Tag:Felix Jones
Posted on: December 11, 2011 9:11 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 10:36 pm
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Report: DeMarco Murray has fractured ankle

Dallas RB Murray left in the first quarter with a lower leg injury. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

UPDATE II, 10:30 p.m. ET: Murray has a fractured ankle, according to multiple reports (including CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco), and is likely done for the 2011 season.
  
UPDATE, 9:24 p.m. ET:
Murray is getting X-rays on his right ankle and his return is questionable.


The Cowboys headed into Sunday night's game with two active running backs: DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones. Late in the first quarter, Dallas was down to one after Murray had to be helped from the field after a lower leg injury.

With 5:11 left in the quarter, Murray took a pass from Tony Romo and was tackled by Giants linebacker Dave Tollefson. Replays appeared to show Murray twisting his ankle under Tollefson's body as they went to the turf. He laid on the field for several minutes before two Cowboys assistants helped him to the sidelines.

There is no official word on Murray's status, although we suspect he could be done for the evening. For now, Jones is Dallas' only active running back, to go along with two fullbacks. Jones' got his first carry after Murray made his way to the bench and it was good for 26 yards, down to the Giants 12. A play later, Romo found John Phillips for a 12-yard score. At the start of the second quarter, the Cowboys lead, 7-5.

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Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:03 am
 

Jerry: Felix back but DeMarco is the 'workhorse'

Posted by Will Brinson

Dallas steamrolled Buffalo 44-7 on Sunday, and it looks like the Cowboys, whose schedule is absolute cake over the next three weeks, will get even healthier, with the addition of Felix Jones to the lineup.

Speaking on his local radio show, Jerry Jones acknowledged that Felix will likely be return against Washington on Sunday.

"That's our plan," Jones said on KRLD-FM, via the Dallas Star-Telegram. "It looks like he can. I don't know just exactly how on top of his game he'll be, but man am I anxious to have both of those options out there and [DeMarco] Murray, that will be exciting."

The bigger issue, though, is whether Felix will get his starting gig back, or whether Murray will continue to be given the majority of carries. According to Jones, the Cowboys are doing the smart thing by not trying to make Jones a "workhorse running back."

"One thing that comes to my mind that Murray looks like the more he carries the more effective he gets. If you think of that theoretically about a workhorse running back that they get better as the game goes along," Jones said. "Felix, and this is not negative in any way, Felix has always been a guy that he looks like the best way for him to be his best is to inject him in spots and so we may have a guy here in Murray who can carry a lot of carries and we may have a guy in Felix that can step in there and carry it 13 times a ballgame and really have a chance to break it."

Yes, "workhorse running back" is a fancy way of saying "starter" -- Murray's size didn't peg him for a guy that could dive in and get 20-plus carries, but he's obviously responded incredibly well to the workload that the Cowboys have given him, considering his lowest output since Week 7 is 74 yards on eight carries in the blowout loss to Philadelphia.

For his part, Jones says he's not sweating his role yet, and is more concerned about his health.

"Really, it’s just about me getting back on the field," Jones said. "That’s the first thing. Once that happens, we’ll start talking about what’s going on on the field. Right now I’m just worried about my health, getting out there on the field."

For some silly reason the Cowboys have hesitated to name Murray the starter at running back, and I suppose they haven't exactly done so yet. And they might continue not calling him the "official" starter.

But make no mistake: DeMarco is the guy getting the majority of carries. Dallas has won three of the four games he's started, and in all three wins, he's provided the Cowboys with a 100-plus yard rushing game. That's one more than Felix has in his career.

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Posted on: November 11, 2011 8:00 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 8:00 pm
 

DeMarco Murray: Felix 'is still the starter'

Posted by Will Brinson



It doesn't take a genius to figure out that DeMarco Murray's had some success with the Cowboys this year. The rookie out of Oklahoma, in just three games, owns the Cowboys single-game record for rushing yards, and the record for most rushing yards in three games as a Cowboy.

But he's not just talented. He's humble too; Murray, who's rushed for 466 yards over the past three games, said that he thinks Felix Jones is still the starter in Dallas.

"From my understanding, I think he's still the starter," said Murray, per the Dallas Morning-News. "He's a great running back, and he was doing a great job before he went down. I'm expecting him to come back in and do what he's been doing, which is great, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to continue to compete and try to help out as much as I can."

