Report: Bengals work out Cowboys free-agent RB Felix Jones

The Bengals have reportedly expressed interest in RB Felix Jones. (USATSI)

Hoping a change of scenery can help resurrect his career following a down season in 2012, Dallas Cowboys free agent running back Felix Jones has reportedly worked out for the Bengals, Bryan Broaddus of reported on Monday.

Jones, 25, has seen his average yards per carry decline nearly every year since he burst onto the scene with 8.9 yards per run as a rookie in 2008. Last season in a backup capacity behind DeMarco Murray, Jones averaged a career-low 3.6 yards per run. It marked the first time in Jones’ five-year career that he averaged less than four yards per carry.

The Bengals could look to improve production at running back in 2013 alongside starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis and reserve Cedric Peerman. Green-Ellis struggled early in his first season with the Bengals before getting on track over the final weeks of the regular season. The former Patriots’ running back did not run for 100 yards in a game until a Week 11 win over the Chiefs, but closed the season by cracking the century mark in four of his final six contests. Green-Ellis rushed for 1,094 yards last season on 3.9 yards per carry. Peerman, meanwhile, averaged 7.2 yards per run in limited action.

Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis will look for Jones to rekindle his early-career form if the Bengals take a chance on the former Arkansas running back. In 2009, arguably Jones’ top season with the Cowboys, he averaged 5.9 yards per run on 116 carries. Breaking tackles with ease, Jones averaged 3.3 yards after contact per run -- tying him for third among all running backs according to Pro Football Focus. In two successive seasons, Jones continued to break tackles with great frequency. In 2010, he forced 24 missed tackles on 185 carries. A season later he forced only one fewer missed tackle, despite receiving nearly 60 fewer carries. In 2012, however, Jones forced just five missed tackles on 111 carries.

Jones (5-8, 215) has battled through knee and ankle injuries throughout his career. Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones has indicated it’s unlikely that the team will re-sign the veteran running back. 

Keep your eye on everything NFL by following Matt Rybaltowski on Twitter @mattrybaltowski.

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