Do you think the Cowboys should make bringing back Felix Jones a priority before the draft? The market has already been set and he doesn't have many suitors. He will come cheap, he is a reliable set of hands out of the back field, and he will be healthier than last year.
Rowan: I think it's time for the departure between Jones and the Cowboys. DeMarco Murray is the No. 1 guy in Dallas, and the breadth of capable backup running backs in this draft should give the Cowboys plenty of opportunities to grab a player late to immediately compete for time. Not to mention, Ahmad Bradshaw, Peyton Hillis and Michael Turner are all still available in free agency. With so many options, a reunion between the two doesn't seem to make much sense for either party.
David: Personally, I'm not seeing it. Jones is a proven commodity with the Cowboys; the problem is that commodity isn't worth too much. He's scored 11 rushing touchdowns in his Cowboys career after being selected as a first round pick, and he averaged a measly 3.6 yards per carry in 2012. He's got good hands, but are his roughly 500 yards and two touchdowns from the past two seasons that much of an accomplishment? Running back might be the easiest position to hit on in the modern NFL, with late round picks and undrafted free agents excelling on rosters across the league (Bryce Brown, Pierre Thomas and of course Arian Foster all come to mind). Why not give someone new a chance to make an impact?
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With the addition of new rules, i.e., leading with the crown of the helmet rule, does that change looking at a certain prospect because of their playing style?
Rowan:It's difficult to answer that without seeing a season of the rule being implemented. I don't think the Browns would be hesitant to select Trent Richardson in the draft again because of this rule. Powerful backs should still be able to provide a full head of steam and barrel [embedded_ad] over defenders, they just can't completely duck that head to deliver the blow. The best backs before the rule should still be the best backs after, even if that means one or two more penalties a year for those players.
David: I'm going to guess not. Regardless of playing style, the rules are the same across the board: leading with the crown of your helmet is a no-no whether you're a safety or a running back. So if a player has the intangibles – breakaway speed, lateral quickness, what-have-you – the coaching staff should feel confident about their ability to break him of his bad habits and draft him for the qualities they can't coach.