Well, "a great job" is probably stretching things. Jones topped 100 yards rushing in just one start (115 yards on 14 carries against Washington in Week 3) and was averaging only four yards per carry through six games.

Jones isn't to blame for all the Cowboys woes, of course, and he's definitely a dynamic back. But he simply wasn't producing the type of games that many people expected from him.

Instead, it's been Murray who's provided Dallas with a powerful rushing attack, and it's why even if he's not the "starter" he'll see the starter's carries.


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Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:50 pm
 

Keep an Eye on: Week 10's finer analysis

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

Jets vs. Patriots

The recipe for stopping New England’s offense has been discovered: press-man coverage. The Cowboys pressed the Patriots receivers off-and-on back in Week 6. The Steelers did it all game in Week 8. So did the Giants in Week 9. New England scored 16, 17 and 20 in those three games.

Think the Jets might be ale to execute press-man coverage? (Ask the Bills receivers whose white uniforms had practically turned light green by the end of last week’s game.) When these teams met back in Week 5, Darrelle Revis shadowed Wes Welker, though not the entire game. Welker caught a few balls during the breathers away from Revis, including a 73-yarder that gave him a misleading five-catch, 124-yard stat line.

After that game teams may have realized that with Welker bottled up, the Patriots are just another methodical east-west passing team. New England’s offense has no downfield weapon to preoccupy defenses about getting burned over the top. Deion Branch is quick but not fast. Aaron Hernandez, if he regains his pre-Week 3 knee injury form, is fleet for a tight end but not someone who can blaze 40 yards outside the numbers. Ditto for Rob Gronkowski.

There is that Chad Ochocinco guy. He and Brady have not been on the same page all season (Brady actually missed an open Ocho for a would-be touchdown last week; Ocho couldn’t get mad because he owed Brady for other mistakes). The disappointing but charismatic ex-Bengal may actually be the deciding piece in this game. Someone has to step up and be a downfield threat. The last person aslow underneath offense wants to face is Rex Ryan; he knows how to use his safeties as blitzers.



Cowboys vs. Bills
The Cowboys can forget about the fragile Felix Jones becoming their next franchise running back. When Jones returns from his ankle injury (hopefully sometime before his next scheduled injury in December), he’ll be backing up DeMarco Murray. The third-round rookie from Oklahoma State is averaging 6.7 yards per carry and looks like the real deal. It was difficult to assess him after his 253-yard outbreak against St. Louis because, as Murray himself will admit, a truck could have driven through the holes Dallas’ offensive line opened up that game.


But last week Murray registered 139 yards against a quietly impressive Seattle run defense that’s allowing just 3.4 yards per carry (tied for second best in the NFL). He has a unique ability to generate downhill momentum immediately upon hitting his accelerator.

Because of this, Murray can explode to holes before linebackers can identify them or, more often, he can increase his tempo upon reaching those linebackers, which makes him extremely hard to tackle.

For the Bills (and all defenses), the key to stopping Murray will be penetration. Murray has the ability to go left and right, but he has to stop and restart in order to do so. You can’t let him go north and south.

It hurts that Buffalo’s best defensive lineman, Kyle Williams, just went on injured reserve. He was a penetration extraordinaire who would have changed the complexion of this matchup. Marcell Dareus has been impressive since relocating to nose tackle, but the Bills are now thin on the edges and may start waffling again between 3-4 and 4-3 concepts if forced to make another personnel adjustment.

Seahawks vs. Ravens
It’s a classic trap game for the Ravens. Coming off a big primetime win against their archrival, they must fly across the country for an unceremonious bout with a 2-6 team from another conference. And it’s not an awful 2-6 team, either. OK, maybe the offense is awful. Or at least as uninspiring as an Andy Reid press conference. But the defense isn’t bad.

Last week’s stumble at Dallas aside, Seattle’s defense can stop the run. The defensive line has a strong rotation of high-energy players who have the strength to win in a phone booth (end Red Bryant has been the most impressive in this sense). Middle linebacker David Hawthorne reads and pursues well enough, and outside linebackers K.J. Wright and Leroy Hill can both play with physicality on the edge.

On the back end, young safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas are still learning to play with consistency (both mentally and physically). Both, however, offer some playmaking prowess versus in the box or downhill. Cornerback Brandon Browner is a bit stiff but has rare 6’3”, 221-pound-size that he’s just starting to learn to apply at the line of scrimmage. Richard Sherman has, for the most part, been able to back up his bizarre cockiness ever since injuries propelled him into the starting lineup.

