I was invited to watch the game at my brother's house. As the game progressed, I kept asking him what was that smell. Something smelled putrid, like week old garbage. After an exhausting search, we finally realized that it was Felix Jones' ST play that was stinking up the joint. He looked clueless and slow. They didn't even bother to let him run the ball from scrimmage. I know he's only been back for two games but I honestly expected Felix to get more work than he's gotten, especially with the short week. I figured that DeMarco Murray had so many touches against the Skins. So many of those touches were tough runs earning tough yards, that it seemed prudent to get Felix some extra carries in the interest of keeping Murray healthy, if nothing else. With exactly zero rushes in 58 offensive plays later, boy was I wrong. Did anybody else find that as unbelievable as I did? So many of us were so worried about how many touches Felix would take away from Murray. I remember someone saying if it were even a 50 - 50 split, they would be upset. I believe the consensus was that Felix should get between 5 - 10 touches per game. While I was one of the first to jump on the Demarco Murray bandwagon, I didn't see this kind of disparity coming. Be honest. Did you?
The answer to this question and more after the break...
I was a big proponent of Murray being the feature back and limiting Felix's touches. I personally was one of those worried that they would try to reinsert Felix back into that lead role, just being ridiculous as they sometimes are. Now I find myself swinging in the other direction. Maybe they are forgetting about him. Five carries in two games is way beyond anything that I ever expected. I immediately thought that perhaps Felix wasn't all the way healed from his ankle sprain. I dismissed that thought because he was on ST returning kicks. He didn't do that his first week back so obviously he was feeling good enough by the second week. That left me with only two options. Perhaps they value Murray way more than I thought they did, or they value Felix way less than I could have ever imagined. If it's the latter then that's a truly sad proposition. There has to be a reason for his lack of usage, perhaps something they've noticed in practice. Many thought that Felix could go back to being that dangerous change of pace back that he had been when he first came into the league. I for one wasn't buying. I noticed that he had bulked up so that he could take the punishment that a lead back had to take. Nothing good came of it though. He still gets injured a lot and it really slowed him down. I also see a lot of folks saying that they wish Felix could be traded in the off season to fill a need. I'm definitely down with that action. But if he has no value, what could we possibly get for him?
I thought it was an excellent idea to showcase his talents as a returner. That surely would show his value as a game breaker, an asset to be feared. The only problem was that he stunk. He was so awful back there that I saw virtually no difference between him and AOA. That's saying a mouthful in and of itself. He had absolutely no impact. Many times he couldn't even get back to the 20. His longest return was a mere 24 yards. He looked almost timid out there. His lack of vision was on full display for the world to see. If there isn't a gaping whole for him to run through, there's no way he's gonna find a little crack. It was sad and frustrating. I remember yelling at my Brother's flat screen, "Hit that s**t man!!" He looked unbelievably bad. Where was the speed? Where was that explosion?
I tried to make excuses for him. I said that perhaps he hadn't done it in awhile. Maybe he needs a week or two to get re-acclimated. But then I realized, returning is a talent. If you're great at you don't really need to practice it. If you got it, you got it. I doubt if you'll find Dez making many KO returns in practice every week. He's just really good at it no matter what. I'm also of the ilk that I'd love to trade Felix to get another piece. Obviously Felix has very little value as a runner right now. If he can't even be a quality return man then what value does he have? As bad as he's looked, I refuse to believe that he has totally lost it. He may no longer be special, but he has something left to offer this team. I've seen his big heart on display. He is no Tashard Choice. I think it would be in the Cowboys best interest to find out what his role is and exploit it asap. If not for the sake of the team now, then for the sake of having any chance to get something of value for him later.