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Thursday, December 15, 2011
Five-star: Felix Jones should exploit raggedy run defense

By Jean-Jacques Taylor

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?

The best thing Felix Jones does, when he's healthy and feeling good is provide big plays on a regular basis.

Well, he's healthy and feeling good.

We could tell from the Giants' game last week, when he had runs of 26, 11, 11 and 11 en route to 106 yards on 16 carries. And now he's going to get at least 15 carries against a defense with a propensity for giving up huge plays in the running game.

Tampa has allowed 20 runs of 20 yards or more, which is second only to Oakland's 21. So don't be surprised if Jones has another big day against a team that has lost seven consecutive games is playing for a coach who will probably be fired at the end of the season and is expected to lay down for its last three games.

If Jones can't pop a couple of big runs against this defense, then there's something wrong. Remember, the Cowboys' problem has been finishing close games.

This one shouldn't close. Dallas should handle Tampa the same way it handled Buffalo and St. Louis earlier this season -- and with a couple of long-distance runs by Jones it should happen.