Lastly, Seattle has a clear-cut Pro Bowler (their only Pro Bowler, in fact) in end Chris Clemons. He’s fast off the edge (like any quality pass-rusher) and also has a strong suppleness that makes him viable in all facets against the run.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 10 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: October 31, 2011 5:11 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 5:12 pm
 

Tashard Choice claimed off waivers by Redskins

Posted by Will Brinson

On Saturday, the Cowboys made the somewhat surprising decision to waive running back Tashard Choice, just a little over 24 hours before playing the Eagles on Sunday night. On Monday, the Washington Redskins claimed Choice off of waivers.

That the Redskins, at 3-4, were able to claim Choice, as first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, means a number of other teams, including Philadelphia, passed on the former Georgia Tech star.

But Washington, shut out Sunday against Buffalo in Toronto, has a clear-cut need for offensive help, and with Tim Hightower out for the year, a clear need at running back. Roy Helu and Ryan Torain combined for 24 rushing yards on 11 carries against the Bills Sunday.

Choice was waived/injured so he's not guaranteed to end up even getting playing time with the 'Skins. He's got a hamstring problem and a shoulder problem and, well, it's entirely possible he won't even pass his physical at his point in time.

But Washington, in a freefall from first place in the NFC East, is so beat-up on offense that they probably don't care.

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Posted on: October 29, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 1:07 pm
 

Cowboys waive RB Tashard Choice

T. Choice was waived by Dallas (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If we thought Cowboys running back Tashard Choice was not necessarily a Jason Garrett favorite -- as his 28 carries through six games, despite an injury to Felix Jones, would lead you to believe -- we can be positive about it right now.

As reported by ESPN Dallas, the Cowboys have waived Choice today.

Considering one of his biggest contributions to the team this season was co-hosting the radio show where Dez Bryant said the 2-3 Cowboys were unbeatable and considering Choice, who was on the trading block, was said to be in Garrett’s doghouse, this -- aside from the timing of the transaction -- shouldn’t be a big surprise.

But it is a disappointment. Choice never could break out during his three-season stay in Dallas and was prone to making silly mistakes -- like, running out of bounds when the Cowboys were trying to wind down the clock against the Redskins on their way to victory -- and after DeMarco Murray obliterated the team’s franchise record for rushing yards in a game last week, Choice became even more expendable than before.

He also suffered a shoulder injury last week vs. the Rams, and he was limited in practice this week. He then hurt his hamstring during the week and missed Friday's practice altogether.

Wrote Choice on his Twitter account: "I just want to say thanks to all the great dallas cowboy fans. My time in Dallas has come to an end and the best is yet come. God bless."

Linebacker Bruce Carter is expected to take his place on the roster, leaving Choice more time to add to his collection of athlete’s autographs.

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Posted on: October 17, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 8:49 pm
 

Felix Jones to miss time, Jerry Jones questions O

The Cowboys' running game is in shambles and losing Jones doesn't help. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

In addition to concerns about the Cowboys' ultra-conservative play-calling late in the game against the Patriots Sunday, there's more bad news for an offense that has received plenty of criticism this season: the high-ankle sprain running back Felix Jones suffered in Foxboro will keep him out for a considerable time, which means he'll be sidelined for Week 7 and likely beyond.

Jones left in the first half with just 14 rushing yards on eight attempts. And his backups didn't fare much better. Tashard Choice rushed five times for 14 yards, and DeMarco Murray rushed 10 times for 32 yards. This came against the NFL's 25th-ranked run defense, according to Football Outsiders. Unfortunately, the Cowboys' run offense is dead last.

And we saw why Sunday. Inexplicably, the Cowboys decided to run the ball late in the game and, predictably, it cost them. Even Dallas owner Jerry Jones knew that. "You'll always second-guess whether or not we should have tried to run a little offense down there instead of running it three times. We went conservative rather than try to get some points and it bit us." 

Jones, according to Yahoo.com's Michael Silver, had some additional thoughts on the drive in question. “When you get in a situation like that, you’ve got to go for the kill,” Jones said. “I felt like we could’ve been more aggressive. Our defense had been good all day, but you knew Brady had a length-of-the-field drive in him -- so it didn’t surprise me at all when he took them down at the end.”

