It can't be a good feeling to know that you're a backup to one of the best players in the NFL. You continually have to prepare as if you're a step away from a larger role, but in the back of your mind know that it may never come. That's the position Cowboys Running Back Darius Jackson and other players around the league find themselves in.
Darius Jackson currently finds himself buried on the Dallas Cowboys depth chart at the running back position. What's worse, Ezekiel Elliott is arguably the best RB in the league and rarely comes off the field. What's even more frustrating for Jackson is that he may be in a no-win situation.
The Dallas Cowboys currently have a pretty good stable of running backs on their roster. Rod Smith proved last season he is capable of being relied upon as a runner and a receiver out of the backfield. As things stand right now, he is the favorite to back up Elliott, which leaves very little room for any other RB on the roster.
That means Darius Jackson is in competition with Bo Scarbrough and Tavon Austin for quite possibly the third and last remaining RB roster spot. That's how many the Dallas Cowboys typically carry on their 53-man roster, because they still choose to carry a traditional fullback. It seems likely the Cowboys will continue to carry a fullback on the roster. They sent a 2018 fifth-round draft pick to acquire Jamize Olawale, which means he has a really good chance of sticking around.
That's not good news for Darius Jackson, who is trying to make the Cowboys roster for a second time.
Unfortunately for Jackson, the Cowboys may choose to keep a younger/cheaper player like Scarbrough. He's under contract for at least four years, whereas Jackson only has two years remaining on his current contract.
We all know that money speaks volumes in the NFL. It doesn't always come down to who's the better player, although I believe Jackson is. If the competition is close between Darius Jackson and Bo Scarbrough, I believe the Cowboys would likely go with the rookie.
I actually feel bad for Darius Jackson. I believe he's more than capable of starting in the NFL. At worst, he is a good RB2 for a lot of teams around the league. Unfortunately, he's just had a run of bad luck.
As a rookie, he came in the same draft class as Ezekiel Elliott and found himself in the same situation he does now… buried on the depth chart. He was able to stick around on the active roster for most of his rookie season, but was eventually released and claimed off of waivers by the Cleveland Browns. His bad luck didn't end though, and he sustained a season-ending knee injury before he could get a chance to show what he can do.
While things have come full circle for him, he may be fighting a losing battle with the Dallas Cowboys.
Do you think Darius Jackson is fighting a losing battle with the Cowboys?
REPORT: Cowboys S Xavier Woods Out 4-6 Weeks With Ankle Injury
Another tough injury coming out of last week's game against Washington; Cowboys starting Safety Xavier Woods is now expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain injury.
This comes just a day after Dallas lost WR Michael Gallup for 2-4 weeks after surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
Cowboys FS Xavier Woods is expected to miss four to six weeks with a high ankle sprain, source said. A blow to the secondary with #Saints, #Packers among upcoming opponents.
The next man up at safety appears to be Darian Thompson, who has been with the Cowboys since midway through the 2018 season. He was re-signed as a free agent last March and is one of the key reasons that Dallas chose not to keep veteran George Iloka at final cuts.
Cowboys S Darian Thompson will make his first start Sunday since joining team in 2018, source said. S Xavier Woods is sidelined with high ankle sprain.
Earlier this morning, it was reported that Dallas is working out free agent safety Josh Jones. He was a 2nd-Round pick of the Packers in 2017 who was released last month after falling down the depth chart and demanding a trade.
Dallas still has Kavon Frazier and Donovan Wilson on the roster for safety depth. While many fans would love to see Wilson get the start this week, Darian Thompson's game and athleticism are more suited to play the free safety role.
Thompson also has experience, having started 17 games from 2016-2017 with the New York Giants. He was their 3rd-Round pick in 2016.
Thankfully, this Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins gives the Cowboys a soft opponent with which to make these adjustments. But missing Xavier Woods is going to hurt; he is a rising star on defense and easily their top player at safety.
REPORT: Cowboys WR Michael Gallup Out 2-4 Weeks After Knee Surgery
Two games into a seeming breakout season, Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Michael Gallup will now be out for the next 2-4 weeks after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He suffered the injury late into the Cowboys' victory over the Washington Redskins yesterday.
An MRI revealed the extent of the injury today. There were hopes that Gallup had only suffered a contusion, but unfortunately he will be out at least a couple of games after requiring this minor knee procedure.
Gallup is the team leader in catches (13) and receiving yards (226) after the first two weeks of the 2019 season.
Sources: #Cowboys promising WR Michael Gallup is having arthroscopic surgery to trim his meniscus, knocking him out 2-4 weeks. No structural damage besides the meniscus tear, so the return should be quick.
The Cowboys still have Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb as a strong starting duo. They also hope to get Tavon Austin back this week after he was inactive in Washington with concussion issues.
