- Dan Graziano, ESPN New York Giants reporter
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The inimitable Calvin Watkins, who spends his summer nights at baseball games but still writes about the Dallas Cowboys by day, has a piece on ESPNDallas.com about five Cowboys players whose roster spots could be negatively affected by the draft. One of those players is running back Felix Jones, who lost the starter's job to rookie DeMarco Murray last year and, Calvin thinks, could lose his spot on the team to another rookie depending on how the draft goes:
The Cowboys were interested in Boise State running back Doug Martin, but the storms of last week prevented him from visiting Valley Ranch for a predraft visit. Jones isn't an elite running back, or that matter a No. 1 back. His coach, Jason Garrett, continues to call him a complementary running back, and the team had internal discussions about trading him. If the Cowboys find a younger version, it wouldn't surprise anyone if he's let go. DeMarco Murray, Phillip Tanner and quite possibly a draft doesn't make the Cowboys younger, but gives them some fresh legs.
Would be quite a fall for Jones, from starter in September 2011 to looking for a job in the summer of 2012. But it gives you some idea what the Cowboys think about him. He did an okay job filling in for Murray after Murray got hurt last year, but the offense tailed off considerably with Jones as the lead back. It may be that they believe they need someone or something different in that role -- or that they'd like to give Tanner more carries. Certainly, if you see them draft a running back in the top half of the draft, you have to think Jones is at least in trouble.
The other four players Calvin lists are defensive ends Kenyon Coleman and Marcus Spears, center Phil Costa and receiver Kevin Ogletree, though I don't think it comes as any kind of surprise to think their spots could be in danger. The Cowboys still have a number of areas they can reasonably address in the draft, and veterans do tend to hold their breath until all seven rounds are complete.
The inimitable Calvin Watkins, who spends his summer nights at baseball games but still writes about the Dallas Cowboys by day, has a piece on ESPNDallas.