Even with Felix Jones out, NBC reported Sunday night that Choice was on the trading block.

Whoever's in the backfield, the Cowboys have to be able to run the ball.

"We've got to be more consistent with it," tight end Jason Witten said of the running game, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "[The Patriots] are big up front. We knew that. But we have to be better at it. There are no excuses. You have to find ways to run."

Whatever fate awaits Choice, Murray, a rookie and former third-round pick, says he's ready for a bigger workload with Jones out.

"When I get an opportunity when I'm in there, I'm just going to try to make plays and continue to work hard," he said. "I think Felix is going to make a full recovery. I think he'll be fine. He's tough. He's a fighter."

In other injury-related goings-on, there's more bad news for Dallas. Starting guard Bill Nagy will likely miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle suffered during the Patriots game. CBS Rapid Reporter Nick Eatman writes that veteran Derrick Dockery has been out for three weeks with a broken tibia/sprained knee. If he's not ready to return, outside help at guard could be on the way.

UPDATED 8:44 p.m. ET: Garrett said today that he and Jones had a good conversation today about Sunday's game.

"I think everyone is well intended," Garrett said. "Everybody is passionate about it, and when you lose a ballgame like that sometimes things are said and you've just got to kind of understand what the environment is, process it and move on. We all went up there and we swung the bat hard against New England. ... We came out on the short end of it. We've got to somehow process that and go forward. We have a great challenge this week against St. Louis."

And though he might not have intended for it to sound this way, some of his comments made it appear that he wasn't really blaming the coaches for Dallas' inadequacies.

"We work these situations over and over and over again, in hopes that when we get in those situations, we can execute ball plays to allow us to win," Garrett said. "At the end of this thing it comes down to execution, and we have to be able to block them, we have to be able to run, we have to be able to throw and catch, we have to be able to tackle, we have to be able to catch the ball on defense, make a play. And as coaches, what we're trying to do is put our players in a position to do that as well as we can."

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Posted on: September 27, 2011 10:37 am
 

DeAngelo Hall has problem with playcalls, refs

Hallq

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For a guy who made such a big proclamation about going after Tony Romo’s ribcage and Felix Jones’ shoulder, for a guy who can talk such a big game, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall didn’t make much of an impact in the Redskins 18-16 loss to the Cowboys on Monday night.

He had six tackles, tied for second-most on the team, but the biggest play of the night featuring Hall was when Romo scrambled on a third-and-21 in the fourth quarter and found Dez Bryant open for the first down. Guess who covered Bryant on that play? Hall. Guess the other mistake Hall made on that play? Yep, he tackled Bryant, in part, by grabbing his facemask to earn a 15-yard penalty.

Now, should Hall be blamed totally on the play that extended the Cowboys game-winning drive? No, because it’s nearly impossible to blanket a receiver in coverage for that long during the course of a play. But for Hall, who made such a big announcement before the game and then did next to nothing in it, he looked rather foolish.

Yet, that didn’t stop him for blasting the referees and the Redskins gameplan in the locker room afterward, especially on that game-losing series when defensive coordinator Jim Haslett continued to dial up all-out blitzes, leaving his corners in single coverage.

CBS Washington
has the audio of Hall’s comments, and it’s clear Hall feels outraged by the game’s result. And by the play-call that preceded his burning.

“Sooner or later, somebody is  going to f------ figure it out,” Hall said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to f------ figure it out.”

For the record, Shanahan defended the play-call, saying, "We had a chance to have a sack there. (Romo) did a good job scrambling and made a play. It happens. That's the nature of the game. It didn't work."

Hall also had some words of wisdom for the official who penalized him for the facemask call that added 15 yards onto the end of Bryant’s 30-yard reception.

“It was a f------ terrible call,” Hall said. “I told the ref that he was going to f------ lose his job. I told him that might be the worst call of the game. He’s going to get some demerit points for that call. That wasn’t no facemask, man.”

Except that replays (and in the photo above) showed Hall clearly grabbed, even if for just a split-second, Bryant’s facemask in the process of bringing him down to the turf.

But the facemask hardly matters in the scope of Hall’s performance. Hall made some big plans before the game, and he failed to deliver. Not just in hurting Romo and Jones and/or knocking them out of the game.

But in failing to make a positive impact whatsoever.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com