For the Cowboys, it’s another Jerry Jones draft pick gone bad, another chapter in Jerry Jones’ Book of Bad Drafting. Jones was taken 22nd overall by the Cowboys in 2008 after a solid career as an Arkansas Razorback. Rumor had it that Jones was preferred by the Cowboys’ owner because both were Razorback products.
The next two picks in that draft, both running backs, are enough to make Cowboy fans queasy.
With the 23rd pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers took Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall — who just signed this offseason with the Arizona Cardinals after a productive stint in Pittsburgh where he ran for 1,108 yards and 1,273 yards, respectively, in back to back seasons in 2009 and 2010.
The next pick, No. 24, belonged to the Tennessee Titans, and they took Eastern Carolina Pirate Chris Johnson. Johnson most notably became just the sixth rusher in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards by posting 2,006 in 2009 on 5.6 yards per carry. He also set the NFL record for most total yards from scrimmage that year, tallying 2,509. To put just how big of a miss that draft was for the Cowboys into perspective, Jones has ran for 2,728 yards total in his entire career. That is just laughable when you compare it to Johnson and what the Cowboys could have had.
Imagining a backfield of Demarco Murray and Johnson is enough of a depressing thought for rooters of America’s Team. So onto the Eagles.
What the Eagles get in Jones is primarily another gadget for new head coach Chip Kelly to use in his offense. With speed abound on an Eagles’ offense that includes DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy, Jones — as a good pass catcher as well — adds another wrinkle and another potential weapon that defenses will have to deal with. It is a classic low risk, high reward scenario. If Jones shows anything like he did in his third year in the league, when he ran for 800 yards with the Cowboys (along with 450 receiving yards on 48 catches) as an effective complement to Marion Barber, the Eagles will be pleased.
But if he is the oft-injured, inconsistent and disappointing Jones that was there the majority of his career in Dallas, it will be a disappointment for the Eagles.
And a delight to Cowboys fans.