While it’s been the Dallas Cowboys first round running back who has stolen the headlines, sixth round running back Darius Jackson is now stealing the reps from other Cowboys’ backs.
Ezekiel Elliott is slated to be the Cowboys starting running back come week one, but after tweaking his hamstring a few days ago, Elliott has been forced to miss some practice time. With last season’s team rushing leader, Darren McFadden, also nursing an injury, the door has opened for Jackson to see an increase in touches during practice.
Sixth-round pick RB Darius Jackson getting some work in with the first-team skill position players
From the looks of it, he has taken advantages of these opportunities. It is easy to fall in love with Jackson’s running style. His ability to cut “on a dime” and accelerate up the field immediately will help him greatly in the Cowboys’ zone blocking scheme. He seems to possess the patience to make the correct reads of the offensive linemen before making his cut as well. This is something McFadden struggled with in 2015, despite breaking 1,000 yards on the ground.
Even Brad Sham, the long-time voice of the Dallas Cowboys is showing love towards Jackson.
Darius Jackson with the best run of the day. Ran to daylight. Brad Sham, the voice of the Cowboys: I like that guy
Of course, free agent addition Alfred Morris would be expected to take the majority of the first team reps in Elliott’s absence, but Jackson is clearly making moves up the depth chart.
Darius Jackson has quickly become the “pet cat” of many Cowboys pundits, and with good reason. I have been on the Jackson-train since the Cowboys selected him in the 2016 NFL Draft. During my “Draft Film Review” series, I detailed what I loved about Jackson’s game, starting with his footwork and ability to hit holes quickly, while still remaining patient and reading his blockers.
His quick feet and acceleration have been on full display so far in training camp, and he is quickly becoming the player Cowboys Nation is most excited to see during the preseason.