The Dallas Cowboys recently added former Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones to their roster. Needing to add to the running back room in the first place, the Cowboys did so pretty quickly in light of releasing long-time starter Ezekiel Elliott.
You also consider the fact that Tony Pollard still has to recover from a procedure to fix the leg and ankle injury he sustained in the playoff loss to San Francisco. With that, you look at Ronald Jones and what he’s capable of.
Jones was unable to sustain a year-over-year role that would’ve allowed him to operate as the workhorse back at either of is stops in Tampa Bay or Kansas City. His best year was 2020, when he rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns on just under 200 attempts.
Still just 25 years old, Jones has a lot to offer. He’s certainly not the fastest they come at the running back position — he ran a 4.48 40 coming out of USC — but he’s deceptively quick, and a for a guy who profiles as a between-the-tackles specialist at 200 pounds, it can be explosive.
Don’t underestimate this signing by the Cowboys.
Why the Cowboys were smart to add Ronald Jones to their backfield
Speaking of that style, it matches Jones’ physical attributes of being a bruiser capable of hitting a hole hard and punishing defenders for even attempting to tackle him. Basically, he’s a bludgeoning tool, a battering ram, and a guy that doesn’t mind going to get the tough yards. Remind of you anyone?
Yes, we’re referring to Ezekiel Elliott. Not calling them similar players, but Elliott made a living picking up yards after taking contact in the backfield.
Jones’ pass protection needs some refinement, but on first and second down he’s the perfect complementary back to Tony Pollard and Malik Davis, who shares some similarities with Pollard in terms of rushing style.
The Cowboys still need to ensure they have someone to help with the pass protection — Tony Pollard improved in that area in 2022, but still needs work — but as far as a guy you can count on to manufacture tough yards on early downs, Ronald Jones can provide some of that thunder to complement the lightning that the rest of the committee will give the offense.
We haven’t even gotten to the price point, as Jones was signed for $1.232 million and will count $940,000 against the cap. He may not end up playing a prominent role assuming the Cowboys draft a running back next month, but he can still prove to be a worthwhile, underrated pickup by Dallas.