Gallup's absence could be big for Devin Smith, who had a 51-yard touchdown catch against the Redskins and should see more work in the coming weeks. It also may prompt Dallas to keep prospect Cedrick Wilson, just called up from the practice squad a week ago, on the 53-man roster a while longer.
Despite this depth, Michael Gallup will still be missed for however long he's out. Hopefully he can return on the quick side of the projection and keep his 2019 momentum going.
Dallas Cowboys Should Pursue Miami Dolphins’ Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick
Every year it seems one team decides pretty quickly to take on the mantel of "NFL Dumpster Fire." In 2019, the Miami Dolphins are so obviously in tank mode that it's become almost sad. Of course, the Dallas Cowboys have been the beneficiary of their sell-off as they were able to acquire Robert Quinn for the low-low price of a sixth-round draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
After trading away Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Britt just before the start of the regular season, Chris Mortenson of ESPN is reporting that the Miami Dolphins have told Defensive Back Minkah Fitzpatrick that he and his representatives can pursue a trade.
The Dolphins have granted permission to DB Minkah Fitzpatrick to seek a trade, according to multiple sources who say Miami's asking price is too high. Dolphins have no comment. Story coming with help from @CameronWolfe
Dolphins team official now tells @CameronWolfe they are not actively shopping Fitzpatrick but did not deny they have given agent Joel Segal permission to talk with other teams. Segal has been unavailable for comment but other NFL teams have confirmed contact. https://t.co/z3FCN3tyqL
It would appear that the Dolphins aren't actively shopping him, but the second report from Mortenson would indicate that they are willing to deal if the right offer came along.
Fitzpatrick has been a bit disgruntled since training camp, feeling like the Dolphins have been playing him out of position. He was a bit frustrated with the way the Dolphins opening week loss to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens went down.
After an excellent career at the University of Alabama, Fitzpatrick was selected 11th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. In his rookie season with the Dolphins, the former All-American recorded 80 total tackles, two tackles for loss, and two interceptions. He played in all 16 games and started 11 during his rookie season.
As a free safety, he could fit in really nicely with the versatile Xavier Woods who the Dallas Cowboys could deploy more as the box safety. Woods ability to play coverage and play the run would make him an ideal player to use to match up with tight ends or running backs in the passing game. With Fitzpatrick and Woods, the Dallas Cowboys would have two versatile and dynamic safeties to deploy in a variety of ways.
Source says Phins asking for a 1st for M Fitzpatrick but will likely settle for a 2nd.
If there's much of a market for Fitzpatrick, which there should be, it would likely take a first-round pick from the Cowboys to make this deal as Benjamin Allbright is reporting. However, if they were able to come up with a package that didn't include their first, that would obviously be much better.
I could fairly easily be talked into a first-round pick for Fitzpatrick. So, if the Dallas Cowboys could get him for a second-round pick or a second and a late-round pick, I'd do that in a heartbeat.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is only in the second year of his rookie contract, which would mean the Dallas Cowboys could have player control for three more seasons after 2019.
If the Dallas Cowboys are looking to make a deal, they shouldn't and probably wouldn't include any of their current defensive back depth. A team that has Super Bowl aspirations won't trade depth on the team, because that depth becomes extremely valuable in December, January, and hopefully February.
Like the Amari Cooper move, trading for Fitzpatrick who still has several more years of control would make a ton of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. They wouldn't even have to make him a full-time player in 2019 and could just use him as a matchup piece before making him and Xavier Woods the primary safeties in 2020.
The Cowboys like their team, but they've shown a willingness to be opportunistic over the past year with the Amari Cooper and Robert Quinn trades. With the Miami Dolphins in sell mode, this could be an excellent opportunity for the Cowboys to take advantage and get a discounted rate on a potential star at safety. They've been very clear about what their goals are for this season.
As Stephen Jones says, the player acquisition business is a 365 day a year business. This is absolutely a player that they should inquire about and should seriously consider making a deal for. He's a playmaker that can help your secondary in 2019 and beyond.
Here's what Lance Zierlien of NFL.com had to say about Fitzpatrick during the lead up to the 2018 NFL Draft:
"Fitzpatrick played star early in 2016 and then moved to safety when senior Eddie Jackson was injured. The result? He led the team with six interceptions and 186 interception return yards, returning two more pick-sixes to set the school career record with four. He was named a first-team All-American by multiple outlets for his efforts (66 tackles, five TFL, seven pass break-ups). Fitzpatrick's New Jersey family home was damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011."
Lance Zierlien - NFL.com
Like Xavier Woods, Fitzpatrick has a stellar track record of making plays on the football. In the NFL where passing is becoming more and more frequent, you can never have too many guys that can create turnovers. Minkah Fitzpatrick makes the Dallas Cowboys better and could be the final piece to the defensive puzzle. If the price is right, the Dallas Cowboys should go get him.
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