When the Dallas Cowboys released LeQuan Lewis last week, they left an open spot on their roster. Today the team called up running back Lance Dunbar from their practice squad to fill that spot.
The Cowboys seem to have no shortage of running backs, with DeMarco Murray, Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner - but only Murray has seen consistent touches this season. Perhaps Dunbar was signed for another reason – to take over for Jones as the Cowboys kickoff returner – even though he didn’t return a single kick in the preseason.
Dunbar seemed to confirm his role on the Cowboys today, telling the Dallas media, “They want somebody to get it past the 20. I can do that.”
If that’s what Dunbar was told, all I can say is wow! If true, it’s hard to see the Cowboys having any confidence in anything Jones does. Since the incumbent not only lacks explosion in the running game, but also as a kick returner, it’s fair to say his career has gone into a free fall. It also begs the question – if Jones can’t return kicks or run the ball effectively, what the heck is he doing on the team?
Jones has lost his shiftiness and is playing with no confidence, and it may be time for the Cowboys to let him go. On the year he’s averaging just 21.5 per return and has lost a fumble. Jones hasn’t been effective in the run game either, in his limited opportunities Jones only has 3 carries for 13 yards in four games.
If the Cowboys aren’t going to utilize Jones, they should move on with Tanner and Dunbar, both of whom have more upside at this point in their careers. The Cowboys also signed wide receiver Raymond Radaway to the practice squad.
Felix Jones’ career hasn’t gone the way anyone has expected, and sometimes, a fresh start is needed. Not only for Jones’ sake, but for the sake of the Cowboys’ special teams and their running game.
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