Here was a site that made myself happy back during the 2008 NFL Draft. Even though I would have preferred my personal favorites Jamaal Charles and Ray Rice, Felix Jones looked like an enticing draft pick. Felix had all the athletic ability in the world to pan out. He looked like an instant playmaker that could add another dimension to an already dangerous Cowboys offense.
The problem is Felix Jones never matured into that big time running back we all envisioned back in 2008. Part of the problem is that Felix was drafted to be the complimentary piece to Marion Barber. Maybe that is a flawed drafting tactic by the front office. Now I don't know if it's proper to draft the better RB for your team at the time, or to go with the more complete back. That is a theory you can debate below in the comment section. My main point of this fan post is to show you what we passed on, what we missed out on in the 2008 draft.
Felix is a player that will always stay close to my heart, I love him as a player. He may be a first round failure, but I will always support Felix Jones because I love his physical ability. He can be a playmaker and take a play to the house at any given time. But what Felix lacks is vision and durability. He is not a running back who can carry the load for us, I think four years later we need to come to that point in his career. Jerry Jones was going to trade up for Darren McFadden, years later looking back at that, maybe we should have. It took McFadden a few years to finally come into his own, but Felix is still searching for himself on the field.
Running back could be a big problem for this team next year and may have to turn to the draft once again to solve it. I will be presenting the theory that DeMarco Murray is the answer to these problems. Murray is a skilled player that I love and hope to see him break this running back curse. Regardless of how much stock I have in Murray, this team needs a physical running back that is more of a featured player. Bill Parcells passed on Steven Jackson years ago and that is just one move in a series of bad decisions that have plagued this franchise to this very day.
Playing captain hindsight isn't very fun and it's actually very counterproductive. But sometimes the truth needs to be shown no matter how hard it hurts. Felix can still overcome this bust status, but with this offensive line being the way it is, it will be extremely hard for him to overcome that label. Also when you possibly have more career injuries than career touchdowns (9), you take on the injury prone label. You can make the argument that Felix isn't injury prone, but the facts will overshadow that argument in my opinion.
Take your antidepressants and sit back for the narrowing journey that is about to take place.
Editors Note: My definition of bust is a player who doesn't live up to his draft slot and doesn't compare to the other players at his position in his class
The RB's we passed on
- Rashard Mendenhall
- Chris Johnson
- Matt Forte
- Ray Rice
- Jamaal Charles
- Ryan Torrain
- Tim Hightower
- Peyton Hillis
The other players we passed on
- Kenny Phillips
- Brandon Flowers
- Jordy Nelson
- Chilo Rachal
- DeSean Jackson
- Terrell Thomas
- Charles Godfrey
- Jermichael Finley
- Cliff Avril
- Mario Manningham
- Tyvon Branch
- Brandon Carr
- Kroy Biermann
- Carl Nicks
- Pierre Garcon
- Matt Flynn
- Stevie Johnson
Let's start with the running backs we passed on.
|Career Stats more|
|Career Stats more|
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|2011||Kansas City Chiefs||2||1||12||83||6.9||24||0||5||9||1.8||9||1||1||1|
|2010||Kansas City Chiefs||16||6||230||1,467||6.4||80||5||45||468||10.4||31||3||3||2|
|2009||Kansas City Chiefs||15||10||190||1,120||5.9||76T||7||40||297||7.4||49||1||4||3|
|2008||Kansas City Chiefs||16||2||67||357||5.3||30||0||27||272||10.1||75||1||2||2|
Then there is our guy, Felix Jones.
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The numbers speak for themselves guys. Five running backs selected after Felix have become real time producers in the NFL. Each one of those running backs are the staple of well designed run attacks that have produced big time numbers and Pro Bowl appearances by their featured runners. By no means am I trying to bash Felix Jones, I love Felix but it's come to a point where we must accept the facts of life.
Felix has not lived up to his draft status and has not produced for us. Yes you can fault the offensive line and the play calling, but at some point we need to point the finger at the player. In four regular seasons he has produced just 8 touchdowns, that is not acceptable. His best season was last year and we all thought Felix was on a verge of a breakout season. You can place the blame on the offensive line, I know at times I place blame there myself. The run blocking has been atrocious at pitiful at times.
