RB Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys
HT: 5-10, WT: 207, Born: 5-8-1987, College: Arkansas, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 22
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Felix Jones was a late addition in free agency, and it’s not clear what his role will be with the team. Theoretically, Jones could push Bryce Brown for the RB2 role behind LeSean McCoy, but that seems unlikely after Jones’ flameout in Dallas and Brown’s strong rookie season. More likely, Jones was brought in to provide veteran depth and push Chris Polk for the RB3 role and possible also see snaps on special teams. Jones was once considered the heir apparent in Dallas after Jerry Jones drafted the former Arkansas Razorback in the first round of the 2008 draft. A lack of durability led to Jones wearing out his welcome in Dallas, and now he’s fighting for a roster spot trying to rediscover the game-breaking speed and power that made scouts drool five years ago. With a career 4.8 yards per carry average and an 8.3 yards per reception average, Jones is not without ability, but he must find comfort in a backup role and, above all else, stay on the practice field and not the trainer’s room.
|1||New York Giants|
|2||at Kansas City Chiefs|
|3||St. Louis Rams|
|4||at San Diego Chargers|
|7||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|8||at Detroit Lions|
|10||at New Orleans Saints|
|12||at New York Giants|
|14||at Chicago Bears|
|15||Green Bay Packers|
|16||at Washington Redskins|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 3 - Jones received one carry in relief of Demarco Murray. On the carry, he ran to the left side of the line before being wrapped up by the Tampa Bay defense. Jones also had two catches for 28 yards, both of which coming on designed screens. On both receptions the Cowboys line and receivers executed very well in engaging the defense and giving Jones a chance to turn upfield and gain speed for large gains.
Week 4 - Felix Jones is almost completely regulated to returning kicks for the Cowboys now. His only offensive series came with six minutes left in the 4th quarter and the Cowboys were already down by 17 points. Jones came in to give DeMarco Murray a break. Jones took a handoff, squirted through a small hole in the defense and took off for a nice 13 yard gain. He was in on a couple other snaps, including one early in the second quarter where he motioned to the outside like a wide receiver. However, Tony Romo went to Dez Bryant instead and Jones left the field without even a target.
Week 6 - Jones looked excellent in backing up and then taking over for Demarco Murray against the Ravens. He showed good quickness on runs between the tackles and looked much more like the speedster he was as a rookie compared to the plodder he became last season. Jones scored his first touchdown in almost a year on a 22 yard rush in the first quarter. On the play, Jones took the handoff to the left side and cut through the line quickly before darting outside. Near the goalline he deftly kept his feet inbounds before diving over the inside pylon. He was originally ruled out at the one yard line but Coach Jason Garrett challenged the play and the ruling was reversed. Jones also had one 13 yard reception on his only target, coming on a swing pass to the outside where his blockers helped open a whole for a solid gain.
Week 7 - Felix Jones was mainly bottled up by a stubborn Carolina run defense for the most part. He left the game for a short period in the first quarter to be tended to by the medical staff, but the ailment was not too serious and he came back in later. Jones looked shifty on the few touches he received, but never threatened to break one for a long gain. As a receiver, Jones contributed five catches and consistently made men miss in space. Jones was a definite downgrade from the more physical Demarco Murray, however.
Week 8 - – Felix Jones had a poor performance on Sunday and gave no life at all to this offense on the ground. Jones is clearly a massive drop off in terms of talent and production from injured RB Murray and the Cowboys will miss Murray every week he sits out. Jones was not a factor in the passing game either. On one play, Romo tried to direct Jones down the field in order to take advantage of some open space but Jones read it wrong and actually stepped out of bounds. Jones ran with no explosion, no power and really brought nothing to the ground game. Jones was able to score a touchdown, aided by excellent blocking in a very favourable situation. Jones got the ball near the goal line and easily found his way into the endzone after an excellent fake pass play by QB Romo. Jones could not take advantage of 1vs1 situations in the open field and could not make a man miss. Jones also fumbled the ball due to poor ball security and running into a teammate as the fall got popped out and recovered by the Giants. The Cowboys passed the ball 62 times and ran only 13 times with Jones. This far into Jones’s career, it is clear that he is a #2/#3 RB at best that can only spell better RB’s when necessary. He didn’t run with determination, vision or power.
