For nearly 4 years now Running Back Darius Jackson has been chomping at the bit to prove to his naysayers he’s a starting caliber RB in the NFL. He could finally be getting just such an opportunity with the Dallas Cowboys right now due to Ezekiel Elliott’s current absence from training camp practices.
Zeke is currently a no-show in Oxnard, California, where the Dallas Cowboys will once again spend half of training camp and preseason to prepare for the 2019 season. He’s currently holding out in the hopes of a contract extension, meaning someone needs to step up and take over his first-team reps in practice. So far, that player is No. 26.
Darius Jackson, a former sixth-round draft pick by Dallas, only has a grand total of six career rushing attempts in the NFL, all of which occurred last season. Despite entering his fourth season in the league, Jackson hasn’t really been able to prove what he can do as of yet due to a little bad luck and injuries. That could be changing though.
You may have forgotten, the Dallas Cowboys surely haven’t, but Darius Jackson has a really intriguing skill set based on his college tape at Eastern Michigan and his testing numbers at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine.
Based purely on those numbers alone he compares favorably to David Johnson (Cardinals), Adrian Peterson (Redskins), and rookie RB Justice Hill (Ravens). Unfortunately, we all know these numbers mean diddley squat when it’s all said and done. Production is the true measuring stick, of which Jackson’s has been minimal at best.
Like I mentioned earlier though, this all could be changing now that he’s finally receiving an opportunity to prove himself. Getting the first crack at practicing with the Cowboys first-team offense could go a long way in opening the eyes of the coaching staff and earning more playing time once the regular season kicks off.
In the past some unfortunate injuries and bad luck has held him back, but I can almost 100% guarantee this is the opportunity he’s been waiting for since entering the league in 2016. The only question is, can he take advantage of it?
The Dallas Cowboys clearly like something about Darius Jackson’s intangibles. They’ve released him on a number of occasions, hence his carousel of jersey numbers (34, 44, and 26), only to bring him back time and time again. Maybe, just maybe, he will have better luck this time around.
Jackson of course won’t be the only one vying for more playing time while Zeke is holding out for a contract extension. Don’t be surprised if you see Tony Pollard, Mike Weber, or any other RB on the Cowboys roster thrown into the mix with the first-team. After all, training camp and preseason is all about the evaluation process.
If Darius Jackson plans on having a career in the NFL, let alone with the Cowboys, he can’t let this opportunity slip through his grasp. This is his time to shine!