It’s nearly been four whole months since the 2016 NFL Draft and you may have forgotten that the Dallas Cowboys used not one, but two draft picks on the running back position.
Ezekiel Elliott has received the majority of the hype surrounding the Cowboys draft picks and rightfully so, but the other running back that they drafted in the six round out the Eastern Michigan might just end up being a steal in regards to where he was drafted.
Darius Jackson has all of the qualities that you look for in a running back in the NFL and could very well be just as good as Ezekiel Elliott.
Let’s take a look at Jackson and Elliott’s last year of college production in 2015 and what they have been able to accomplish during their entire collegiate career.
Darius Jackson 2015 & Career Stats
Ezekiel Elliott 2015 & Career Stats
Let’s break down the 2015 season for both Jackson and Elliott first, because comparing career stats between the two players would be unfair considering Elliott received more opportunities than Jackson throughout their college careers.
If you take into consideration that Elliott had 81 more rushing attempts than Jackson, the argument could be made that Jackson’s 2015 performance might be a lot more similar to Elliott’s. If you think about it, 81 more rushing attempts for Jackson would equal about six more games to improve his statistics if you take into account he is receiving approximately 20 carries a game.
Suddenly, Ezekiel Elliott’s 1,821 rushing yards don’t seem quite as impressive, especially if you consider the talent that surrounded him at Ohio State.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to discount anything that Ezekiel Elliott was able to accomplish in college. In fact, he had an outstanding collegiate career. What I’m trying to do is shine a little more light on the type of player Darius Jackson is and why the Dallas Cowboys decided to draft him in the six round.
Do you know what Leonard Fournette, Derrick Henry, and Darius Jackson had in common in 2015?
All three had the highest percentage of their teams touchdowns scored.
45: Leonard Fournette accounted for 45.1% of LSU’s TD scored (all non-passing TD) in 2015, highest rate in FBS
That’s pretty impressive company that Darius Jackson finds himself in. Derrick Henry is the 2015 Heisman winner and Leonard Fournette was not only a Heisman favorite in 2015, but should be one of the favorites to win the Heisman once again in 2016.
The Dallas Cowboys could use as much help as possible with finding the end zone, especially after the disastrous offensive performance they had in 2015.
Darren McFadden might have finished fourth in rushing in the NFL in 2015 with 1,089 rushing yards, but he only managed to score 3 touchdowns. That is definitely an area that could use improvement for the 2016 season.
It has yet to be seen what type of player Darius Jackson can be for the Dallas Cowboys, but it is encouraging to know that he has a nose for the end zone.
Now, is Darius Jackson better than Ezekiel Elliott?
Honestly, as good as I think Darius Jackson can become, I don’t think he has a chance to compete with Ezekiel Elliott for the starting running back spot. Elliott is arguably the most complete running back to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson nearly a decade ago.
I’m not even sure that Jackson can outperform Darren McFadden or Alfred Morris to earn more playing time in 2016.
I do however envision Darius Jackson becoming Robin to Ezekiel Elliott’s Batman in the future after he has had time to develop his skills further and get accustomed to the speed of the NFL.
It is really going to be interesting to see how Jackson performs in training camp and in preseason games. I’m sure he will receive plenty of opportunities to impress the coaching staff and show us all why the Dallas Cowboys decided to draft him.
Are you excited to see what type of player the Dallas Cowboys have in Darius Jackson?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to provide your thoughts and opinions on this topic. I really look forward to hearing back from you so that we can discuss this topic further.