Even when you look at those other running backs compared to Felix, they just look like better players regardless of their roles on their teams. Felix truly lacks great vision and in today's NFL you need a running back to have decent vision. The ability to make a cutback into a small hole is the difference of making a big play or getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Then you have to take into consideration the amount of injuries Felix has suffered in his four years here.
This is just not working out the way we all thought it would. Felix is extremely talented, no doubt about that. But sometimes physical talent is just not enough in the NFL. I hope Felix turns this around and isn't a bust, but at this point in time I have to label him a bust.
The other guys
The reason I mentioned the non running backs that we passed on was to demonstrate the talent we passed on for Felix Jones. These players have all played at a high level in the NFL, most higher than our Felix Jones. The biggest miss may be division rival DeSean Jackson. Can you picture how good this offense would be with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant on the outside, and Jackson in the slot? It's just another huge miss by our scouting department considering at the time the Cowboys had an aging Terry Glenn who needed to be replaced.
Our safety play has been much improved this year, but Kenny Phillips would be the stud we need back there for the present and the future. Phillips would offer us the ability to put him on tight ends that destroy us and he would be the ballhawking type of safety we clearly lack.
Brandon Flowers has developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL and at this point in time you would have to say he is better than Felix Jones or Mike Jenkins. Flowers is the type of cornerback we clearly lack and desperately need. He makes plays on the football and will take the opposing teams #1 WR out of football games. When you consider how we may be back to the drawing board at cornerback in next years draft, missing out on a cornerback like Flowers just rubs salt into the wound here in Dallas.
Jordy Nelson is an emerging star in his own right and would find a nice home in Dallas right about now. Nelson would have been the slot wide receiver the Cowboys have been searching for years. Laurent Robinson in my opinion is the answer to the slot need, but Nelson would have been a great pick in it's own right.
The Cowboys have a huge hole to fill next year at both guard positions. Chilo Rachal would have been a great pick for this offensive line. The Cowboys ignored the offensive line for years and this goes to show you some of the talent we passed on in order to add more spice to the skill positions.
Last but not least is star tight end Jermichael Finley. This is the guy we passed on for Martellus Bennett, everyone's favorite blocking tight end. Bennett is another huge bust by this front office, you don't draft blocking tight ends in the 2nd round, I am sorry but Bennett has been an absolute failure as a Dallas Cowboy. Bennett was drafted in order to add more wrinkles to the offensive gameplan and hasn't scored a touchdown in years. He can't line up right, he doesn't run routes properly and he doesn't catch the football.
It hurt deeply to actually sit down and look at the numbers while making this fan post. Trust me this hurts me more than it will hurt you reading it, but it had to be done. We need to do a better job in the war room, that's just the cold hard truth. We need to start drafting either the BPA or draft a player that will offer more to the team than a situational outlook. I pray to God that Felix Jones breaks out of this funk, I really do. Felix is a great guy with amazing athletic ability, but has the injury prone label attached to him. We need Felix to really start developing into a better player, if not he will be an epic bust.
DeMarco Murray has to pan out, that's just the way it has to be. If Murray is another failed project by this front office it may be time to really consider bringing in an a football mind to make suggestions or go with a clear cut general manager to make these draft day decisions. I will not sit here and say Felix was an awful draft pick, because at the time he looked like a good one. The problem is there were better players drafted after him that have made their marks in the NFL already while Felix is still looking to make his. Regardless of how we felt of the pick at the time, you cannot ignore these running backs we passed on.
If Murray manages to be the running back I think he can be, we can manage to save ourselves the draft pick next year and use that pick on the defensive side of the ball. If somehow we can manage to trade up for Trent Richardson, we may have to pull the trigger. Jerry possibly could have traded up for Darren McFadden and look how good he is now. The thought of missing out on another big time running back may be agonizing.
We either need to totally devout our offseason in building this offensive line or we need to get a stud running back. For the time being, let's just hope DeMarco Murray is the real deal. Let's just hope Felix can turn this around.