During the 2011 NFL preseason, there was no bigger possible sleeper then Dallas Cowboys’ running back Felix Jones. Experts said it would be his breakout year. But yet again, injury reared it’s ugly head for Jones and in-turn opened the door for another player to take his starting job. Now that the season is over, Jones find himself once again on the bench. And with the upcoming season being the final year of his contract and possibly with the team, some Cowboy fans may want to get something of value from the former first round pick. Here are my five reasons why Felix should stay at least one more year.
Reason #1: Value
What would you expect to get for an underachieving injury prone running back in the final year of his contract? Not much. Definitely nothing close to the first round draft pick the Cowboys used on him back in 2008. For an idea of what the Cowboys would get for Felix the Cat on the open market, let’s look at a couple trades from last year:
Reggie Bush was traded from the New Orleans Saints to the Miami Dolphins. For Bush, the Saints received safety Jonathan Amaya (who?) and swapped sixth round picks with the Dolphins. That’s it.
Tim Hightower was traded from the Arizona Cardinals to the Washington Redskins. The Cardinals got 35 year old defensive end Vonnie Holliday and a sixth round pick in the trade. And that’s it. Dallas is looking at a 5th round pick max for Jones. He’s worth more as a back-up then that.
Reason #2: Injury
Unfortunately, Jones was not the only Cowboy running back to suffer from injuries last season. Both DeMarco Murray and Phillip Tanner will be returning this upcoming year after suffering season ending injuries in 2011. Having a veteran like Jones in the backfield is a great safety net. Especially if Murray starts to hit that sophomore slump. And any time a rookie comes back from injury, there are always questions floating around. Just ask Jones. His speed and quickness haven’t been the same since the injury he suffered during in his rookie season.
Reason #3: Contract Year
If Felix wants to become a starter somewhere in 2013 and the paycheck to go with it, he’s going to have prove it on the field. And the Cowboys can benefit from that. If Jones will finally put his fear away, his head down, and run like his livelihood depended on it, this actually could be his breakout year. Ofcourse, Murray will have alot to say about that, but you have to expect Jones to get 10-15 touches a game. Even more if he begins to show something out there. If there has ever been a time for Jones to give 110%, it’s this upcoming year.