Dallas Cowboys: Felix Jones Is Who We Thought Reggie Bush Would Be
Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys had a decision to make.
It was the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, and they were looking for a playmaker at the running back position to replace Julius "2nd-and-11" Jones.
The choice was between University of Illinois' Rashard Mendenhall, and University of Arkansas' Felix Jones.
At first you would think this wasn't even a choice. Jerry would go with his alma mater.
But it wasn't entirely up to Jerry, as offensive coordinator Jason Garrett made it clear who he wanted.
"The one guy is an everydown back," Garrett said, referring to Mendenhall while the No. 22 pick was approaching. "The other guy is a special complementary back. We've got to remember that we've got an everydown back here."
I'm sure there wasn't much arm twisting, and the Razorbacks "backup" was selected 22nd overall, one spot ahead of Mendenhall.
As it turns out, Felix might turn out to be a better pro prospect than his much more glorified Razorback teammate, Darren McFadden, the fourth overall selection.
In 2008, he carried the ball 30 times, and averaged a unheard of 8.9 yards per carry, and scored three touchdowns.
He had three runs over 20 yards, and one over 40, with a long of 60.
In 2009, it hasn't been much different, as Felix is averaging 9.1 yards per carry.
On 13 attempts, he has two carries over 20, and one over 40, with a long of 56. He also had the go-ahead touchdown against the Giants in the Sunday night game of week two.
But it hasn't all been perfect. If he only got 30 carries in 2008, what happened?
Injuries. And Felix has been nicked up already in 2009 as well, during the Tampa Bay game in week one.
But one cannot say he is injury prone yet. That will bear out over time.
Felix is what everyone thought Reggie Bush would be—a tremendous running back who can make directional cuts without losing speed, with vision that allows him to set up his moves two and three blocks ahead, an uncanny ability to break multiple tackles, and the speed to break away from everyone on the field.
So why hasn't Jason Garrett found more opportunities for the most exciting player on his team?
Maybe Garrett still doesn't believe Felix is an every down back, and still wants to lean on Marion Barber III. Maybe it's his other tendency to be like the real Reggie Bush—always nicked up.
But if Barber is limited this Monday night against the Carolina Panthers due to his strained quad, expect to see a heavy dosage of Felix Jones.
That's when I believe a star will be born, and Felix will show the world that his name should be talked about with the best in the League.
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