Thursday, December 15, 2011
Five-star: Felix Jones won't get a 10 yard gain
By Calvin Watkins
Five-Star question: Will Felix Jones, who has one run of 10 yards or more in 44 carries on the road, match or surpass that total this week in Tampa?
This is the first time since September where Felix Jones has another opportunity to produce a heavy load for the Cowboys' run game.
He's facing a Buccaneers run defense that ranks 28th out of 32 NFL teams against the run at 139.6.
Jason Garrett said he believes Jones is a featured running back, but the coach also mentions that Jones is a complementary player. Jones won't get a 10-yard run on Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium.
It's not because he can't do it, or the Bucs defense will stop him. It's just that the Cowboys won't give him enough chances. Expect the Cowboys to pass more against the Bucs secondary, which ranks 27th against the pass. Opposing QB passer ratings are 90.4.
Without DeMarco Murray, Garrett might ask Tony Romo to utilize the passing attack more against the Bucs secondary.
When that happens, it means fewer chances for Jones running the ball. However, he might get some work in the passing game, too. He's a dynamic playmaker. When he catches passes on screens or swing passes, he's hard to cover in the open field.
And when the Cowboys spread defenses out of late, it's helped them. According to ESPN's Stats and Information, Romo has thrown eight touchdowns and zero interceptions from three-receiver sets for an 88.3 QBR mark.
Yes, Jones will have a nice game against the Bucs. But it will come as a result of a combination of the passing and running game.