Darius Jackson could open the season as the No. 2 running back for the Cowboys, which would make him valuable as a handcuff option for Ezekiel Elliott. But first he has to prove he deserves the job ahead of two rookies in Tony Pollard and Mike Weber. We'll see what happens in training camp, but Jackson should have the edge for the job. It would be a big step up for Jackson, who has six carries for 16 yards and no catches in three NFL seasons. Keep an eye on Jackson's role in training camp, and we'll see if he's No. 2 on the depth chart behind Elliott. At best, he'll be worth a late-round flier in deeper leagues, especially if you draft Elliott in Round 1.
The Cowboys drafted Tony Pollard (fourth round) and Mike Weber (seventh round) to compete with Jackson for depth roles in the backfield, Patrick Conn of WFAA ABC Dallas reports. Weber was a between-the-tackles grinder at Ohio State, while Pollard mostly made his impact at Memphis on receptions and kick returns. Both players give Jackson viable competition for the No. 2 running back job vacated by Rod Smith, who remains unsigned as an unrestricted free agent. The winner of the battle will have some handcuff appeal for Ezekiel Elliott owners, though Dallas likely would turn to a committee if the superstar runner were to miss time. Jackson spent most of 2018 on the Dallas practice squad, playing two games for the Packers in September and two for the Cowboys in December. He's a workout warrior who only had one productive season at Eastern Michigan before coming off the board in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Jackson did not play a single snap during Saturday's playoff loss to the Rams. He finished up the regular season with six carries for 16 yards across two games with the Cowboys. Jackson failed to bring in his lone target during the 2018 season. He spent the first four weeks with the Packers but did not log a single snap before being waived by the team. On Dec. 22, Jackson joined Dallas' active roster and played a depth role during the team's final two games of the regular season. The 25-year-old, who was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, likely will need to impress on special teams this offseason to earn a job in 2019.
Jackson and Rod Smith are expected to split reps at running back Sunday against the Giants with Ezekiel Elliott slated to be rested for the contest, team sources tell Jane Slater of NFL Network. After receiving a promotion from the practice squad Dec. 22, Jackson was limited to a special-teams role in his 2018 debut with Dallas in last week's win over the Buccaneers. With the Cowboys clinching the NFC East with the victory and now locked in as the conference's No. 4 seed in the playoffs regardless of how the games play out Sunday, there's little incentive for Dallas to expose Elliott to injury in a meaningless regular-season finale. That will open the door for Jackson to get a chance to showcase his skills, though his brief time on the active roster likely means that Smith, who has suited up in all 15 games as Elliott's top backup, will earn the larger share of the backfield touches.
Jackson was promoted from the practice squad Saturday, Rob Phillips of the Cowboys' official site reports. Jackson will provide depth to the Cowboys' backfield, although it seems unlikely he'll surpass Ezekiel Elliott or Rod Smith for carries unless something drastic occurs. Jackson's role could become more prominent in Week 17 if the Cowboys clinch a playoff spot Sunday against the Buccaneers.
Jackson signed with the Cowboys' practice squad Tuesday, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. Jackson spent the preseason with the Cowboys before ultimately being released during final roster cut downs. The Packers scooped him up, and Jackson appeared in two games for Green Bay, though he failed to register an offensive statistic.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/08||New York Giants||23||19.88|
|4||09/30||@New Orleans Saints||3||12.44|
|5||10/06||Green Bay Packers||19||18.13|
|6||10/13||@New York Jets||18||17.75|
|9||11/05||@New York Giants||23||19.88|
|12||11/24||@New England Patriots||8||16.00|
|15||12/15||Los Angeles Rams||14||17.26|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||2||5||0||0||0||0||0|