08-09-2011, 11:12 PM
DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
SAN ANTONIO – It's taken a while for Felix Jones to climb the running back ranks of his own team, but he's already eyeing another goal.
Jones says he wants to be the best in the league. Picked specifically to complement Marion Barber, he now has the opportunity, at least, to display the talent that has been held back for the better part of his first three years in the league.
"Just because he's played with another guy in college or with another guy since he's been here in the NFL doesn't mean he's not capable of doing the other thing," head coach Jason Garrett said. "There's been no indication of that from us. I think he's gotten physically stronger in the couple of years he's been in the NFL. He's shown he can be more durable and I think he's just ready to take the next step as a player."
Read the rest: http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/news.cfm?id=B0998525-ADB3-2F03-D2DFDD84B4B7BD04
08-10-2011, 07:37 AM
I like it. I have been waiting for him to break out, and last year he showed a lot of promise of better things to come. I just hope the OL is better, since it was not opening holes last year.
08-10-2011, 09:40 AM
Is Felix on a short leash? What if he can't break the 1000 yard mark for the season? What if he's injured again? Does RB become another priority next year?
Never liked drafting niche players ... esp in the first round.
08-10-2011, 11:17 AM
Felix Jones needs the ball in his hands... He's a special runner.
08-10-2011, 11:50 PM
This is a fairly good article, and it is extremely better than some I have read about Felix Jones, especially two recent ones. I'm glad Josh Ellis did this and not Nick Eatman, because Ellis does a fairly good job of demonstrating a certain level of objectivity and fairness toward Felix Jones. It sure could have been much, much worse based on the extreme bias that exits against Jones.
However, first, I would strongly disagree with even bringing up Felix's 2010 "weight". It was a non-issue last year. There was absolutely nothing wrong with Felix Jones last year; there is nothing for Jones to "reclaim" in terms of his "burst" or his great speed.
Jones only received 9 touches per game during 6 of the first 8 games of 2010. Moreover, in 5 of the first 8 games, there was literally no where to run. This was an extremely hollow or paper argument used against him last year. The 71 yard bomb against the Giants, where Felix wasn't even touched and smoked almost their entire defense, speaks for itself. It was the most space Jones had all year long.
Moreover, Felix did an interview in early October (2010), and he stated that his weight was at 215. I read the interviews in two different places (one on Dallas Cowboys.com) around the Titans game. That was Jones' highest rushing game of the season. Furthermore, Jones stated that he averaged 216 in 2009. I read where Jones stated this on an Oklahoma website, too. That is where I saw it first.
Jones' 2010 rushing performance correlates with the degree of the effectiveness of the run blocking against each various opponent and how many rushes he received against those various opponents. The numbers and game tape will support this.
Jones had good games against Washington and Houston (single digit touches), and he had a great game against the Titans (double digit touches). Compare the run blocking in the Titans game to the run blocking in the Vikings game. Dallas couldn't do anything in the Vikings game except throw it to Felix, and the Vikings zeroed in on taking that away after half-time. After that, Dallas was done, because Dallas' offensive line couldn't block the Vikings, yet again.
I would have brought up Dallas' 2010 significantly deteriorated offensive line (especially Colombo and Davis; both were cut) that severely handcuffed the running game and Garrett's play calling and made them left handed on the left edge.
Look how Dallas ran Felix Jones on the edge:
There is a reason why 65.5% of Felix Jones' "wide runs" went to the left according to Stats LLC. That reason would be the extremely poor right side of the offensive line, including the worst RT in the NFL. According to Stats LLC, Dallas ran Jones "wide left" 61 times for 284 yards (4.7 YPC). Again, that is 65.5% of the time. However, Dallas only ran Jones "wide right" 34.4% of the time (32-166; 5.2 YPC). Out of 93 total "wide runs", Dallas ran Jones wide left about 2/3 of the time.
That should tell everyone something about Marc Colombo, especially. The other teams knew how extremely poor Dallas' right side was, and the Cowboys were more predictable in this area. This stacked the deck against Felix Jones on getting to the edge.
Also, Felix rushed 20 times for 36 yards and 1 TD and averaged 1.8 YPC on designated "right runs" according to Stats LLC. Again, who is the guard who was just cut and the OT just cut, especially the guard in this case. Leonard Davis.
Enter Tyron Smith, a player who I was adamant about the Cowboys taking at number 9. Smith has All Pro potential and will be an immediate upgrade over Colombo. Smith will re-open the field and right edge for Jones and the playbook. Furthermore, any guard not named Leonard Davis is an upgrade to Davis' extremely deteriorated, erratic, poor play in 2010. David Arkin is a perfect fit at left guard, and he has a legit chance to start.
Again, it's tough to get Felix Jones to the right edge when the RT is laying on the ground (while his guy tackles Jones 5 yards in the backfield/see the Colts game) and the RG can't hold a block or cut down a blitzing LB or pull and hit a moving target. Davis had no pop, either. Davis had become a finesse, slow-footed player.
Furthermore, if Davis cuts Lance Briggs (in game two), Felix has a long TD run. There was nothing but green. If Davis holds his block against Houston, Felix has another long TD. Felix saw the home run and headed that way, but he had to cut it back to his left for a 14 yard gain. after Davis didn't secure his man. Jones had a big screen play wiped out by needless penalty in that game, too
Second, Felix was ranked 4th (tied with LeSean McCoy) in greater than 10 yard rushes per carry according to 2010 Stats LLC data. (top 20 rushers in the greater than 10 yard rush category considered). I would have added that stat.
Third, according to 2010 Stats LLC, Felix Jones led the entire NFL in catch rate (92.3%), and he ranked 5th in the NFL in total YAC (565) and 3rd in the NFC in total YAC. There was an opportunity to get these stats pretty clean when you talked about his receiving.
Fourth, in 2010, Felix Jones' pass blocking efficiency ranked in the top 10, at running back, according to Pro Football Focus. Furthermore, Jones' pass blocking efficiency ranked in the top 10 of PFF's 2008-2010 study, too.
Fifth, according to Stats LLC, Felix Jones is not ranked in the top 20 in runs "stuffed" or "Stuffs" per rush, and there are some big names listed, too.
Nevertheless, this is a fairly good article in terms of some of it's objectivity and fairness, even if I disagree on a few of the points stated, especially the "weight" "issue".
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