Thanks to Darren McFadden’s poor judgment to try to save his phone from dropping and his broken elbow that seems to be made of glass, rookie running back Darius Jackson now has the opportunity to receive more practice repetitions and catch the eye of the coaching staff.
The Dallas Cowboys were intrigued enough by Jackson’s athletic ability, that they decided to draft him in the six round of the 2016 NFL Draft, despite already drafting Ezekiel Elliott 4th overall in the first round.
I will admit that when Darius Jackson’s name was announced as becoming a member of the Dallas Cowboys, I was a little shocked. I thought to myself where is this guy going to fit in knowing that they just drafted Zeke Elliott and they also signed veteran running back Alfred Morris to a three-year contract in the off-season? Not to mention, the Cowboys still had the fourth leading rusher in 2015 Darren McFadden still on the roster.
Well, we now know that with McFadden nursing his elbow injury and likely to miss the majority of training camp, it gives Darius Jackson a huge opportunity to prove that he’s worth keeping around and thus make McFadden expendable.
I hate to say it, but it looks as if McFadden might just be the odd man out now. He had a really good 2015 season with the Cowboys, but I find it really difficult to see a scenario where the organization decides to carry two veteran running backs that don’t contribute on special teams.
Due to the contract the Cowboys signed Alfred Morris to, he is set to make a guaranteed of $1.8 million. Money speaks in the NFL and that is unfortunately bad news for McFadden’s chances to stick with the team in 2016.
Of course, this all really depends on whether or not Darius Jackson can prove his worth as the third running back on the depth chart, but I for one am not betting against him.
Jackson has an intriguing skill set that with further development could be really beneficial to the entire offense and the Cowboys running game.
He has the size speed ratio that NFL teams seem to covet in their running backs, but he’s nowhere near ready to carry the workload if called upon. Fortunately, due to the depth at the RB position for the Dallas Cowboys, he won’t have to.
Darius Jackson is 6’0″ and 221 pounds, but has the speed of a much smaller running back, as evidenced by his 4.4 40 yard dash time.
Jackson had a breakout senior season at Eastern Michigan and rushed for a total of 1,078 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns. He also added 21 receptions for 201 receiving yards. Of course, that was college and he is now stepping up the level of competition and will be playing against elite players in the NFL.
College statistics mean nothing now and Jackson is starting all over with the Dallas Cowboys. He once again has to prove to the coaching staff that he can be relied upon and that he deserves a roster spot when all is said and done.
We all know that Jackson’s opportunities in practice and even on game days will be limited due to the fact that Zeke Elliott will handle the majority of the load at RB and Alfred Morris will get what’s left over. He will have to approach each and every repetition as if it may be his last and prove that he can play in the NFL.
I for one can see a role for him in the 2016 season. I think he will be able to be a key member of the special-teams units and make his mark there to begin with. I also think due to his receiving ability, he could perhaps develop into the receiving type back like the Cowboys had with Lance Dunbar before his injury occurred.
The first thing he will have to do though is to become a better pass protector if he ever wants to get on the field, but I don’t foresee that being a problem.
Darius Jackson has to prove he’s reliable and that the Dallas Cowboys can count on him when given the chance.
I personally think he will take full advantage of this opportunity with Darren McFadden out and that he will end up contributing in several different ways in the 2016 season.
Of all of the different position battles that are going to be taking place in training camp for the Dallas Cowboys, the running back position is one that I think everyone will be paying close attention to.
Will Darius Jackson end up sticking around in 2016 for the Dallas Cowboys?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to provide your thoughts and opinions so that we can discuss this topic further.