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.