Week 9 - Jones filled in admirably for a still-injured Demarco Murray. Jones only carried the ball nine times but was a vital pass-catcher on outlet routes. He had 5 receptions for 70 yards and provided quarterback Tony Romo with a vital outlet pass throughout the game. His best play came on a run out of the shotgun at the beginning of the second half. Jones took the ball on a draw and sped through a hole off-guard for a 15 yard gain. Jones' longest reception of the day came on the game's last play. He caught a pass while running from right to left and turned upfield for a 39 yard gain. Unfortunately, the Falcons defense was playing deep in to the end zone to prevent a hail mary and wrapped up Jones long before he neared the end zone. Jones running is certainly improved from last season when he looked like a slow, plodding back and lost his starter's job to Murray. While he has yet to exhibit the speed he had in his rookie season, Jones does run capably between the tackles with a good forward lean and solid leg drive. While he isn't likely to break many long runs anytime soon, he appears to have recovered from last year's poor performance and gives the Cowboys a reliable option with Murray out.
Week 10 - Jones once again started in place of an injured Demarco Murray and performed well. While he continues to lack the breakaway speed of his rookie year, Jones is beginning to show more flashes of quickness in the open field to go with adequate power on interior runs. His best series came early in the contest when he carried the ball on three successive plays before catching an 11 yard screen pass for a touchdown. His best run came during that series when he carried off tackle to the left for nine yards. On the play, Jones encountered the arms of Eagles' defenders at the line of scrimmage but was able to cut through the hole and keep his legs churning for the large gain. Jones has also developed the habit of wrapping up the ball with both hands at first contact to insure he does not fumble. He finished the day with 71 yards on 16 carries. Jones also caught all three of his targets including the aforementioned touchdown off of a designed screen.
Week 11 - The former first round pick set a career-high with his fourth touchdown in 2012. He also scored for the third time in the past six weeks, quite a tear for the typically red zone-challenged running back. Jones found little room against Cleveland’s front seven on the interior with his sole big play coming on a 12-yard outside tote. Tony Romo confronted Jones on more than one occasion about his suspect pass blocking, one of which led to a sack. Four of his 14 carries on the day came in short yardage and backed up at their own goal line, affecting his yards-per-carry. Outside of his well-blocked goal line touchdown, it was another reminder that Demarco Murray is by far the Dallas back to own in fantasy. Murray’s role as the clear lead back should be secure when healthy to return to the lineup.
Week 12 - Cowboys running backs accumulated a shocking seven total carries against the Redskins as Dallas fell behind early in the first half. Jones accounted for six of those carries, running for a disappointing fourteen yards. He remained on the field primarily for pass protection purposes, and did contribute through the air, catching three passes for forty-one receiving yards, including a thirty-three yard swing pass in which he showed some of his elusiveness in space. Jones did find the end zone despite the Cowboys’ dire situation, catching a short pass from Tony Romo after circling out of the backfield and shedding would-be tacklers to put the Cowboys within two touchdowns of catching Washington.
Week 13 - With Demarco Murray returning from injury, Jones resumed his supporting role in the Cowboys league worst rushing attack. All of Jones's runs were between the tackles and he showed good power in getting a forward lean to gain positive yardage on each carry. His best play came on a 7 yard carry after Demarco Murray had broken a 27 yard gain. Jones took the handoff off guard to the left and steered his way around two defenders before being brought down for a solid gain. On the play he showed some of the burst that has been largely absent the last two years as well as quick footwork in avoiding ankle tackles. Jones was also targeted once on a screen pass.
Week 15 - Jones came in for a two yard gain out of the shotgun formation on the Cowboys' first drive. Jones had the first carry of the Cowboys' drive after Murray fumbled, as he escaped to the edge for four yards. Jones came in for another carry from the shotgun formation late in the third quarter, when he was held to four yards on second and five.
Week 17 - Jones saw limited action filling in for DeMarco Murray against the Redskins. The Arkansas product carried the ball five times for twenty-four yards, including a long run of nine yards. Wide receiver Miles Austin injured his left ankle run-blocking for Jones on the aforementioned run. Jones functioned properly as a change-of-pace ball carrier from DeMarco Murray, but with Murray running fairly strong and the Cowboys falling behind in the fourth quarter, Jones spent most of the second half on the sideline.