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Julius Jones article

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Good piece on Jones and Barber....

 

Jones is eager to scratch his 7-yard itchBy MAC ENGEL

STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

 

STAR-TELEGRAM/RALPH LAUER

Julius Jones rushed for 194 yards last season against the Carolina Panthers, above, but hasn't produced consistently for the Cowboys.GRAPEVINE -- Julius Jones needs less than a second to tell you how close he was to 1,000 yards rushing last season.

 

"Seven yards," he said.

 

"I can't get it out of my head.

 

"I'm going to make it this year. It's going to have to be this year. No maybe."

 

The Cowboys running back is preparing for the third season of an NFL career that thus far has been more about injuries than consistency.

 

For the sake of his teammates -- and his career -- the process of proving himself begins once again at this week's minicamp.

 

"I feel like that every year, but especially this being my third year," Jones said. "I've had two decent years, and this year I'm looking to have a really big year. I want to make it through the whole season, and if I do that, that's possible."

 

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones dismissed rumors that Jones was on the trading block on draft day. He also wouldn't call his running back injury-prone -- although that label is dangerously close to sticking.

 

He has played in 21 NFL games in two seasons. When he was a rookie, Jones injured his shoulder, keeping him out of seven games. Last year, he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 5 that kept him out of three games.

 

Only once last season did he crack the 100-yard barrier. It was a memorable performance on Christmas Eve, when he rushed for 194 yards in a last-second win over Carolina.

 

"[The ankle] wasn't 100 percent then. But for some reason, I was able to go on it that day," Jones said. "Some days you could go on it and some days you'd twist it and -- boom -- you're out the rest of the game. It's a weird injury, and I wouldn't wish it on anybody."

 

Jones just wants to play all 16 games -- a healthy 16 games. If he does, the rest will come. He will be the Cowboys' first 1,000-yard rusher since Emmitt Smith in 2001. He will be the anchor to an offense that now features Terrell Owens.

 

But will the numbers come?

 

The Cowboys are putting their faith in Jones because of four brilliant games in which he rushed for nearly 40 percent of his career yardage and more than 60 percent of his total touchdowns.

 

In the remaining games, he's been OK.

 

"We have expectations, more for our team and what a good season would mean for this team," Jerry Jones said. "If he's having a big year, that would be indicative of how the team is doing."

 

The Cowboys' offense certainly can't be a one-dimensional, Drew Bledsoe-to-Terrell Owens/Jason Witten show.

 

There are no good or great teams without productive running backs, especially ones coached by Bill Parcells.

 

And it's either Julius Jones, or no one. Second-year running back Marion Barber is viewed as solid and reliable, but not special. Jones can be special, when he plays.

 

"He had one truly remarkable game for us; it was for about 240 yards against Pittsburgh [actually, it was a school-record 262]," said Washington head coach Ty Willingham, who coached Jones at Notre Dame. "You look at that and say, 'We didn't give it to him enough.' When you see a game like that out of him, you see how truly great he can be.

 

"That is what you want to be able to count on every game. But there are a lot of things that go into that kind of performance."

 

There is a sense at Valley Ranch that Jones' story will either conclude at the end of this season, or continue to places where all parties expected it to go after he rushed for 150 yards against the Bears on Thanksgiving Day in 2004. That if he is to be a Pro Bowler with the Cowboys, this is the season.

 

If he can't, the Cowboys might have to look elsewhere.

 

"He has something to prove to himself, as well," Parcells said. "Now durability is a big deal at the running back position. So he's had a little tough luck. A couple of times. But I think things will get better for him."

 

That would be good luck, which Jones figures he's due.

 

 

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And it's either Julius Jones, or no one. Second-year running back Marion Barber is viewed as solid and reliable, but not special. Jones can be special, when he plays.

None of the Cowboys Coaches said the above. That is all STAR-TELEGRAM/RALPH LAUER

 

This is what Parcells had to say about Barber;

"I like Barber a lot," Parcells said. "He doesn't have great speed but he's a very, very good blocker. He's a very, very good receiver and he has very good vision as a runner. He's elusive in the hole."

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None of the Cowboys Coaches said the above. That is all STAR-TELEGRAM/RALPH LAUER

 

This is what Parcells had to say about Barber;

 

1492651[/snapback]

 

 

 

Good point.

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None of the Cowboys Coaches said the above. That is all STAR-TELEGRAM/RALPH LAUER

 

This is what Parcells had to say about Barber;

 

1492651[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

That sort of go along with what the article said - he has no break away speed and cannot hit the homerun like Jones, ergo they want Jones to stay healthy and be the man.

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That sort of go along with what the article said - he has no break away speed and cannot hit the homerun like Jones, ergo they want Jones to stay healthy and be the man.

 

1493064[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

I think JJ can have a decent season. He's been very below average around the goal line which makes me think his touchdown potential is capped at 8 or 9 though.

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That sort of go along with what the article said - he has no break away speed and cannot hit the homerun like Jones, ergo they want Jones to stay healthy and be the man.

 

1493064[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

Curtis Martin never had breakaway speed either. He seemed to do alright with Parcells.

Edited by Crazysight

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That sort of go along with what the article said - he has no break away speed and cannot hit the homerun like Jones, ergo they want Jones to stay healthy and be the man.

 

1493064[/snapback]

 

 

 

 

I don't know if Jones is capable of such a feat....

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Kind of off the "Julius Jones is the new Fred Taylor" talk going on here but did anyone read the story on the jones bros in ESPN mag? It was pretty cool to read about what they have overcome and where they are from.

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Kind of off the "Julius Jones is the new Fred Taylor" talk going on here but did anyone read the story on the jones bros in ESPN mag?  It was pretty cool to read about what they have overcome and where they are from.

 

1494049[/snapback]

 

 

 

Good article. Nice to see how far they've come and still help each other.

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