Emmitt Smith: 'We need Felix to step up'
Smith, the Hall of Famer and NFL's career leading rusher with 18,355 yards, likes the Cowboys' running backs but made some interesting comments about backup Felix Jones.
"And then when you look at the running back corps, they have two good guys – very good guys – and either one of them can shoulder the load and shoulder the burden at any point in time," Smith said. "We need Felix Jones to step up because we know DeMarco Murray can make it happen. We need Felix to step up a little bit – that’s a true statement."
Now, let's repeat, Smith said the Cowboys, "have two good guys, very good guys" as running backs. Yet his comments about Jones are worth looking into.
When you look back on that 2008 draft, we can think about at least five running backs selected after Jones who have produced better numbers. Jones has rushed for 2,326 yards on 458 carries. He's got only eight rushing touchdowns. By the way the five backs we thought about were Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Ray Rice and Jamaal Charles. When the Cowboys drafted Jones, it was mainly to back up Marion Barber.
But do you really waste a first-round pick on a backup?
Jones is a terrific running back, someone who can make defenders miss in space. He doesn't have the speed of, say, Johnson, but he's a running back who is hard to chase down at times.
The Cowboys have always described Jones as a complementary back and with good reason. He backed up Barber since he came into the NFL and when given the chance to become the full-time starter last season, he lost the gig to DeMarco Murray due to injury.
Jones has played 16 games in a season only once in his career.
Yes, running back is a tough position and few teams go with just one back, but Jones' durability is something that has been an issue for him throughout his career.
And as he enters the final year of his contract, you begin to wonder if he'll get a second deal with the Cowboys.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Tony Romo news and what he will be watching for in OTAs.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his comments on how Jason Garrett should handle being on the hot seat and not let Jerry Jones get in the way.
Play Podcast Cowboys safety Barry Church joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the new defensive scheme and the impact it will have on him, how much more intense he expects practice to be with Monte Kiffin and his expectations.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news, including Jason Garrett downplaying Tony Romo's involvement in offensive planning and play calling.
Play Podcast John Lynch joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss playing for Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli, why Cowboys fans should be excited about the new defensive staff, why Valley Ranch will no longer resemble a country club and his thoughts on the Cowboys' roster.
Play Podcast Herm Edwards joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Cowboys news and give his take on what new face will make the biggest impact for Dallas.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he saw at the Cowboys' rookie minicamp and how he helped Rod Marinelli on the defensive side of the ball.
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he took away from the Dallas Cowboys' rookie minicamp.