The Dallas Cowboys lost more than their NFC East on Sunday in their collapse against the New York Giants; they lost their star running back, rookie DeMarco Murray for the season as well.
This loss comes at the worst possible time for the Cowboys, who must win their three remaining games if they hope to make the post-seaon.
With Murray out and fellow rookie running back Phillip Tanner placed on injured reserve, Felix Jones was the only remaining running back on the Cowboys’ roster until yesterday when they signed 34 year old veteran, Sammy Morris, who was cut by the New England Patriots this pre-season.
Though Morris will provide a bit of relief for Jones at times, Felix is expected to carry to load for the Cowboys over the next three weeks, or more if the Cowboys make it to the post-season.
Felix Jones began the season as the Cowboys’ #1 running back until he was sidelined with an injury and forced to sit out for several weeks. During his absence, Murray took over the starting position, and when Jones returned, it was as a complementary back, a spot he’s filled his entire career until this season.
In the first 5 games this year, before Jones’ injury, he had 63 carries for 253 yards and averaged 3.78 yards per carry. His best game of the season was against the Washington Redskins in which he gained 115 yards on the ground.
After Murray’s injury against the Gaints last Sunday, Jones again looked solid coming off the bench, gaining 106 yards on 16 carries (6.6 yards per carry) in just 3 full quarters of play.
Over the next three weeks, Jones will face the #28, 18, and 22 ranked rushing defenses, so he certainly has another chance to make a statement as a starter.
We know what Felix Jones is capable of. We know he is explosive, and we know that he is a home-run threat everytime he touches the ball. We know what he can do coming off the bench.
The question is, does he have what it takes to take over as the lead running back once again and carry his team to the postseason?
We will soon find out.