Darius Jackson, you know the Dallas Cowboys on-again off-again running back!?
Okay. So that’s a poor attempt at humor on my part, but it kind of rings true as it pertains to Darius Jackson and his career in the NFL to date.
When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys 2016 sixth-round draft pick, it’s all about numbers for Darius Jackson. After all, that’s all anybody really cares about when it comes to professional sports: Player stats, team stats, wins and losses, etc. Numbers are the measuring sticks on which we base just about everything on, whether that is good or bad.
For Darius Jackson, numbers haven’t really been his best friend since entering the league. In fact, they’ve kind of been his worst enemy so far in his career. Whether by misfortune or design (probably a little of both), he just hasn’t heard his number called. That could however change this week in the Cowboys 2018 season finale.
You see, the Cowboys cannot change their playoff status against the New York Giants Sunday whether they win or lose. They are locked into the No. 4 seed no matter what, which is why this game is pretty much meaningless. That may ring true for the majority of the team, but not for players like Darius Jackson. For him, it could be just the opportunity he’s been waiting for.
I for one believe Dallas should sit several of their key players, especially those who have been banged up here recently. I know they want to build momentum heading into the playoffs, but you don’t want to do that at the risk of jeopardizing anyone’s availability when the game finally matters most. That is why I would personally sit Ezekiel Elliott, among others.
Zeke currently has 381 total touches in both the running and passing game before Sunday’s contest. That’s up from 2016 (354) in which we saw him sit the season finale. It’s one of the reasons why I find it hard to believe he will play much, if at all, against the Giants.
I can almost guarantee you Rod Smith and Darius Jackson are fully aware of this and are prepared to handle the lions share of the workload. This of course isn’t anything new for Smith, who has been Zeke’s primary backup all season, but for Jackson it’s an opportunity that’s been a long time coming.
Let me show you what I mean by getting back to the numbers…
Let’s start with the number THREE. This is a number that may sum up Darius Jackson’s career the most. It’s the number of years he’s been in the NFL. The number of teams he’s been on during that time period (Browns, Packers, Cowboys). The number of times he’s been with the Cowboys and the number of jerseys (34, 44, 26) he’s worn during his time in Dallas.
Wait, I’m not done…
THREE is also the total number of regular games he has played in during his professional career. Surprisingly enough, the majority of those came with the Green Bay Packers earlier this season (2). The only other game he’s played in was last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That’s it!
What about the number ZERO!?
ZERO is the number of rushing attempts and receptions Jackson has in the regular season. Zero receptions or rushing attempts also means a big goose egg as far as accumulating any kind of yards from scrimmage is concerned.
You can bet Darius Jackson is fully aware of all of this, but he also knows how important the number ONE is also. He’s just looking for his one opportunity to prove himself in a meaningful regular-season game against a starting defensive unit. That opportunity could arise this week against the Giants.
So even though the numbers really haven’t worked out in Darius Jackson’s favor as of yet, there’s thankfully plenty of time to turn things around. I know I for one am looking forward to the Cowboys calling his number this week. Just remember though, he’s the one in the #26 jersey.