprained foot, no surgery but in protective book and using crutches so doubtful he plays vs Carolina. #cowboys

— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) October 15, 2012


That amounts to what will likely be a big game for Jones against the Panthers.

Jones has traditionally been used in multiple-back sets throughout his career due to durability concerns, but the 5'10", 215-pounder has averaged 5.1 yards per carry and racked up 881 receiving yards in less than five years in the league. He's a very efficient back in terms of yards per carry and yards per reception.

As Jones showed against the Ravens last week, a bigger workload generally equals fantasy gold for owners. In fact, Jones has been used in fantasy leagues even without a big workload because he can still make an impact in the box score with limited touches.

The Panthers are allowing 4.4 yards per carry this season, 23rd in the NFL. They aren't necessarily a poor rush defense, but they can certainly be exposed in that department by electric running backs.

On top of that, Carolina has also allowed 7.7 yards per pass attempt this season (23rd), something that should bode well for Jones, who also works as a receiving threat for the Cowboys.

Michael Turner had a 60-yard touchdown reception against Carolina in Week 4, while Darren Sproles—a similar player to Jones—caught 13 balls for 128 yards in Week 2.

The bad news for the Cowboys and fantasy owners is that Murray probably won't play in Week 7. 

The good news for the Cowboys and fantasy owners is that Jones will more than likely make up for it.

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