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Cowboys 2016 Draft Picks: Scouting Report On Sixth-Rounder Darius Jackson

A scouting report on the Cowboys sixth round selection, Eastern Michigan RB, Darius Jackson.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys didn't draft a running back in the 2015 draft, so to make up for it -€” they drafted two in 2016. After the selection of Ezekiel Elliott in the first round, nobody even had running backs on the mind. Well, nobody except the Cowboys front office. The team drafted the Eastern Michigan running back Darius Jackson with the 216th overall pick. Why would a team make another investment like that? You want answers? You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

Sorry. I got a little carried away there. Nonetheless, our resident wisdom maker weighs in on why the Cowboys might have made this choice.

No love for DMC. That's what he gets for only finishing fourth in the league with a measly 1,089 rushing yards in 2015. That's just acceptable by Cowboys standards.

Once again, the team shows a commitment to taking good football players, regardless of need. Jackson brings incredible speed with a 40-time of 4.40 and impressive jumping ability (41 inch vertical and 11-1 broad jump). While he hasn't been much of a fixture in the Eagles (no, not those Eagles) running game his first three year in college, he finally got the opportunity to start his senior year. In 2015, he rushed for 1,089 yards (hey, exact same as McFadden) and 16 touchdowns. But it was his impressive Pro Day that turned heads when Jackson showcased his great athleticism.

This pick just adds more competition to the back end of the running back position. While Zeke and Alfred Morris have jobs in 2016, everything else is up in the air. Jackson could end up playing Darren McFadden out of a job. If Lance Dunbar's knee doesn't show enough improvement, he could be the odd man out. This certainly gives the team options. You can never go wrong having some fresh legs in the backfield.

Let's see look at some of the reports on Jackson:

Lance Zierlein (


Showed off a rare combination of size, speed and explosiveness at his pro day. Posted a sub-4.4 40-yard dash with a vertical leap of 41 inches and a broad jump of 11-foot-1. Long-strider with ability to cut strides when needed for short area change of balance and cuts. Has build­up speed to turn the corner and go when play flows wide. Has size to slip through arm tackles. Productive pass catcher. Can make variety of adjustments to secure poor throws. Has punt coverage background.


Upright runner with high pad level through the holes. Slows himself and braces for contact rather than finishing carries with authority. Not as competitive a runner as he needs to be. Too many short runs or losses against soft boxes. Will duck head into hole and short-­circuit vision for necessary cuts. Cuts lack suddenness and post-­cut burst. Dancer with a lack of decisiveness as a runner. Vision is well below average.

Dane Bugler (


Looks the part of an NFL athlete with a sculpted frame and excellent size for the position. Shows quick feet and coordination to elude in tight quarters for a back of his size and accelerates in a flash, bursting to and through the line to ruin pursuit angles. Keeps his legs driving on contact and shows good forward lean to pick up extra yards.

Reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield, hauling in 44 catches over his career. Sets up defenders with subtle shoulder fakes and shows burst out of his cuts, generating separation and showing soft hands to easily pluck the ball and secure it quickly. Was asked to line up out of the slot, showing awareness in the passing game.

Competitive, physical blocker. Stood out when competing against top competition, including in 2015 contest against LSU and at Michigan's Pro Day. Characterized by head coach Chris Creighton as one of the team's best practice players.


Only has one season of standout production despite playing for a program that hasn't produced an NFL draft pick since 2009. May be a better athlete than football player, at this time. Too reliant on his burst to get him out of trouble and must show greater willingness to attack the line of scrimmage and get the tough yards.

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