Jason Garrett: Felix Jones still has a role
September, 12, 2012
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
IRVING, Texas -- One thing that was noticeable in the Cowboys' Week 1 victory over the New York Giants was backup running back Felix Jones' limited carries.
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It was the third time Jones was active for an NFL game and didn't get a carry. Jones played a total of 12 snaps against the Giants and left briefly after suffering a minor rib injury.
But coach Jason Garrett said Jones will still have a role on the team.
"DeMarco Murray is our starter at tailback, and there’s definitely a role for Felix," Garrett said. "We like what he does for our offense, both in the run game and pass game. Depending on how the game goes, he’s going to get more touches or fewer touches. He’s a big part of what we’re trying to do."
Jones didn't contribute anything on offense and was targeted just twice on passing plays. The first throw was low from quarterback Tony Romo.
On special teams, Jones returned three kicks for 61 yards, with his longest return being 25 yards. There is concern that Jones is still getting into football shape.
He missed the entire offseason work because he was recovering from shoulder surgery and after missing the start of training camp for failing the conditioning test, Jones has put in the work.
He's shown flashes of speed and lateral movement to make defenders miss. But it's been infrequent.
Against the Giants, Murray touched the ball 22 times for a total of 140 yards. Jones' chances were limited because of Murray's performance and his rib issue.
"Probably a little bit of a combination," Garrett said. "Felix is a guy who’s going to come in and play halfback for us, both in the run game and the pass game. He’s been coming off of an injury. He had the shoulder injury through a lot of training camp. He played more toward the end of the preseason."